Have you ever wondered what makes you, you? How and why you look the same as everyone else but still are different? It is now scientifically proven, that if two similar individuals are kept under the same living conditions, given the same food, they will have a different effect on their bodies and they will develop different ailments no matter how similar their lifestyle and food choices are.
The reason is simple. Each individual is, in fact, different in their constitution. You might have heard about the three body types that the western medical system defines, Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph. All these three body types are categorized based on body structure, facial features, and metabolism. You can google up on that further if you wish to know more about these systems.
The western system does differentiate between body types but does not really do anything with that information. Their medicine system is not designed on the basis of body types – meaning they use the principle of “everything should work on everyone”.
Ayurveda defines three basic doshas – Vata Pitta Kapha, which like the western system, defines how the body looks and metabolizes but it goes into a much deeper level in defining how a person of a particular body type “feels”. Meaning that the tridoshas (three doshas) define the physiological as well as the mental type of a person.
Tridosha – Dosha Types – Vata Pitta Kapha
These tridoshas are the basic building blocks of the human body. Let’s dive a little deeper. According to the Ayurvedic system, there are 5 elements which make up life on this planet.
1. Air – Vayu
2. Water – Jal
3. Fire – Agni
4. Earth – Prithvi
5. Space – Akash
Out of these the first four are obvious. Space(Akash) is the emptiness that lets Vayu, Jal, Agni, and Prithvi to exist. It is a dimension that is the basis of creation itself. Without it, the other four cannot exist. Out of the combination of these 5 elements, the basic building blocks of the body – the tridoshas – are made.
Vata Pitta Kapha – Vata Dosha
Vata defines the movement in the body. It is the energy which creates biological movement. It facilitates the communication of energy and intelligence between cells and parts of the body. Any movement, be it moving of food down your food pipe, to the blinking of your eyes to the communication of message along your central nervous system, is governed by Vata Dosha.
Vata is made from the combination of Vayu (Air) and Akash (Space) Elements.
Vata Pitta Kapha – Pitta Dosha
Pitta defines the fire or energy of heating or metabolism in the body. Pitta governs biochemical changes like digestion, absorption of nutrients, regulation of body temperature. The basic function is to metabolize the food consumed as well as all information that comes from outside is also “digested” in the form of energy. Pitta dosha is a combination of Agni (Fire) and Jal (Water) elements.
Vata Pitta Kapha – Kapha Dosha
Kapha dosha is a combination of Jal (Water) and Prithvi (Earth) elements. It is energy that forms the structure of the body. It also provides the fluids and liquids needed to lubricate the joints, heal wounds, moisturize the skin etc. It is the basis of the strength and stability of the body.
All these three doshas, individually as well as combined together make 7 body types that are defined as such
Dual Dosha Types:
4. Vata Pitta
5. Pitta Kapha
6. Kapha Vatta
Triple Dosha Types:
7. Vata Pitta Kapha
All three doshas are present in each person at all times but in different proportions. That means 5 people who are of pitta body types all will have different temperaments and qualities of pitta.
The ratio in which these doshas were present at the time of your birth is known as your Prakruti (Nature). It cannot be changed during your lifetime. For example, if your body had predominant Vata and Pitta energies at the time of your birth, it will remain so forever. You can take it as a genetic code as they say it in modern science. If you are to remain healthy, you must maintain this balance where the proportion of Vata and Pitta are on a higher side than Kapha.
As our environment changes around us, like our food choices, lifestyle, stress, and emotional state, the proportion of doshas in our system changes. This changed state is known as Vikruti. The closer your Vikruti is to your Prakruti, the healthier you are. Our goal is to bring those two together to create a balance, which will lead to healthier, ailment free life.
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