Ayurveda, “The Science of Life,” is an ancient and holistic healing practice that is often referred to as The Mother of all Healing. The principles of Ayurveda promote balance to maintain the mind, body, and spirit so that disease may be prevented.
According to Ayurveda, the universe and all living creatures are comprised of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether/space. Each individual has different compositions of these energies, referred to as Doshas.
- Vata Dosha: Air + Space
- Pitta Dosha: Fire + Water
- Kapha Dosha: Earth + Water
While all five of the elements exist within us and are constantly in play with one another, each individual has a predominant Dosha or constitution. Several people have a combination of two (Bi-Doshic), and less rarely do people have an even distribution of all three (Tri-Doshic).
Common characteristics of Vata Dosha include a thin and light build with quick movements, an imaginative and active mind, aversion to cold, irregular appetite and digestion, and short bursts of energy. When in balance, Vatas express creativity and flexibility. When out of balance, Vatas may exhibit anxiety, spaciness, or indecision. The seasons that correlate with Vata are Fall and early Winter.
Common characteristics of Pitta Dosha include a medium and muscular build, an intelligent and focused mind with a goal-oriented attitude, sensitivity to heat, a steady appetite, and excellent mental and physical endurance. When in balance, Pittas express determination and ambition. When out of balance, Pittas may exhibit anger, aggression, or irritability. The season that correlates with Pitta is Summer.
Common characteristics of Kapha Dosha include a larger and strong frame, a loving, patient, and tolerant mind with an easy-going, calm, and grounded disposition, aversion to cold and damp environments, and steady but slower movements. When in balance, Kaphas express stability, love, and generosity. When out of balance, Kaphas may exhibit attachment, resistance toward change, or stubbornness. The seasons that correlate with Kapha are late Winter and Spring.
Balance is achieved differently for each individual, taking into consideration the Doshas while also understanding the influence of diet and lifestyle choices, the four seasons, work environment, and relationships.
Practicing Dinacharya, or a daily routine, is one of many ways to promote balance.
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