Ayurveda, the world's oldest healing system on record, is experiencing a modern-day resurgence, and for good reason. Recognized as a formidable form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Ayurveda's practical and accessible tools for creating mind-body balance yield powerful results.
Operating on the principle that no two individuals are alike, Ayurveda customizes its prescriptions for wellness and illness prevention, teaching people how they can take charge of their health and achieve their personal best.
Learn About the Doshas
In the Science of Ayurveda, the doshas are invisible biological energies which govern many of our physical and mental processes and which account for many of our personality traits.
For example, the doshas account for why some people are more tense and wound-up while others are naturally laid back, why some people are more timid and insecure while others are naturally confident, why some people seek adventure and thrill while others prefer safety and familiarity, why some people are naturally thin while others are prone to being overweight, why some people prefer cold temperatures to hot, and why some people like spicy foods over bland.
Getting to Know the Doshas
The three dominant doshas, also known as body types, are:
If you have not yet determined your Ayurvedic body type, you can take our free online Dosha Quiz, which will ask you questions about your physical characteristics, personality traits, likes/dislikes, and lifestyle habits. It will then generate a report which identifies your body type and which you can use to learn about the foods and actions Ayurveda recommends for a balanced, harmonious life.
Not only do the doshas respond to your thoughts, feelings and actions, but these dynamic forces also change in accordance with environmental factors such as the four seasons, the weather, and the time of day. If, for example, you learn about the Ayurvedic clock and how to tell time by the doshas, you can masterfully design your days and nights to maximum positive effect.
Balancing the Doshas
In Ayurvedic terms, the doshas exist naturally in a balanced form.
When we nurture our dominant dosha, we are living in harmony with our basic constitution and enjoy vibrant health.
When we make dietary and lifestyle choices that do not flow with our body's natural rhythms, the doshas either increase (become aggravated or in excess) or decrease (become depleted), resulting in imbalances which manifest in discomfort, disease, and various levels of dysfunction.
If you learn about your basic constitution and what makes your particular body type tick, you can restore balance to your system and establish habits and daily practices that support nourishment and growth.
What are Double Doshas?
Most people have one dominant dosha or body type, yielding the familiar connotations of a 'Vata body type', a 'Pitta personality' or a 'Kapha dosha.' For some individuals, however, two or more doshas govern, giving rise to the terms "double dosha" or "tri-dosha."
If you have a dual-doshic makeup, it means that two doshas have a strong influence. The dynamic energies do not blend together but rather one influence or trait presents itself at a time. For example, for Vata-Pitta body types, Vata is primary but strong Pitta characteristics are also evident.
The double-dosha combinations are:
The least common dosha combination is tri-doshic and consists of:
In this rare mind-body type, the ratio of the doshas is near even and tri-doshic individuals tend to remain in balance. (In the body type report following the Dosha Quiz, the dosha scores will be evenly distributed or within one point of each other). When imbalances do occur, however, restoring balance takes more effort since there is no governing energy in charge.
The good news from Ayurveda, however, is that the goal is not to fit yourself into one category. Rather, learning about the doshas gives you insight into your intrinsic physiology and nature, allowing you to make decisions that flow with the rhythms of the universe and that lead to success on your life's journey.
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