What is the Dosha? Discover Your Ayurveda Dosha Type.
The Dosha, body and mind profiles, stems from arguably the oldest holistic medical science in the world, Ayurveda. So what is the Dosha?
Records show that the Ayurveda medical system has been in practice in India for over 4,000 years. The term Ayurveda comes from Sanskrit, one of the world’s oldest languages.
Ayus – meaning life
Vid – meaning knowledge
When put Ayus and Vid together we get
Ayurveda – the knowledge of life
Based upon Ayurvedic teachings it is believed that there are 4 aspects of life
When combined these 4 aspects contribute to our overall heath and well-being.
Ayurvedic practice teaches us how to keep these aspects in balance and how to maintain a healthy equilibrium through restoring energies if we become ill. More importantly Ayurveda practice helps to keep our body’s immune and defense systems strong and our physical body in optimal health.
Ayurveda is based on ancient holistic principles – the belief that holistic therapies work as prevention rather than cure.
So what is the Dosha and how does Ayurveda come into it?
Allopathic (or Western medicine) is typically “cure” based and treats the symptoms of illness and disease. It is a practice that is applied after the onset of disease and it’s treatments are used after you become ill.
Ayurvedic medicine, the founding principles of holistic medicine, is “preventative”. This means the practitioner works with the patient before any ill health and its practices are applied to prevent illness occurring.
As with all holistic treatments Ayurveda is applied as a preventative measure and after monitoring the patient’s lifestyle:
- emotional state
- level of activity
- sex life
- home and work conditions
Combined with this lifestyle referencing Ayurvedic practitioners encourage the use of natural organic foods and herbal remedies. Most would also recommend the patient participates in meditation or yoga.
And this is where we discover the term – Dosha.
What Is The Dosha? – Basic Ayurvedic Beliefs And Principles:
- Our body, like everything in nature, is made from the five elements
- The five elements when combined in a specific way form three Body and Mind Profiles.
- These 3 body and mind profiles govern our physical composition and also how we tend to react and interact with others, the environment and everything around us.
- This then determines your Dosha.
- The Dosha (or doshas) are the 3 body and mind profiles.
- In Sanskrit the Dosha are know as:
While all of us tend to belong to just one Dosha we should be aiming for achieving a unique balance of the three, comparative to the balance at the time of our birth.
When a correct balance is achieved then we remain in good health and maintain excellent well-being.
Each of us is an individual.
So when it comes to balancing all 3 of the Dosha types (and achieving physical health and well being) we first need to determine our unique individual proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
This should really be done through an Ayurvedic practitioner (rather than online quiz! – although they can be fun and are ‘reasonably’ accurate).
It is however relatively easy to self assess and discover what is the dosha with dominant proportion for you.
Read the characteristics below, keeping in mind that while it is common that you will have attributes of all 3 in varying amounts most people naturally align to one, this being their dominant Dosha.
Key Characteristics Of Dosha Types.
What Is The Dosha – Vata:
- Body types are usually small and thin.
- The lightest body type of the 3
- Skin is normally dry and can be rough
- Hair is average to dry
- Teeth are normally larger than average, tending towards crooked and can point outwards
- Highly imaginative but often with disjointed thoughts
- Has a natural dislike for cold weather
- To maintain balance the best time to nap is between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Balanced Vata promotes creativity and flexibility.
Unbalanced Vata produces fear and anxiety.
Elements: Air and Space
Physical Ailments usually associated with the air element:
- arthritis, are predominant
Guide for balancing Vata
- keep warm
- maintain calmness
- avoid raw or cold foods
- stay out of cold weather
- keep a regular routine.
What Is The Dosha – Pitta:
- Body Types are usually medium to heavy, strong, well-built
- Skin is fair, light, freckled and usually sunburns easily
- Hair is normally fine, straight with a tendency for thinning
- Teeth tend to yellow, regardless of eating and drinking habits
- Have a very sharp mind
- Good powers of concentration
- Normally seek to avoid and dislike hot weather
- Benefits from daily meditation after 6 p.m.
Balanced Pitta promotes intelligence and understanding.
Unbalanced Pitta produces anger and jealousy.
Elements: Fire and Water
Physical ailments usually associated with the fire element:
- inflammatory diseases
Guide for balancing Pitta:
- avoid excessive heat or steam
- avoid excess oil
- limit salt intake
- exercise only when able to keep cool – air conditioned gym, or coolest time of the day
What Is The Dosha – Kapha:
- Body type is a larger sturdy build
- Regardless of size they are usually physically strong
- Skin is oily and moist, usually pale
- Thick hair
- Usually very white teeth
- Deliberate thought patterns; Reflective and Calm
- Dislike of damp and/or cold weather
- Early to bed and early to rise is best for the Kapha
Balanced Kapha promotes calmness and forgiveness.
Unbalanced Kapha produces greed and envy.
Elements: Water and Earth
Physical ailments usually associated with the water element
- excess mucous.
Guide for balancing Kapha:
- staying active
- ensuring plenty of exercise
- avoiding heavy oily foods
- limit dairy and iced drinks
- vary your daily routine.
I hope this Dosha Types Guide explained what is the Dosha and hope you have been able to identify what your Dosha Type is.
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