A Brief Introduction to Ayurveda and Doshas.
Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “science of life.” Ayurvedic medicine is originally from India, where it has been around for over 5,000 years. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, introduced Ayurveda to the West in the early 1980s. Because of the tremendous work and dedication of people like Dr. Deepak Chopra (medical doctor, lecturer, and bestselling author) and Dr. Vasant Lad (author, teacher and founder of The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico), Ayurveda has become popular and widely recognized in the United States as a valuable system of healing. Today many doctors combine Ayurveda and Western medicine in a harmonious blending of East and West.
The principle behind Ayurveda is balance. Ayurveda is used in two ways: as a preventive health care system by keeping the body balanced, and as a responsive health care system to bring the body back into balance. While Western medicine looks at an illness and seeks to rid the patient of its symptoms, Ayurveda looks at the whole patient and seeks to bring him or her back into a state of balance, thereby creating a natural state of health.
In Ayurveda, balance not only takes place at the physical level, but at the levels of mind, body and soul. There are three operating principles of nature, or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. While we cannot see these doshas, we see the effect that they have on our mind and body. They operate as “metabolic principles.” Each person is born with a unique combination of each of these three doshas, which make up his or her mind/body type. The goal is to find your particular mind/body type and keep it in balance for optimum health and happiness. This balance is achieved through diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
Every person is born with a unique balance of each of the three doshas. Generally one or two of the doshas will dominate, and this will determine the Ayurvedic routine for your individual mind/body type.
Tips to Keep Vatas in Balance:
Vatas respond most to touch and sound. Soft music and a warm, sesame oil massage will have a Vata putty in your hands! Vatas have sensitive digestions, they need to eat warm, cooked foods. A hot bath with sea salts before bed will help Vatas sleep soundly all through the night. The color green is balancing for Vata types because it is warm and calming.
Vata: I am creative, spontaneous, flexible!
Tips to Keep Pittas in Balance:
Pittas respond best to visuals. To help them understand something, put it in writing, or draw a picture. Pittas love to see beautiful things, flowers, artwork, or a gorgeous room. Pittas run hot – both in temperature and temperament. They should favor cool foods, and spend time in water, either swimming or showering, to stay in balance. The color blue is perfect for Pittas because it is cool and soothing.
Pitta: I am passionate, courageous, intelligent!
Tips to Keep Kaphas in Balance:
Kaphas have a heightened sense of taste and smell. They love a wonderfully prepared meal. Kaphas often need stimulation, and motivation – spicy foods and plenty of exercise help to keep them in balance. Kaphas are very sensitive, they are nurturing, and appreciate love that they receive. The colors red and orange are ideal to keep Kaphas in balance because they are energizing and stimulating.
Kapha: I am loving, loyal, strong!
Let your Dosha Top keep you calm, rejuvenated and focused.