Ayurveda (pronounced ai-yr-vei-duh) is an ancient Indian holistic science that encompasses herbal supplements, nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle practices to create complete balance in one’s body, mind, spirit. Ayurveda, the knowledge of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge,) embraces the school of thought that disease can begin with an imbalance or stress in your consciousness. It is also based on the principle that the mind and the body are intrinsically connected, therefore, ayurveda involves expanding consciousness in order to regain balance of the mind and body. This rapidly growing alternative medicine is much more than a way of diagnosing illness, rather it is a way of life to become more radiant and joyful.
What are my doshas?
Ayurveda was established 5000 years ago with the foundation that every person has three driving life forces, called doshas, that determine unique mixtures of mental, physical, and emotional characteristics. These are the Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth) doshas that each contain a myriad of the five elements of space, fire, water, earth, and air. Identifying your doshas will allow you to achieve a more harmonic life as you learn to balance them.
Each dosha controls different body functions. One typically presents stronger than the other two in each person. It is believed in Ayurveda that any health issues you may encounter are linked to your own balance of doshas.
Elements: Air and space
Primary Functions: Movement, communication
Vata dominant individuals tend to be quick thinking, slim, and fast-paced. They are vivacious individuals who are constantly moving, spiritually minded, overly tactile, and love nature. Vatas are susceptible to anxiety, dry skin, and feeling cold. These types learn quickly, but may have a poor memory, gain weight toward the middle of their bodies, and have an irregular appetite.
The vata qualities are clear, dry, light, mobile, cold, rough, and subtle. In the body, Vata commands breathing, cell division, and circulation, as well as the large intestine, bones, skin, ears, and thighs.
IN BALANCE: Vatas in balance are energetic, learn easily, focused, fall asleep easily at bedtime, balanced in digestion, and have good circulation with an even body temperature.
OUT OF BALANCE: The most likely to lose equilibrium, vatas out of balance are likely to experience fatigue, anxiety, forgetfulness, lack of focus, constipation, poor circulation with cold hands and feet, and difficulty falling asleep.
Elements: Fire and water
Primary Functions: Digestion, transformation
Pitta dominant individuals are ambitious, competitive personalities with medium to strong builds. Pittas are perfectionists, focus well, and gain weight evenly or toward the bottom half of the body. They are susceptible to anger, oily skin, inflammation, and heartburn. These types have a steady digestion and appetite, overheat easily, sleep well, and have great memory.
The pitta qualities are hot, mobile, liquid, oily, sharp, and light. In the body, pitta oversees hormones and the digestive system, as well as the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes.
IN BALANCE: Pittas in balance have a glowing complexion, good vision, steady digestion, stable body weight, sharp intellect, and are content.
OUT OF BALANCE: Pittas out of balance can experience a lot of anger, irritability, hot flashes, eye troubles, rashes, and acne. They may also experience heart disease, stomach ulcers, and arthritis.
Elements: Earth and water
Primary Functions: Cohesiveness, structure
Kapha dominant individuals are tranquil, grounded people with solid body frames. They are patient, hard-working people who love the arts, food, warmth, and material possessions. Kaphas are susceptible to laziness, disliking cold weather, and sleeping a lot. These earthy types have well developed bodies, steady appetites, and soft, supple skin..
The kapha qualities are soft, stable, smooth, slow, cold, heavy, dense, and sticky. In the body, kapha governs strength, immunity, and growth, as well as the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid.
IN BALANCE: Kaphas in balance are affectionate, courageous, generous, stable in temperament, and strong. They experience steady digestion and body weight, deep sleep and good long-term memory.
OUT OF BALANCE: The least likely to lose stability, kaphas out of balance may experience greediness, procrastination, inflammation, slow digestion, obesity, diabetes, depression, and respiratory issues.
Where do I start?
If you’re wondering where to start your ayurvedic journey, here are three simple steps to begin.
- Take the quiz to learn your dosha
Understanding your principal natures will allow you to make discoveries about your body and behavior. Learn if you are in or out of balance with this quizand identify herbal remedies, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications to find or maintain equilibrium.
- Start a morning and nighttime routine
Establishing a routine in the morning and evening will allow your body and consciousness to find consistency. This stability creates radical change through regulation of the body’s biological clock, digestion, and food absorption, as well as self esteem, peace, and longevity. By gifting yourself balanced discipline, you will create freedom for your mind, body, and spirit.
- Schedule an Ayurvedic consultation
Sit down for a consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner to receive a comprehensive uncovering of your root ailments. A holistic view of your lifestyle, health history, and behavior are taken into consideration. Your practitioner will curate a personal treatment plan that may include herbal supplements, lifestyle changes to tackle emotional stressors, and other remedies.
Ayurveda can feel overwhelming at first. Take it one step at a time. If you’re ready to learn more about ayurveda and are interested in treatment, schedule a consultation today.