The Vedic teachings tell us of the nature of the Universe and Consciousness. Ayurveda, literally life (ayur) science (veda), is a holistic natural healing system which is used to assist individuals in realizing their true Self and achieve their full potential. The 3 Doshas, (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) or mind-body constitutions are an important component of the Ayurvedic system, they guide our words, thoughts and actions.
From one’s Dosha, guidelines for healthy diet, career, daily activities, relationships and seasonal routines are prescribed and the practitioner is empowered to bring their body, mind and spirit into balance with the environment. The Doshas represent the energy patterns of the environment which consists of 5 master elements, or Mahabhutas. All matter and energy in the Universe is made of earth, air, fire, water and space. When combined in particular combinations, the 5 elements form distinct energy patterns which are recognized as the 3 Doshas.
The Doshas are everywhere, all the time. They permeate the Universe, our existence and the very fiber of our Being. Everything in the Universe consists of a unique combination of the three doshas. These elemental patterns influence our individuality and the predominant pattern (dosha) governs our presence in life. Each of the doshas and their qualities have been extensively researched and their qualities are described in detail by teachers and writers world-wide. A brief introduction to each of the Doshas follows:
Literally translated, Vata means wind. Vata consists of space and air which are symbolic of infinite possibility, movement and change. Characteristic of high energy, intelligent people with creative minds, the Vata Dosha promotes mental ability and harmony.
When Vata is balanced the individual is thin, lively, enthusiastic and open-minded. When out of balance they may experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, weight gain, become rigid in their way of thinking and have difficulty focusing.
Pitta, the power of cooking is representative of fire and water. It indicates transformation, protection and unity. The Pitta personality has strong digestion and strong appetites, not only with respect to food. Warm and friendly with strong leadership skills, the balanced Pitta is a good public speaker. They may become compulsive and irritable when out of balance and will suffer from hypertension and inflammatory conditions.
That which makes things stick together, Kapha is a Dosha common among people with solid, reliable natures and contented souls. When functioning well, Kapha is a kind, supportive and reliable person; when out of balance they may lack motivation, gain weight and suffer from allergies.
The goal of the Ayurvedic system is to assist practitioners in determining how to maintain their optimal state of being. The teachings related to each of the energy patterns give us many options for remedying situations and maintaining a balanced state. An individual`s Dosha influences all aspects of their life and influences prescribed remedies such as: yoga , dietary choices and medicinal herbs. Other suggested treatments may include aromatherapy, massage or meditiation. When one knows their Dosha it is much easier to maintain a balanced life-style.