Ayurveda was founded in India over 5,000 years ago, serving as a healing system working with preventive measures, and curative medicine. The word Ayurveda directly translates to “the science of life”, promoting a healthy way of life encouraging svadhyaya (self-study), and dinacharya (habitual self-care routine). Although Ayurveda is one of the oldest health systems, its teaching is still applicable to the world today. Ayurveda practices still rain on in India, as well as other parts of the world.
Like Western Medicine, there are Ayurvedic medical schools providing physicians in internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, toxicology & gerontology. What sets Ayurvedic practitioners apart from traditional medicine practitioners is that Ayurvedic practitioners treat the fire not the smoke. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a harmonious being in terms of mind and body.
What Are The Doshas?
Within Ayurveda, there are 3 separate Doshas- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These 3 life forces are derived from the five elements (Ether, Air, Earth, Water, and Fire), and every living thing contains a unique hybrid of the Dosha’s presented in their internal and external self. Vata translates to “that which moves things”, and is a combination of Ether and Air, Pitta is fierce by nature and made up of fire and water, and Kapha when in balance is grounded and is cultivated by water and earth.
Within different seasons, years, and points in your life, your combination of the Dosha’s will change, as well as the balance of them. Ayurvedic science bestows the framework for a congruous external existence, in addition to a fruitful inner balance. Knowing what your Dosha is can benefit several aspects of your life including your mind+body+skin!
Vata is a combination of Air+Ethert. Vata's characteristics are mobility, dryness, subtlety, and lightness. It truly is the dosha of movement, and its main functions are providing sensation, igniting change, creativity, and expansiveness.
If you lean towards a Vata constitution you may have these physical attributes: thin, rough hair, cool, dry skin, brittle nails, delicate joints, long and narrow build.
your mind may: be creative, quick to learn, sensitive, prone to anxiety, quick to feel and express emotion, indecisive, and be adaptive to change.
when you are out of balance, Vata: lack concentration, have a hard time sleeping, are extra sensitive, are restless and tense, have constipation or gas, crave sweet, salty or sour foods, have stiff or painful joints, and have low immunity.
Pitta is the hot FIRE and water of life. Its characteristics are heat, sharpness, and fluidity. Pitta is the source of productivity and provides your inner heat. Pitta is responsible for digestion, producing blood, and supporting sight and intelligence.
If you tend to lean towards a pitta constitution you may have these physical attributes: fine, oily hair, prone to acne, rosacea and sensitive skin, strong, compact build, sweats easily, high metabolism, enjoys the cold.
Your mind may: be sharp and intelligent, quick, clear thinking, goal-oriented, structured, driven and competitive, hot-headed or argumentative, prone to anger.
When you are out of balance, pittas: are irritated, prone to judgment, overly competitive, feel burning sensations, frequently flushed, excessively thirsty, prone to sweating, crave sweet and cold foods, and may have heartburn.
Kapha represents the earth element.It is defined by heaviness, stability, and smoothness. Kapha gives the body strength and roots the mind. Kapha is responsible for keeping the body strong and lubricated as well as providing taste.
If you lean towards a Kapha constitution you may have these physical attributes: oily, often curly hair, round features, prone to weight gain, moist, thick skin, thick, strong nails, strong muscles and joints, slow metabolism.
Your mind may: have an excellent memory, a bit of a planner, good-natured, slow to change, patient, generous, calm, slow to learn, deliberate in reacting, prone to depression.
When you are out of balance, Kapha's: lack drive, prone to attachment, excessively cold, loss of appetite, reduced sensory experience, prone to weight gain, feel heavy, feel lethargic, have difficulty becoming active, and may have colds are coughs with lots of mucus.
How To Apply Ayurveda To Your Life
There is such profound truth and wisdom in Ayurveda, and it truly is a tool that can positively reshape your life. Understanding who you are at an elemental nature is your birthright, so tap into the divine essence of who you are!
Begin by taking a quiz, I recommend this one
Follow a daily routine. different doshas dominate different parts of the day, so having a routine that flows with the doshas can keep you feeling calm and productive.
Food as your medcine. so much importance is placed on the food you eat. look more into the pacifying foods for your constitution, and see if it feels intuitive for you.
Cleanse.. the ayurvedic way. cleanliness is a very important part of an ayurvedic lifestyle. beyond the typical shower, brushing teeth, and eliminating, you may want to consider using a neti pot or tongue scraper, performing Nasya or oil pulling, or giving yourself an oil massage.
Align with your constitution. once you find your constitution, try implementing small steps to help pacify any imbalances. I’ve left some great resources below to learn more about diet changes, panchakarma, daily rituals, massages, yoga, fasting, pranayama, and much more.
Tap into what works for you. just like astrology or crystals or mantras or spiritual Instagrammers, not everything resonates with everyone, and Ayurveda just may not resonate with you. and that’s okay! find what works for you.