Ayurveda, an Introduction to the Doshas

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Written by Leisa McDonald

According to Ayurveda, all matter is a unique combination of the 5 Great Elements (Mahabhutas). The elements combine to form three major energies (doshas): Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata is the combination of the elements of air and space and their dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile and clear qualities. It is the energy of movement. It is known as the “King of the Doshas” because it moves the other doshas. For this reason, it is a common source of imbalance. Individuals with a lot of Vata in their constitution tend to be slender in build with prominent bones. They may have dry skin, small dark eyes and dark, thin hair. They like to move but tire easily. They are creative and artistic. Common Vata disorders are arthritis, dizziness, gas and bloating, improper nutrient assimilation, a sense of groundlessness, anxiety and depression.

Pitta is the combination of fire and water elements and their hot, sharp, light, liquid, mobile and oily qualities. It is the energy of transformation. Individuals with a Pitta constitution tend to have a medium build with sharp features. They are good speakers, intelligent and make good leaders. They are competitive. Common Pitta disorders are diarrhea, hot flashes, hyperacidity, skin rashes and psoriasis, ulcers, inflammation and heartburn. They can be overly intense, stubborn and critical.

Kapha is the combination of water and earth elements and their moist, cold, heavy, static, sticky, soft, cloudy, slow and smooth qualities. It is the energy of cohesion. Individuals with a Kapha constitution tend to be well-built and full-bodied with rounder features and long, thick hair. They have a strong immune system and good endurance. They are compassionate, patient, sweet, loving and community oriented. Common Kapha disorders are allergies, excess phlegm and mucous, colds/flu, obesity, diabetes, lymphatic system disorders. Psychologically they may be possessive, fearful, set in their ways and sluggish.

When we live into the fulfillment of our individual natures, we naturally make lifestyle and dietary decisions that foster balance within our doshas. When we live against our intrinsic natures, we support unhealthy patterns that lead to physical and mental imbalances. You can begin to restore balance when you start to understand both your birth constitution and how to harmonize your internal environment and its needs with the external world.

Want to know your dosha? Take the test. Contact me to get your Ayurvedic Consultation under way. Email:  L65mcdonald@gmail.com

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