5 ELEMENT LIVING: FINDING YOUR DOSHA
There are three doshas, each consisting of two elements.
Vata Dosha: air and ether (responsible for motion)
Pitta Dosha: fire and water (responsible for digestion & metabolism)
Kapha Dosha: earth and water (responsible for structure & stability)
Just as we consist of all 5 elements, we too are a mixture of all 3 doshas. Ayurveda calls the inherent ideal balance of these in a person’s body their Prakruti, or individual constitution. This constitution determines the physical and structural characteristics that define our bodies as well as our physiological tendencies. The doshas also affect our emotional tendencies and the expression of our personalities.
If Vata is the dominant dosha in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate. The dosha most prevalent is the one that is most likely to become out of balance.
Each dosha has a balanced and imbalanced expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader/teacher, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive, irritable, angry or may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, lethargy, weight gain, or sinus congestion.
Why live with these things when our natural state is health and happiness?
Ayurveda listens to our bodies warnings and whispers, viewing them as “red flags” and indicators of things we need to work on to improve our health. With Ayurveda we begin to balance the 5 elements in our bodies holistically through our 5 senses.