In the Ayurveda by the Moon Series, I share with you some basic knowledge on Ayurveda and Herbs that will give you the tools you need to self-care in order to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Ayurveda is the practice of balancing out the elements within to promote health and wellness throughout the mind, body, and spirit. Since discovering this ancient practice, I have gained so many new ways to care for myself. Self-care is one of my favorite things to do and to share! When I discovered Ayurveda how much of it relied on self-care in order to prevent dis-ease in the body, I was all over it! Ayurveda is about focusing on the root of dis-ease to bring one’s self back into equilibrium.
The basis of this beautiful life science is in the elements. There are five major elements that make up the three functional energies in nature. The five major elements are ether, air, water, fire, and earth. Combined, these elements make up the three doshas which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Below, I go over each dosha in depth so that you can get a sense of how they each show up in your mind and body, as well as what happens when there is an excess or imbalance of each dosha.
Elements: Ether and Air
Qualities: Light, Dry, Cold, Rough,
Mobile, Subtle, Sporadic
How Vata shows up in the body:
Long thin or dry hair, pale skin, long limbs, crooked teeth, lower appetite, more sensitive to cold, light sleeper, thinner frame
How Vata shows up in the mind:
Enjoys Routine, enjoys quiet, creative, expressive, non-attached, flexible, learn quickly although does not easily retain information, creative
When Vata is out of balance in the body:
Constipation, excessive gas, dry Skin, trouble gaining weight, feeling cold all the time, trouble sleeping, brittle nails and hair, cracking pain in the joints
When Vata is out of balance in the mind:
Anxiety, fear, worry, stress, spacey, scattered, hyperactive
Elements: Fire and Water
Qualities: Sharp, Hot, Oily, Pungent, Liquid
How Pitta shows up in the body:
Muscular physic, red hair, light sleeper, loves cold, sensitive to heat, light colored eyes
How Pitta shows up in the mind:
Driven, passionate, sharp thinking, quick wit, easily absorb information, self-confidence, responsible, entrepreneurial, competitive
When Pitta is out of balance in the body:
Acid reflux, digesting too quickly as to not absorb nutrients, acne, skin rash or irritation, inflammation, overheating and excessive sweating, body odor, bad breath, high blood pressure due to anger, headaches, fever, loose stools and diarrhea
When Pitta is out of balance in the mind:
Anger, overbearing, judgmental of self and others, tendency to have a sharp tongue, aggression, demanding, bossy, overly competitive
Elements: Water and Earth
Qualities: Oily, Sweet, Heavy, Cold, Slow, Slimy, Dense, Static
How Kapha shows up the body:
Solid frame, thick and dark hair, rounded cheeks, rounded body structure, large white teeth, rounded facial features, dark eyes, heavy sleeper, sensitive to cold, thick smooth skin
How Kapha shows up in the mind:
Calm, caring, loving, sweet, supportive, sensitive, compassionate, faithful, learn slowly and retain information easily
When Kapha is out of balance in the body:
Excessive weight, oily skin, bloating, lethargy, oversleeping, overeating, excess mucus in the sinus and chest
When Kapha is out of balance in the mind:
Depression, feelings of unhealthy attachment, stubborn
resistant to change, greedy, stagnant energy
What do these doshas have to do with you?
Dosha means fault or disease, so the truth of the matter is that we are never truly in perfect balance, we all have a specific constitution that is a natural state of equilibrium specific to each person.
Everyone possesses all three doshas, but depending on your constitution, you may be dominant in one or even two of them. On rare occasion, there are even people out there that have an equal amount of all three. When this equilibrium goes out of balance in one body, this is when we start to notice some of the symptoms of imbalance mentioned above.
The best way to figure out your constitution is to have a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner. If you don’t have access to that, you can also go to sites like banyanbotanicals.com and take a quiz that will show you what your constitution is as well as what imbalances you may currently be experiencing. You simply answer the questions based on who you know yourself to be when you are feeling most in balance and most yourself. Sometimes, it’s easiest to think back to a balanced time in childhood or your early years before any major life events that may have had an effect on the mind or body. Once you know your constitution and the ways that you are out of balance, you can work with these energetic qualities to get your self back into your natural state of balance. This is essentially how Ayurveda addresses dis-ease.
So, go ahead! Find out what your constitution is and start your own personal journey into the juicy sister science of yoga!
Love and moonlight!
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