Ayurveda - a conjugation of two Sanskrit words 'ayus', meaning 'life' and 'veda',meaning 'science', thus Ayurveda translates as the 'science of life'. It’s knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often referred to as “Mother of All Healing.” It comes from the age-old Vedic culture and was passed on for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their fellow disciples.
What are Doshas?
According to Ayurvedic philosophy the entire cosmos is an interaction of the energies of the five great elements - Space, Air, Fire, Water & Earth. Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in every element on Earth, be it living or not living which are more commonly known as the Sanskrit words - Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
In the physical body, Vata is the subtle energy of movement, Pitta the energy of digestion & metabolism, and Kapha the energy that forms the body’s structure. They are simply viewed as different dimensions of one’s being. These doshas express a distinctive blend of physical, emotional & mental characteristics. You can achieve and maintain a vibrant health by identifying your mind-body type and creating a life that supports your unique nature.
The Energy of Movement : Vāta
Vata provides the essential motion for all the bodily processes and is vital for health. Vāta is most prominent in the fall and at the change of seasons, and these are the most important times to be careful of diet and lifestyle. A person with vata predominant is said to be blessed with a sharp mind, flexibility and creative abilities. Mentally, they usually grasp information easily but then forget them just as easy. They are alert, restless and active, vata people walk, talk and think fast, but are easily fatigued. They are believed to have less willpower, confidence and tolerance for changes than other types and feel unstable at times. When unbalanced, vata types might become fearful, nervous and anxious. In the external world, vata types tend to earn money faster but also spend it quickly. They are not great planners & as a consequence may suffer economic distress.
The Energy of Digestion and Metabolism : Pitta
Pitta people have warmer bodies, sharp ideas and intelligence. When imbalanced, they can become irritable and grumpy. Mentally, pitta types are quick, intelligent and have a good comprehension ability. However, they are easily agitated, aggressive and tend toward hate, anger & jealousy when imbalanced. In the external world, pitta people like to be leaders and planners and seek material prosperity. They like to exhibit their wealth and possessions. The diet and lifestyle changes emphasize coolness—cool foods, avoidance of chilies and spices, and cool climates. People with excessive pitta are advised to workout at the coolest part of the day, that is either sunrise or just before sunset.
The Energy of Lubrication : Kapha
People with Kapha types are blessed with strength, endurance & stamina. In balance, they tend to have sweet, loving dispositions and be stable and grounded. Psychologically, kapha people tend to be tolerant, patient and forgiving. However, they may become majorly fatigued. They may be slow to comprehend concepts, their long term memory is exceptional. When imbalanced, Kaphas have a tendency to experience greed, envy and jealousy. In the external world, kapha tends to grow towards groundedness, stability and loving attachment to help them to earn and hold onto money. The season of Winter is the time of greatest kapha accumulation and following the kapha-balancing dietary and lifestyle changes are most important during that season.
The progress toward balance and health can come slowly and gradually but sticking to the wellness regime can be beneficial in the long term. Sometimes, old habits can die hard but bringing about small changes here and there in your daily lifestyle slowly can bring about balance in your life and enrich your mind & body balances.