Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine originating from India, dating back thousands of years (over 5000 years).
It is a holistic approach to health and well-being that considers harmony between the body, mind, and soul as essential for a balanced life.
The Theory of the Five Elements
It is based on the theory of the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether) and believes that everything in the universe is composed of these five elements, including human beings.
We are believed to be a mix of these five elements, summarized into three biological forces. These three forces govern our body and mind.
Each person is thus a unique combination of these three forces, known as "Doshas."
The Three Doshas That Compose Us
- VATA (Biological force of Air and Ether)
Associated with mobility, flow in the body, movement.
These individuals appear light, with dry skin, variable energy, and vibrant creativity. They may be prone to anxiety and insomnia when this Dosha is imbalanced.
- PITTA (Fire and Water)
Governs digestion, transformation, and heat regulation in the body.
Pitta individuals are generally determined, competitive, with strong intellectual focus. When imbalanced, they can become irritable, critical, and experience digestive issues.
- KAPHA (Earth and Water)
Responsible for structure, grounding, stability, and body lubrication.
Kapha individuals often have a solid physique, oily skin, a calm and compassionate nature, but may be prone to weight gain and lethargy when imbalanced.
Individuals may also have two dominant Doshas, such as being Kapha and Vata or others, and thus share several of these characteristics.
To determine your dominant Dosha(s), there are specific questionnaires available online, or you can consult an Ayurveda expert.
Balancing and Imbalances of the Doshas
When an individual's Dosha is balanced, they will be in good health and able to fully harness their potential, whether it's creativity for Vata, intellectual strength for Pitta, or qualities of compassion and gentleness for Kapha.
Conversely, when imbalanced, individuals may experience physical and emotional health problems.
Some Tips Based on Your Dominant Dosha
Establish a regular routine, favor warm and nourishing foods, avoid dry and cold foods, practice gentle activities like yoga and meditation.
Avoid spicy, fatty, and acidic foods, prefer fresh and light foods, engage in relaxing activities like walking, swimming, gardening.
Avoid overly heavy and rich foods, opt for light and spicy foods, engage in stimulating physical activities like dancing, cycling, jogging.