The ancient science of living life in balance to achieve health: body, mind and spirit
Ayurveda may be translated as the ancient science of living life in balance. When life is in balance, we are healthy. When imbalances occur, we experience disease. Ayurveda is one of the oldest and most comprehensive systems of healthcare. Over 5,000 years ago, Hindu physicians wrote about their findings and methods. Based on the writings from the Vedas, the principles of Ayurveda aim to not only heal the sick, but to prevent illness and endow us with a long and healthy life. Ayurveda teaches that each individual has a unique constitution and therefore needs to be treated individually to bring back his or her specific balance.
About Your Constitution
There are three basic types of constitutions, or doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Everyone is a blend of all three; there is an infinite number of variations! Some individuals will have one dosha dominate, others will have a balance of two, or even all three in equal proportions.
Your constitution is determined at birth and does not change. However, during your lifetime, the stresses and pressures of everyday life can push your constitution out of balance.
I highly encourage you to learn more about this amazing science and its healthful practices. You can find a qualified practitioner by visiting the National Ayurvedic Medical Association website and clicking on Find an Ayurvedic Professional.
Picture vata as a butterfly or a bee. Vata’s elements are air and space (ether). Vata people tend to be vibrant with enthusiasm and excitement for life. They will move and speak quickly, have many interests and may change their paths frequently! Vata can be light of heart and have their head in the clouds. When in balance, they bring a bubbly, infectious joy to life. Imbalanced, vata can have mood swings, and under stress can experience anxiety and fear.
Physically, people with a vata constitution tend to be thin, small boned, have difficulty building musculature, and are either very tall or very short. They tend toward dryness, and often feel cold. Their digestion and appetite tend to vary a lot.
Imagine pitta as a bull! Pitta’s elements are fire and water (heavy on the fireJ)!Pitta people tend to be strong leaders who have passion and vision.They are warm and friendly to their friends and fierce opponents to their enemies.Pitta’s can be very focused, setting a goal and charging ahead to reach it.Their joy is found in accomplishment.When in balance, they have clarity and focus.They are organized and able to make things happen.Out of balance, pitta tends to burn out, or burn others out.They can become sharp and angry.
Physically, people with a pitta constitution are of medium height and build. They tend toward a ruddy complexion and may have freckled, bright skin. They tend to feel warm and may have skin rashes. Their hair tends to gray early, or in men, baldness may occur. Their appetites and digestion are strong and they love to eat!
Think of kapha as an elephant, or a turtle. Kapha’s elements are water and earth. Kapha people tend to be calm; to move, think and react slowly to circumstances. They are loving, compassionate and devoted beings. Their disposition is steady and not easily disturbed. Kapha’s are typically more conservative and accepting of the way things are. Their joy is found in the comforts of life and being surrounded by those they love. In balance, they are sweet people; focused without being intense; and, reliable and supportive. When out of balance, kapha tends to become lethargic and uninspired. They can be stubborn and hold resentments for a long time. They do not adapt well to change.
Physically, kapha people are usually tall with well-developed bodies. They tend to carry excess weight and have large bones. Their skin tends to be somewhat oily and soft. Their hair is usually thick, dark and soft. Their digestion tends to slow, and their appetite is typically slow but steady. They may overeat because they tend to follow the social custom of three meals a day, rather than being aware of being truly hungry.