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Basics of Ayurveda: The Science and Knowledge of Life

Guest Writer: Meg Williams

Ayurveda can be defined as “The science of the knowledge of life.” Ayurveda is closely connected to yoga and is an ancient system for living. It’s been around almost as long as yoga and it too originated in India.

Ayurveda is a holistic art and science that seeks to find balance in life. It does this by categorizing people into groups based on their unique habits, personality and behaviors. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The idea is once you see when and where you might be over saturated in a particular dosha you can analyze how it might serve you to add in a bit of the other two doshas to balance yourself out. It’s really full of common sense.

It’s interesting to read about each dosha and discover which one you lean towards! Let’s look at the 3 unique dosha’s.

The qualities of Vata are cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick and changeable. Vata personalities tend to be lively and enthusiastic, slim and wiry, with sharp features.

When Vata is balanced, they are social and creative. When imbalanced, a Vata person will have erratic digestion and struggle with nervous disorders such as anxiety.

The qualities of a Pitta personality are hot, light, intense, pungent, sharp and acidic. The Pitta dosha controls our digestion, metabolism and energy production. Pitta people build muscle more easily, have bright complexions, and a piercing gaze. They are naturally fiery in nature.

When in balance, Pittas are content and clear minded. They make good leaders and organizers. When unbalanced, Pitta people can become dominating, angry and argumentative. They will suffer from indigestion, excessive body heat, heartburn or acne.

The qualities of the Kapha are heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, and oily. A Kapha person is steady in nature. They have a strong build but there is also a softness to them.

When in balance, a Kapha person is steady, forgiving, courageous, generous, affectionate, serene, calm, thoughtful, loving, loyal, patient and supportive. However, when out of balance, a Kapha person might suffer from weight gain, fluid retention, allergies, depression and lethargy, as well as being resistant to change.

You learn which dosha you are by answering questions about your tendencies habits and preferences? It’s an enjoyable, sensible and eye opening process. Once you see where you might be feeling stress in your life due to being engaging in fiery activities, fiery food and a fiery relationship (Pitta) and you intentionally work in more steadiness and softness (Kapha) you see how practical the science of Ayurveda is at helping you stay balanced.

It’s eye opening and fun!

Contributed by Meg Williams

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