I first came across Ayurveda years ago, I had heard about different terms such as ‘Vata’ and ‘Pitta’, but that was as far as I knew. One day, at the markets I came across one of Deepak Chopra’s many books, Perfect Health, it was one of those books that I could not put down. The thing about Ayurveda that resonated so much, was that it made sense. We are all different; there is not one meal, form of exercise, lifestyle that is ideal for everyone.
Ayurveda dates back almost 5,000 years and it is one of the oldest healing systems still existent in the world today. Ayurveda has Sanskrit origins, which translates to mean ‘the science of life’. It has been growing in popularity as more people in the west are finding its ancient philosophies and practices can be adapted to our everyday busy lives.
Through my exposure to this ancient healing system, I soon came to know that Ayurveda is not simply another diet to follow for a certain period of time, it is a lifestyle. So it does take commitment on all aspects of your life, not simply just the food you eat. Dr Arun Sharma from the Ayuskama Ayurveda Institute in Dharamshala, India says ‘Ayurveda is a way of being, a way of living and what better way of being than being fully, whole and healthy.’
What really interested me about Ayurveda, was that it considers each individual from a holistic perspective in the purist form. It considers our physical, mental, social and spiritual health. It is about how we sleep, our, emotions, spirituality, our psychical appearance, how we spend out leisure time even what type of work we do!
Ayurveda teaches us that everything in this world is a combination of different energies or ‘doshas’, which is the most commonly used term. These doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We are all a different combination of each of these three energies, which has an impact on how we live our lives. What is interesting is that your personal dosha was determined at the moment of your conception; often this is termed prakriti or nature.
Each dosha has various characteristics:
- Vata is comprised of air and space. Vata dosha types are often thin, have an irregular appetite, talk fast, can be prone to anxiety. They are also creative, enthusiastic, fun and have a good long-term memory.
- Pitta is made up of fire and water. Pitta dosha types have a medium, athletic build, have a strong appetite and have a tendency to have a short fuse. They are also courageous, ambitious and intellectual.
- Earth and water make up Kapha. Kapha’s have a solid to large build, have a good appetite and can be lazy. They can also be easy-going, forgiving and compassionate.
Is there a particular description that really resonated with you?
The knowledge of what your dominant dosha is can really provide you with great insight and helps you to understand how you function on all levels and achieve harmony. For example, I have a predominately Vata constitution which means I really should avoid cold draughts and wind, I find that I am always cold and always need to bring extra layers with me when I am out. My hands and feet are generally cold. So with the information that I have attained through Ayurveda, I have learnt to live more intelligently, such as doing a daily self-oil massage and using warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger more in my tea and in cooking. These are just some of the simple things that I have been easily able to include in my daily routine, which have made a huge influence on feeling balanced and grounded.
I encourage you to go online and complete a short quiz on the Deepak Chopra websitehttp://doshaquiz.chopra.com/ and learn how to create a lifestyle that is best suited to you.