Ayurvedic medicine has been around for thousands of years, with its basic principles helping patients all around the world. This week’s blog illuminates the very basics of this ancient healing system with the characterization of Doshas. By the end of this short article, you will be on the road to identifying your Dosha and will have several resources with fun quizzes to try. Lets get started!
The word Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit words: Ayur (life) and veda (science of knowledge). Ergo, the word Ayurveda refers to the science of life. In our modern society, we oftentimes view health as the absence of disease. In Ayurveda, the definition of health is broader and strives for a balance of body, mind and spirit.
In Ayurveda, each person is thought to have a unique constitution or prakriti. This theory suggests that each of us, and the world, are made up of five elements: earth, air, fire, water and space. These elements carry unique properties, which guide how we react to certain foods, stresses and external stimuli.
Ayurveda places these elements into three main energies, termed doshas. The three doshas are the following:
– vata (air and space)
-pitta (fire and water)
-kapha (earth and water)
Most people are a combination of doshas. The goal of the Ayurvedic practitioner is to rebalance the body and mind to return to your true constitution.
There are tons of tests available online (free!) that can help characterize your dosha. However, if you choose to see an Ayurvedic practitioner, they will examine your tongue, face and constitution, and may have more insight into your dosha. Read the descriptions below and see which dosha applies to you.
Pitta: Pitta dominant people are usually achievers, having muscular builds, efficient metabolism and good appetites. With the ability to digest food and information quickly, Pitta people are usually on top of their game. Ailments more common in this constitution are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and anger. To truly balance the Pitta Dosha, Ayurvedic principles recommend avoiding heat and eating less spicy food.
Vata: Vata dominant people are quick, alert and restless. They tend towards thinness, and have a propensity to develop nervousness or anxiety. If the Vata person is unbalanced, they will most likely experience weight loss, constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness and digestive issues. Ayurvedic Practitioners encourage balance with sufficient rest, avoiding extreme temperatures, and staying calm.
Kapha: Kapha dominant people tend to be physically and psychologically strong, although they often give too much to those around them. They are predisposed to lethargy, depression, allergies and asthma. In order to attain balance, practitioners recommend eating lightly, getting frequent exercise and avoiding naps.
These basic tenants of Ayurveda help guide what treatments Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend for you. To find out more about your Dosha, check out these links for quizzes and more information: