Ayurveda came into existence simultaneously with Yoga, so it is considered the sister branch of Yoga. Ayurveda focuses more on the health of the body. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of maintaining optimal health through proper diet, detoxification, massage, and balancing universal life energies that sustain our physical body. Ayur means life, and Veda means knowledge. Ayurveda works on three doshas in the body, and health problems can be corrected by diet, herbs, Asanas, Pranayama, and Meditation. The Charaka Samhita is one of India’s primary traditional texts and resources for Ayurveda practices.
DOSHAS IN AYURVEDA
TRI-DOSHAS IN AYURVEDA
In Ayurveda, the Prakriti or constitution of a person is based on three essential elements called doshas. They are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. If these doshas are in balance, the body remains strong and healthy. Every dosha comprises one or two of the five essential elements: air, space, fire, earth, and water. Every dosha has a particular function and can upset the body in different ways when out of balance.
Dosha’s are constantly formed and balanced by food, activity, and bodily processes. When a dosha goes out of balance, it produces symptoms related to that particular dosha. The chief reasons for dosha imbalances are an unhealthy lifestyle or diet, too much or too little mental and physical exertion, or not correctly protecting oneself from the weather, chemicals, or germs.
The Vata dosha is a fusion of the elements space and air. It is the most powerful dosha because it controls basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing, and the mind. It can go out of balance, for example, by eating dry fruit, staying up late at night, or overeating. People with Vata dosha are especially receptive to the skin, neurological, mental diseases, joint pain, arthritis, back pain, paralysis, and coronary conditions.
Vata also represents the more subtle aspects of the human being. Vata is usually activated in the mornings, and its season is winter. To keep the Vata dosha in proper balance, consume more heavy warm liquid foods such as lentil soup and dhals.
The Pitta dosha is a combination of fire & water. Pitta is said to control the digestive system and hormones. When Pitta is imbalanced, a person may experience negative emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and physical symptoms such as heartburn. Pitta gets corrupted due to the consumption of alcohol, overeating dry, spicy, or sour foods, and over-exposure to the sun.
Pitta-related diseases include:
- Hyper and hypo-stomach acidity.
- Peptic ulcers.
- Gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion and heartburn.
To keep the Pitta dosha balanced, choose more light and cold foods such as salads and cold soups.
The Kapha dosha is a fusion of earth and water. It maintains strength and immunity, controls growth, represents the skeletal system and the vital organs, and influences memory. Kapha-dominated regions are the chest, the neck, stomach, body fat, nose, and tongue. It is usually activated at night. Kapha’s season is the monsoon. On an emotional level, Kasha’s imbalances cause grief and melancholy. On the other hand, it provides the bulk of the body with moistness, fertility, and strength. It is the heaviest of all doshas.
Kapha can go out of balance from sleeping in the daytime, excessive consumption of sweets and salt, chilled food, fish, sugar cane, milk, and milk products. As a result, Kapha diseases are migraine headaches, asthma, respiratory problems, cold, cough, flu, fever, obesity, diabetes, and gallbladder problems. To keep the Kapha dosha balanced, choose light, semi-liquid, and easily digestible foods such as fresh vegetables and most beans.