During my program, I was introduced to Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems. During my studies, I’ve come to believe that everything in the universe – dead or alive – is connected. If your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, you have good health. When something disrupts this balance, you get sick. Among the things that can upset this balance are genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate and seasonal change, age, and emotions. Literally everything. Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth). Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick — and the health issues you develop — are linked to the balance of your doshas. I’ll briefly break down each Dosha, but I encourage you to do your own research on this fascinating subject.
Those who practice Ayurveda believe this is the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, like how cells divide. It also controls your mind, breathing, blood flow, heart function, and ability to get rid of waste through your intestines. Our Vata energy helps us to explore creativity and inquisitiveness, express ourselves, and remain in motion. When excessive, Vata energy can cause dry skin, insomnia, constipation, and various nervous disorders. Things that can disrupt it include eating again too soon after a meal, fear, grief, and staying up too late. If vata dosha is your main life force, you’re more likely to develop conditions like anxiety, asthma, heart disease, skin problems, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Our Pitta energy drives us to achieve, accomplish goals, and exhibit fiery qualities like passion and anger. This energy controls your digestion, metabolism (how well you break down foods), and certain hormones that are linked to your appetite. Things that can disrupt it are eating sour or spicy foods and spending too much time in the sun. If it’s your main life force, you’re more likely to develop conditions like Crohn’s disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and infections.
Our Kapha energy helps us to feel grounded, facilitates our nurturing of others, and helps us exhibit a calming presence in stressful situations. When excessive, Kapha energy can cause weight gain, diabetes, and a feeling of lethargy. This life force controls muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight, and your immune system. You can disrupt it by sleeping during the day, eating too many sweet foods, and eating or drinking things that contain too much salt or water. If it’s your main life energy, you may develop asthma and other breathing disorders, cancer, diabetes, nausea after eating, and obesity.
Curious as to where you fit into all of this? This really quick quiz is a great way to find out! https://www.yogicameron.com/dosha-quiz/