What is your understanding of ayurveda? There are many explainations but in a simple statement – it just means “ the science of life”. It is a 5000 years old natural therapy originated from India.
According to ayurveda, health is not simply the absence of disease but rather a state of balance of the body, mind and consciousness.
The aim of ayurveda is to maintain health in the healthy and to heal/cure the disease in the sick. Thus the essence of ayurveda is to be in harmony with nature and the individual oneness with nature and nature. Ayurveda is not about religion and there is no correlation to Hinduism or Buddhism.
The most fundamental of Ayurvedic science is the concept of 5 elements that exists in all matters whether organic or inorganic. Our body functioning are all related to these 5 elements – beginning with Space, Air, Fire, Earth and the Water element.
- Space – empty, light,
- Air –dry, light, clear, mobile
- Fire – hot, dry, sharp, penetrating
- Earth – heavy, hard, rough, firm, dense, slow moving, bulky
- Water – Fluid, heavy, soft, cold, dense, cohesive
All these elements are present on every level of our physiology starting with a single cell. The proportion and balancing of these elements are forever moving and shifting, changing with seasons, weather, time of the day and the stage of one’s life.
For us to remain healthy, we need to continuously accommodate ourselves to these changes through what we eat, wear, where and how we live to strike a balancing act for our body to remain vital and healthy.
These 5 elements combine into 3 basic energies which are present in everything and everybody.
- Vata – a combination of space and air elements
- Pitta – a combination of fire and water elements
- Kapha – a combination of water and earth elements.
We call them as ‘doshas’ and these 3 doshas are present in every cell, tissue and organ.
Function of Vata
- All physical and physiological movement
- Movement of thoughts and feeling
- Respiration, Peristalsis, Elimination
- Cellular Respiration
- Hearing, touch
Funtion of Pitta
- Body metabolism
- Digestion, absorption, assimilation of food
- Maintain body temperature
- Eyesight, Taste
Function of Kapha
- Lubrication, Growth , Nourishment
- Support, stability
- Water and Fat Regulation
- Strength, Stamina
- Contentment, Compassion
When they are balance – we are healthy
When they are out of balance – they are the cause of the disease.
These doshas governs our processes of our body, mind and consciousness, they regulate the creation, maintenance and destruction of our body’s tissues and elimination of our body wastes products.
The unique combination of these 3 doshas at conception is called ‘PRAKRUTI’ (similar to our DNA characters) and it does not change during a person’s lifetime. However the altered state of doshas changes due to change of weather, dietary choices, fatique, stress, emotional state, lack of exercise – reflects the current state of health and this is called our ‘VIRKRUTI’.
If a person is healthy, your Vikruthi = Prakruti – which is striking a balance of health. But there is more likely to have differences between the two and that gives us a direction to balance ourselves back to health and to re-establish a balance as indicated by our Prakruti.
So how do we do it? I have below give you a link to determine your own unique constitution according to ayurveda. It is a rough guideline and you must be very truthful to do this self assessment. This is only a guideline and the description helps you in understanding your own dosha