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Ayurveda is India's ancient medical system founded over 4000 years ago and still effectively used today world wide. It is based on the holistic concept that mind affects the body, body affects the mind, and every input into our mind and body via our senses has an impact on us, either negative or positive. Every sensory input leads us toward balance or imbalance, controlled by the energies within us. Disease begins when there is imbalance anywhere.
What is the Goal of Ayureda?
To have a better understanding on the doshas (energetic profiles) and learn how to balance these doshas to support us towards health and well-being.
Ayurveda is a sister-science of Yoga that deals with health from a perspective of relationships – our relationship to the food we eat, to the work we do, to the people we interact with, to the sun and moon cycles, to the seasons, etc.
Read any article on Ayurveda and you are likely to see mention of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
What exactly are doshas and what do they have to do with our well-being?
According to Ayurveda, the five fundamental elements that make up the universe are:
water (apu), and
These elements also make up the human physiology.
How do these elements work within us?
Look at the elements from the point of view of what they do in the physiology, rather than what they are — Ayurveda describes three biological profiles/ constitutions/ or psychophysiological energies called doshas.
There are three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and each is mainly a combination of two elements:
Vata dosha – is made up of space and air
Pitta dosha – is a combination of fire and water
Kapha dosha – is made up of water and earth
Each of these doshas is further divided into five sub-doshas. Together, the doshas create all the activities that occur within us.
Prakriti and Vikriti
The combination of the three doshas that you inherit at conception is called your prakriti or original or birth constitution.
While it is not unheard of for people to have nearly equal proportions of the three doshas or just one very predominant dosha as their prakriti, most people have two doshas that are more or less equally dominant, with the remaining one less dominant
For good health and well-being to be maintained, the three doshas within you need to be in balance. That does not mean they need to be equal, unless you were born with equal doshas.
This means that you need to maintain your original doshic make-up or prakriti through life as much as possible to maintain good health. Unfortunately, factors such as the dietary choices you make, the lifestyle you lead, the climate where you live, levels of environmental pollution, the work you do, the nature of your relationships with people and even just the passage of time can cause one of more of the doshas in your prakriti to increase or decrease from its original level in your constitution, creating vikriti or imbalance. If this imbalance is not corrected, you eventually end up creating disease. That’s why restoring balance is the central theme of the Ayurvedic approach to health.
While it is ideal to follow a personal program of balance laid out by an Ayurvedic healer after an Ayurvedic pulse assessment and a question-answer session designed to discover your precise needs for balance at a given time, a well-designed questionnaire can help you assess for yourself if you need to balance one or more doshas, and diet and lifestyle tips and herbal formulas can help maintain or restore balance.
Next, read about your Prakriti to determine what doshas are most dominant within you, and where your imbalance lies.
For more information on each of the three Doshas:
Please note: The statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the information or products on this web site is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For medical concerns, please consult your physician. Before making changes to your diet or lifestyle, please consult your physician.