The word "Dosha" comes from Ayurveda, a 5,000+ year-old "science of life". It may be hard to imagine that there were any relevant sciences that long ago when we currently live in a world that claims superiority over technology. However, with just a small amount of exploration into 5,000 year old texts, we discover that the methodology of current science is not new. In fact, there are even recordings of plastic surgeries happening long ago!
The Ayurveda system of science categorizes everything that exists into three Doshas; Vata, Pitta & Kapha. These Doshas are comprised of the five energies or elements which are: Ether (space), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Let's take a moment to get a visual of how these five elements define the three Doshas.
So let's simplify this to make it more relatable. If we were to look at something like popcorn it is easy to see that this tasty treat (before you add any toppings to it) has Vata qualities. When you put your hand in bowls to grab some, the puffed pieces of corn move easily and are very light. You have to kind of chase it around the bowl to get a handful. In contrast, a bowl full of pebbles would have more of the Kapha qualities since they are solid, heavy, and much easier to grasp than popcorn.
This is a very simplistic depiction to show you how easy it can be to grasp the difference between the classifications of the Doshas presented by Ayurveda. The diversity of expression between a rock and popcorn has a specific value. Understanding these values allow you to approach life a bit more like a scientist than from emotional attachments.
The purpose of Ayurveda is to help people find a balance so their lifespan can be extended. The methodology is to purposefully bring that balance into your life by understanding the qualities of your body and the food you eat, the environment you live in, and the people you surround yourself with. If there is too much light energy then we would float off the planet and be spacey in our thoughts. Thus we find everywhere we go there is this constant abundance of balancing principles; light/heavy, hot/cold, dry/oily, soft/rough, fast/slow, sharp/dull, etc.
I am guessing right now you might be wondering if everything can be put into a category, what your specific Dosha classification is. Are all people the same? How do we see these differences when looking at the body? Do all people fit nicely into one of the three categories? Let's go visual again to give us a platform to start from.
For some, you may feel a bit more confused now than before seeing the pictures. Don't worry about it this is a good thing and exposes aspects of your classification! Allowing for repetition and time to connect with the new concepts will allow you to understand on a deeper level to the new information. There is no rush to understand but as soon as you do, this information will become pivotal in maintaining the much-needed balance and stability you crave. Others of you will be sure that you know exactly which one you are. If you have a sharp intellect you are used to taking in information and being right about what you perceive. However, I will caution you that the information presented here has been simplified and is in reality more complex requiring further exploration if you are to truly appreciate the science. Some of you may find this very easy to follow as you are reading it but are aware you are going to forget most of it when you get up from reading the post. Not to worry, if the information is attractive to you, then you will find your way back to it over and over again. Funnily enough, all of these responses are very common among certain "types" and are an important part of what helps to classify you.
Ayurveda brings forward a subtlety that can't be defined just on the looks of something. Instead, it takes into account every aspect of the human and utilizes the information to help determine the correct course of action. For instance, if you carry extra weight that doesn't necessarily mean that you are a Kapha individual. There may be mental or emotional reasons for the excess weight. For example the other day I was talking to an individual that explained why they become obese to the point of being pre-diabetic. When the doctor told this individual of the pending health condition the response was to change everything about the way they ate and lived so that they no longer had the pending health condition to worry about. This is a clear sign of a Pitta predominant individual. After accomplishing the health goals they set for themselves they were aware that the reason they had become obese was that they had strictly followed the food pyramid that had been suggested by the government back in the '70s. Again an expression of a Pita individual that uses their sharp intellect and strong willpower to systematically follow their goal in this case not knowing the science they were following was bad advice leading them to poor health.
If you were to explore Ayurveda on other sites, you will find automated tests that help you determine your Dosha predominance. However this can be a bit misleading. You will answer questions based off of choices that you are making that you may not understand are disturbing your natural predominance. Essentially, there is a predominance you were born with and then a predominance that you are currently living with that is based on your life choices or the time of your life. On many sites you will discover all forms of "do it yourself" information about how to balance your Doshas. This exploration can be fun and there are many common-sense types of things you can begin implementing that will undoubtedly improve your health and wellness. However, depending on your level of exposure to the information through first-hand experience there will be places that are misconstrued. This is completely natural when you are exploring concepts that are brand new to you. I bring this up not to instill fear in you, but instead to encourage a mindful approach to new information. It is not the tool or the science that is bad or wrong, as much as how we use the tools or science. A person can pick up a hammer and whack away at a nail smashing their fingers in the process because they aren't familiar with the skill. They could blame the hammer and never get to experience the full power of the tool. While another that has spent time understanding and learning from other skilled individuals will be able to drive a nail with a single swing.
In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda speed or instant gratification is not the goal. The goal is to connect with ourselves at a deeper level and make wiser choices from a place of deeper awareness. This is not an instantaneous one size fits all magic pill. If that is what you are interested in then practices designed to help you become more connected to the Inner Intelligence that upholds your life is a waste of your time. But if you are interested in expanding your view of yourself and the world around you, these practices are a valuable tool to add to the must-explore list. Looking through the lens of the Ancients, comparing it to what science is proving, and noticing how this integrates with your personal experience will undoubtedly lead you to greater health and wellness in all areas of your life.
The purpose of this blog is to allow Sivani to express thoughts on Ayurveda, yoga & meditation that are not typically found when googling the topics. Sivani's deepest desire is to encourage autonomous living in all people. There are no infallible persons to whom one can turn for perfect guidance to ensure success. When it comes all the way down to it, we are each responsible for our choices regardless if others have led, will lead, or actively attempt to lead us in any direction either for our good or our destruction. Even the best-intentioned individuals make grievous mistakes. Yet, within each individual is an Infallible Source that governs all of existence. Through exploration and discovery, individuals can connect to and build a strong relationship with this Source and thus make their own choices based on their moral objectivity. Does this approach come at an expense? Potentially. But blindly following others has proven to be just as dangerous. Stimulating others to approach any and all exploration to deepen their first-hand relationship with the Inner Intelligence active within the confines of their nervous systems is Sivani's life's mission. The more this is done, the more the Inner Intelligence permeates and pervades all of creation and will be unmistakable.