Ayurveda ~ Doshas. What Dosha am I & how do I Balance it?

 We are simply the microcosm of the macrocosm.......

We are simply the microcosm of the macrocosm.......

Starting to understand what dosha means?

The three Ayurvedic doshas

Vata, Pitta and Kapha —collectively known as the doshas — are one of the most foundational concepts in the tradition of Ayurveda. But what are they, exactly? In essence, the doshas are energetic forces of nature, functional principles that help us to better understand ourselves, and the world around us. 

According to Ayurveda, there are five elements that make up the universe ( macrocosmos) and we have this universe inside of us (microcosmos): space, air/wind, fire, water and earth. They all reflect certain qualities that we experience through our senses system (seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, hearing). 

Air who is like the wind, constantly moving, a bit cold, drying and light; on the other hand, fire is hot, steamy and fierce; whereas water is wet, a little cooling and heavy. Inside our bodies, these five master elements combine together and exist as three primary energy patterns.

These energy patterns – or doshas, - to use the Sanskrit word – are present in every tissue, every cell and every organ in our body, thereby they govern all of the body’s processes, from bodily functions to our thoughts and feelings.

The three primary energy patterns in our body, or doshas, are: wind or vata – with the attributes, cold, dry and light – is the force that controls our movement, regulates the nervous system, and oversees elimination of waste; fire or pitta – with attributes, hot, wet and combustive – is the force that controls our digestion and metabolism; and water or kapha – that is cold, wet and heavy – is the protective force which governs stability, structure and moisture in our mind and body.

Understand your dosha

Some people have a tendency or nature of vata, pitta or kapha types, others people have more then one nature who is dominant, like a mix of vata-pitta, vata-kapha or pitta-kapha . More rarely, but possible, is an equal balance of all three doshas in one person – vata-pitta-kapha.

Because we all have all of the elements in our bodies, we all have each of the doshas as well. But every one of us is born with a unique, individual balance of these doshas. So, no two of us are alike! Typically, every person has one dominant form of dosha that makes up his or her personal Ayurvedic constitution. 

Every activity and function of our mind and body is dependent upon the balanced or unbalanced state of our doshas. And it is these ‘Dosha’s constituting your biological set-up that play a role more critical than you can imagine.

Once you understand what dosha combination makes up your Ayurveda constitution, you can start keeping them in balance through the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

Vata:

Vata embodies the energy of movement and is therefore often associated with wind (and the air element). Vata is linked to creativity and flexibility; it governs all movement—the flow of the breath, the pulsation of the heart, all muscle contractions, tissue movements, cellular mobility—and communication throughout the mind and the nervous system.

Pitta:

Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. But in living organisms, pitta is largely liquid, which is why water is its secondary element. Pitta is neither mobile nor stable, but spreads—much as the warmth of a fire permeates its surroundings, or as water flows in the direction dictated by the terrain. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding.

Kapha:

Kapha lends structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things, and is therefore associated primarily with the earth and water elements. Kapha also embodies the watery energies of love and compassion. This dosha hydrates all cells and systems, lubricates the joints, moisturises the skin, maintains immunity, and protects the tissues.

Because we all have all of the elements in our bodies, we all have each of the doshas as well. But every one of us is born with a unique, individual balance of these doshas. So, no two of us are alike! Typically, every person has one dominant form of dosha that makes up his or her personal Ayurvedic constitution. 

Every activity and function of our mind and body is dependent upon the balanced or unbalanced state of our doshas. And it is these ‘Dosha’s constituting your biological set-up that play a role more critical than you can imagine. If the proportion of doshas in your current state is close to your birth constitution, then your health will be vibrant. A divergence between these states, however, indicates a state of imbalance.

What makes a dosha unbalanced?

The doshas are dynamic energies that constantly change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, the foods we eat, the seasons, and any other sensory inputs that feed our mind and body. When we live into the fulfilment of our individual natures, we naturally make lifestyle and dietary decisions that foster balance within our doshas. When we live against our intrinsic natures, we support unhealthy patterns that lead to physical and mental imbalances.

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We are most susceptible to imbalances related to our predominant dosha. If you’re a Pitta type, for example, you may experience heartburn (a common Pitta disorder) after eating spicy foods. The key to remember is that like increases like, while opposites create balance. By simply choosing cooling or more alkalizing foods, you can avoid heartburn, while also supporting your underlying

make-up.

Ayurveda offers specifically tailored recommendations for every individual, ranging from general lifestyle changes to the treatment of dis-ease (literally, an imbalance within our natural state of “ease”). For this reason, Ayurveda can truly be called a system of individualised health care, something remarkably different from the Western model’s “one-pill for all” approach. Since the doshas are used to detect imbalances before the manifestation of dis-ease, Ayurveda is also a complete system of preventative medicine

Imbalanced Vata

When out of balance, vata tends to cause fear, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. It can lead to both physical and energetic depletion, disrupt proper communication, and cause all sorts of abnormal movements in the body, such as tics, tremors, and muscle spasms.

Imbalanced Pitta

When out of balance, pitta causes fiery, reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism. Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders, which can affect organs and tissues throughout the body.

Imbalanced Kapha

When out of balance, kapha triggers emotions of attachment, greed, and possessiveness and can also create stubbornness, lethargy, and resistance to change. Physically, kapha tends to invite stagnation and congestion in organs and tissues throughout the body—including the mind.