Ayurveda by the Moon: Defining the Doshas.

In the Ayurveda by the Moon Series, I  share with you some basic knowledge on Ayurveda and Herbs that will give you the tools you need to self-care in order to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Ayurveda is the practice of balancing out the elements within to promote health and wellness throughout the mind, body, and spirit. Since discovering this ancient practice, I  have gained so many new ways to care for myself. Self-care is one of my favorite things to do and to share! When I discovered Ayurveda how much of it relied on self-care in order to prevent dis-ease in the body, I was all over it! Ayurveda is about focusing on the root of dis-ease to bring one’s self back into equilibrium.

The basis of this beautiful life science is in the elements. There are 5 major elements that make up the 3 functional energies in nature. The 5 major elements are ether, air, water, fire, and earth. Combined, these elements make up the 3 doshas which are Vata, PIta, and Kapha. Below, I go over each dosha in depth so that you can get a sense of how they each show up in your mind and body, as well as what happens when there is an excess or imbalance of each dosha.

Vata

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Elements: Ether and Air

Qualities: Light, Dry, Cold, Rough, Mobile

Mobile, Subtle, Sparatic

How Vata shows up in the body:

Long thin or dry hair, pale skin, long limbs, crooked teeth, lower appetite, more sensitive to cold, light sleeper, thinner frame

How Vata shows up in the mind:

Enjoys Routine, enjoys quiet, creative, expressive, non-attached, flexible, learn quickly although does not easily retain information, creative

When Vata is out of balance in the body:

Constipation, excessive gas, dry Skin, trouble gaining weight, feeling cold all the time, trouble sleeping, brittle nails and hair, cracking pain in the joints

When Vata is out of balance in the mind:

Anxiety, fear, worry, stress, spacey, scattered, hyperactive

forgetful.

Pitta

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Elements: Fire and Water

Qualities: Sharp, Hot, Oily, Pungent, Liquid

How Pitta shows up in the body:

Muscular physic, red hair, light sleeper, loves cold, sensitive to heat, light colored eyes

How Pitta shows up in the mind:

Driven, passionate, sharp thinking, quick wit, easily absorb information, self-confident, responsible, entrepreneurial

When Pitta is out of balance in the body:

Acid reflux, digesting too quickly as to not absorb nutrients,  acne, skin rash or irritation, inflammation, overheating and excessive sweating, body odor, bad breath, high blood pressure due to anger, headaches

When Pitta is out of balance in the mind:

Anger, overbearing, judgmental of self and others, tendency to have a sharp tongue, aggression, demanding, bossy

Kapha

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Elements: Ether and Air

Qualities: Unctuous, Sweet, Heavy, Cold, Slow, Slimy, Dense, Static

How Kapha shows up the body:

Solid frame, thick and dark hair, rounded cheeks, rounded body structure, large white teeth, rounded facial features, dark eyes, heavy Sleeper, sensitive to cold

How Kapha shows up in the mind:

Calm, caring, loving, sweet, supportive, sensitive, compassionate, faithful, learn slowly and retain information easily

When Kapha is out of balance in the body:

Excessive weight, oily skin, bloating, lethargy, oversleeping, still feeling tired after long periods of sleep, overeating, excess mucus in the sinus and chest

When Kapha is out of balance in the mind:

Depression, feelings of unhealthy attachment, stubborn

resistant to change, greedy

What do these doshas have to do with you?

Everyone possesses all 3 doshas, but depending on your constitution, you may be dominant in 2 or even 1 of them. On rare occasion, there are even people out there that have an equal amount of all 3. This is called your constitution.

The best way to figure out your constitution is to have a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner. If you don’t have access to that, you can also go to sites like banyanbotanicals.com and take a quiz that will show you what your constitution is as well as what imbalances you may currently be experiencing.  You simply answer the questions based on who you know yourself to be when you are feeling most in balance and most yourself. Sometimes, it’s easiest to think back to a balanced time in childhood or your early years before any major life events that may have had an effect on the mind or body. Once you know your constitution and the ways that you are out of balance, you can work with these energetic qualities to get your self back in balance. This is essentially how Ayurveda addresses dis-ease.

So, go ahead, find out what your constitution is and start your own personal journey into the juicy sister science of yoga. If you have any questions or insight on Ayurveda, please don’t hesitate to ask or post them below!

Love and moonlight!

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