What is Ayurveda?

The word Ayurveda’s literal translation is the Science of Life.

It’s an Indian system of healing dating from over 5000 years. The purpose of Ayurveda is the prevention of dis-ease (or imbalances), which is done by maintaining a balanced lifestyle in body, mind and consciousness.

It exists general guidelines to maintain equilibrium within the body. Those revolve around the food you eat and the lifestyle you live. However, the beauty of this modality is the emphasis on “one size does not fit all”. This is because Ayurveda recognizes the uniqueness of each individuals and therefore their specific needs. Similar to how your DNA is unique to you, you possess an individual constitution made of a specific combination of three energies: your Prakruti. Those energies are named dosas and are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Those energies are made of a combination of the 5 elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. Each element has its own qualities, so each dosa possess those qualities.

It is important to note that all individuals have all dosas within them. The difference is the ratio between the dosas.

what is ayurveda

Another essential point is that, from the ayurvedic perspective, everything is made of the 5 elements. So everything you see or touch (like an animal, a plant, a rock…) is comprised of these 3 dosas.

Your Prakruti, your constitution at birth, does not change. However, throughout your life, you are exposed to fluctuations in your environment. When it is less than optimal, the three energies become disturbed and create imbalances. If they are left unchecked, it may evolve into disease or escalate to chronic disease. Your Vikruti reflects the current state of the three doshas.

To start, it is important to know your Prakruti (your constitution at birth) as this will inform you of your Vikruti (the current imbalances).

Ayurveda brings back harmony by stimulating the opposite qualities. So it is essential to understand how the dosas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, work together.

Vata is dry, cold, light, mobile.

Pitta is moist, hot, light.

Kapha is wet, cold, heavy.

For example, when Vata dosa is vitiated, you will want to focus on qualities that are oily, warm, and heavy.

dosha vata pitta kapha

In order to find out what your Prakruti is, you can either see an ayurvedic practitioner (ideal) or do an online quiz. If you choose the later, I recommend you check Banyan Botanical’s quiz as it is quite in depth.

For those who experienced early/childhood trauma, an online quiz may be more challenging and seeing a professional may be best. If that is you and you need a referral, let me know.

As mentioned earlier, there are 3 dosas or energies: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. It also exists a combination of these 3 energies. So in total, there are 10 possibilities:

Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Kapha-Vata, tri-dosa. Your next step is for you to find out your Prakruti and Vikruti.

I’m curious, what’s your dosa? Share in the comments below.

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