By: Lauren Green – Vinyasa Yoga Instructor
Ayurveda is a holistic science of health and the sister science of yoga. The Ayurvedic focus is maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Ayurveda began about 5,000 – 6,000 years ago when Indian monks were looking for new ways to establish and maintain health. Respecting their bodies like temples, the monks believed that preserving their health would help them meditate and develop spiritually.
Food and lifestyle routines are considered the most important medicine in Ayurvedic practice. An Ayurvedic doctor is more likely to prescribe a recipe than a prescription for pills.
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up each individual. They perform different physiological functions in the body. The 3 Dosha types are;
Vata Dosha – Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat.
- In balance: There is creativity and vitality.
- Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.
Pitta Dosha – Energy that controls the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body’s temperature.
- In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
- Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.
Kapha Dosha – Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
- In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
- Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.
Each person has all three Doshas, but usually one or two dominate. Various Dosha proportions determine one’s physiological and personality traits, as well as general likes and dislikes. For example Vata types will prefer hot weather to cold and Kapha types are more likely to crave spicy foods than other types.
Prakriti, or Prakruti as it is sometimes spelled, means ‘nature’. In the Ayurveda context prakriti or ‘nature’ refers to the natural environment of the universe as well as the natural environment of the individual. It is an individuals ‘first creation’; the balance of doshas one was born with. It is the way an individual’s constitution will instinctively react to change. An individual’s prakriti is said to be determined by the state of their parents bodies at the time of conception, genetics, the mothers diet and habits during pregnancy as well as any abnormal events at the time of birth (Svoboda 1996).
This ‘first creation’ is the ideal dosha balance for each individual, however people tend to become out of balance. To regain balance one would need to discover what their ‘first creation’ state is, and then assess what aspects of their life are out of balance. For this reason dosha balancing is unique to each person. There is no such thing as one size fits all because each person’s prakriti is unique to them.
To find out your dosha take the quiz by clicking the link below:
Get a second opinion by clicking the link below:
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