BRIEF ABOUT AYURVEDA:
Remember-your health is your greatest asset. We will review the basics of Ayurveda. The 5 elements of nature are called the panchamahabhutas and there are Three doshas. Let’s understand the meaning of the word Ayurveda. It consists of two Sanskrit words “Ayu” meaning life and “Veda” meaning wisdom to put them together it simply means the science of living young and healthy for the rest of our life. According to the ancient sages every element that we see and feel in this planet is a permutation and combination of five basic elements, these five elements are called panchamahabhutas “Pancha” means 5. “Maha” means significant or big and “bhutas” means elements or matter. These 5 elements are earth, water, fire, wind, also known as air and space also known as ether. These elements have particular attributes and qualities for example if you take a stone it has particular qualities and attributes if you take a feather it has other special qualities and attributes.
WHAT ARE THE DOSHAS?
In order to appreciate the qualities and attributes of matter, we see that the ancient sages came up with the concept of doshas. The word “dosha” means anything that can disturb. We all have vata, pitta and kapha in our body and these doshas arise from the five elements of space, air, fire, water and Earth and these five elements give rise to the tridoshas. They are the energies governing all the functions in our body. Vata is made up of the space and air elements. Pitta is made up of fire and water elements and Kapha is made up of earth and water. We each have a certain amount of all elements. We may have one dominant or two or we maybe tridoshic but everyone has an individual ratio of each of the three doshas. We get it from our parents during conception, which determines our “prakriti” , which stays the same throughout life. But dosha may go out of balance for many reasons. Due to our age, season, lifestyle, stress, eating habits, etc.
The key is to understand your dosha, to understand the signs of aggravation or imbalance in doshas and then know how to bring it back into balance naturally. So today we are going to go into detail to discuss the characteristics of each dosha along with the signs of aggravation and what can cause these aggravations in the body.
LET’S UNDERSTAND THE DOSHAS THROUGH A METAPHOR:
In order to understand this concept if you go to a Cold Mountain and if it starts snowing that could be a possibility of an Avalanche. Avalanche is a dosha it can disturb the peace there.
If you go to a desert, there would be a sand storm. This storm can be a disturbance if you are there. So like an avalanche in a snowy mountain and sand storm in a desert there are many possible disturbing triggers from these five elements but when they are not disturbing these five elements are absolutely fine and there is nothing to be worried about but anticipating what could go wrong and taking precautions is what made human beings grow into a powerful species. Protecting ourselves from these disturbances is essentially the study of Ayurveda.
THE POWERFUL “TRIDOSHAS”:
These 3 doshas are:
When we take the earth and water element together the dosha of kapha is formed. The word kapha literally means that which keeps things together. The main qualities of kapha is its heavy nature it’s cold and oily, the perfect representation to understand kapha in nature would be the snowy mountains and huge lake or the ocean.
Fire and water element combining together forms pitta. The word pitta literally means to ignite or to transform or simply to heat up the main qualities of pitta are its hot, it’s slightly oily. The best representation of pita is to look at the sun or anywhere we see heat or fire.
SO LET’S START WITH THE VATA DOSHA:-
Vata is a combination of wind and space elements. The word vata literally means to move or anything that triggers movement. The purest representation of vata in nature is to get a clear blue sky or to feel the wind or the emptiness that you see in a barren landscape or even outer space.
It is responsible for all movement and functions of the body and the mind and this is why vata is called the king of the tridoshas because it’s the moving force behind everything in our body. It is responsible for breathing, speech, the movements through the vocal cords, elimination, the pumping of heart, sense of touch, the development and delivery of foetus, menstrual flow. So it’s very important that vata is in balance.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS OF VATA DOSHA PERSON:
– they tend to be very tall with small apetitite, have a very small frame they have an oval face and small eyes, dry skin and thinner hair, they have a very good metabolism like the wind in nature which is always moving. They can go long periods without eating and also their sleep pattern is very variable. They tend to suffer from sleep problems like Insomnia if imbalanced.
They’re very intuitive, imaginative and creative, artistic people who can do a lot of things, because of their natural skills. They love to travel so the more they can move the better for them. Though excess movement can be problematic.
PROFESSION FOR VATA TYPE PEOPLE:
Sales, marketing and creative jobs are great for vata people. Skill-oriented jobs mainly.
SLOGAN FOR VATA DOSHA PERSON:
“Can I change my mind?”
QUALITIES OF VATA DOSHA:
Dry, light, cold, subtle, rough and mobile.
CAUSES FOR AGGRAVATION OF VATA DOSHA:
Autumn season. Consumption of dry, light food. Exposure to cold. Fasting is not good for vata. Leads to an imbalance. Lack of sleep, excessive exercise, stress, anxiety cause an aggravation in vata
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AGGRAVATION OF VATA DOSHA:
Dry skin, hair, eyes, dry stools, bloating, dizziness, cold hands, feet, muscle spasms, tremors are signs of aggravation of vata.
TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT OF IMBALANCE OF VATA DOSHA:
- Follow a Routine.
- Avoid dry food like popcorn, etc.
- Eat good fat, protein containing food.
- Avoid travelling, erratic schedules.
ALL ABOUT PITTA DOSHA!
Pitta is made up of fire and water. It is said to be one that produces heat or anger. So it’s like the sun’s heat in nature. It gives light and it’s about transforming things. It’s the heat or transformative energy in the body.
Responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PITTA PERSONALITY:
Medium built, strong muscle tone, sharp pointed nose, penetrating sharp eyes, chin, tongue (hence they make biting remarks sometimes), they tend to go bald early, listmakers, focused, opinionated, tend to get irritatable and angry., tend to get hungry soon.
“Do it my way or take the highway”.
JOB SUITABLE FOR PITTA PEOPLE: Managers, CEO, leaders, politicians.
QUALITIES OF PITTA:
Oily, sharp, hot, light, acidic, mobile, liquid.
CAUSES OF AGGRAVATION OF PITTA:
Summer season (due to increase in heat), consumption of sour, salty, pungent foods, Smoking, drinking alcohol, Excess of competition.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AGGRAVATION:
Nausea, diarrhea, skin blisters, ulcers, body pain, migraine, fever, IBS, inflammation, ringing of ears, vertigo, yellowing of eye ball, skin, excess perspiration, urinary incontinence.
TIPS FOR BALANCING PITTA:
- Calm and soothing exercises.
- Moderation while performing activities.
- Avoid spicy food.
- Sweet, bitter,astringent food is recommended.
ALL ABOUT KAPHA DOSHA!
Constituted by water and earth element. It is one that helps to connect. It’s the energy of construction, lubrication, providing strength and stamina to the body. It’s almost like clay. It nourishes our cells and organs.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A KAPHA INDIVIDUAL:
Round figure, face, eyes, nose, well built, sometimes obese, long, thick hair, They have a loving, caring nature. They are great with children. Lazy, talkative, good endurance. Strong immune system. They are great listeners. They tend to gain weight easily. Happy-go-lucky spirit. It might take them a little longer to learn something.
“Don’t worry, be happy”.
PROFESSION SUITABLE FOR A KAPHA PERSON:
Client relations, account management, customer service.
QUALITIES OF KAPHA DOSHA:
Moist, cold, heavy, static, soft.
CAUSES OF AGGRAVATION OF KAPHA:
Rainy season, spring season; Eating sweet, salty food; Consumption of junk food; Excessive sleep; Lack of exercises, physical activity.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AGGRAVATION OF KAPHA DOSHA:
Cough, chest infection, congestion, sinus, obesity, lethargy, weak agni (digestive fire), laziness, excess sleep, excess saliva, swelling in the body, etc.
TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT OF IMBALANCE OF KAPHA DOSHA;
- Exercising daily.
- Eat in controlled and balanced manner (when hungry).
- Eat smaller, lighter meals.
- Have leafy green vegetables, beans, etc.
- Consume bitter taste food items.
HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE YOUR DOSHA?
It’s important for each individual to know his/her dosha and follow a lifestyle pertaining to the same. Otherwise, an imbalance in any of the doshas may cause many diseases. Dosha can be determined simply by relating your personal characteristics with the qualities of that specific dosha which matches your personality.
And Hurray, you’re done! Yet, you should always consider an Ayurvedic practitioner for such details.
In addition to Vata, Pitta and Kapha, there are certain doshas related to the mind as well. They are called “Manasik Dosha”. They are:
APPLICATION DOSHAS IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE:
- A great way to understand the energetic qualities of the three doshas is by looking at a candle- the space with oxygen that lets the fire burn is the vata; the flame itself is the pitta; the wax and the wick is the kapha. Here we see the balance of all the three doshas coming together to burn a perfect flame. If there is too much wind, the flame cannot ignite if there is too little wax, the flame cannot sustain.
- Another way to understand the doshas is to look at a computer–the hardware and the physical components would be the kapha; the energy from the battery and the electricity and the converted power would be the pittaa; the operating software that runs the system and makes it all possible is the vata. A good computer has all three; high quality components kapha and efficient battery life which is pitta and a well written operating software vata that would crash.
- In the same way we need a balance of healthy Vata, Pitta and Kapha to have a healthy beautiful and happy life. Yet another way of understanding the dosha is by looking at a car. Kapha is the whole structure of the automobile the fuel in the tank the lubrication between the moving parts just determines how big or small the car is; Pitta ignites and performs the fuel combustion in the engine that determines the mileage and the efficiency of a car. Vata is the intelligence behind the design of the car and also the movement and the speed of the car.
Now let us take a look into our own bodies with concept of doshas. All the physical components in our body like the bones muscles fat ,all these physical structures is kapha and the digestive/ metabolic functions is what we called as Pitta which includes enzymes, acids, gastric juices and the functions of Mitochondria that helps to produce energy that we can utilize and this is what we called as Pitta. The operating intelligence happening to our nervous system and all the movements that are possible in our body is the Vata.
Doshas are essentially the energetic qualities of a body in balance. They keep us healthy. Out of balance they can trigger diseases. Now the reason why we call it dosha is because it has the potential to go out of balance quite frequently and it is our duty to live a Lifestyle that keeps them in balance like the perfectly burning flame or the efficient car. One of the ways we can achieve this is by utilizing the three pillars of longevity and vitality. According to Ayurveda, three pillars are Nidra, Ahara and Brahmacharya. Nidra means the art of relaxation or recovery or sleep and this technique is the most powerful way to keep vata in balance. The word Ahara means proper nutrition or nourishment, this helps to keep pitta in balance and the word Brahmacharya means creative expression of your true self and these techniques help to keep kapha in balance.