Basic principles of Ayurveda
Have you ever wondered about our body and it’s amazing functions? How simply by balancing the diet or physical activity our health can be maintained? What are such attributes that are connected to nature?
Ayurveda is the science of life, which deals with good and bad, suitable and unsuitable aspects of life itself. It is the ancient way of living and healing, which has been prevailing in India since centuries! It deals with the harmony of our body constitution, which when imbalanced leads to diseases. How is the constitution of a person determined?
According to Ayurveda everything in this universe is made up of three basic units – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are known as Tridosha, which are formed from a combination of the Five Elements of Universe – Space/Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Let us see how they are formed and how they function.
Vata is the combination of Space and Air element in which Air element is more predominant. The qualities of Vata will be similar to these elements. It is like wind – light, mobile, dry, cold, subtle, rough. So in our body Vata will have the functions of making us able to breathe in and out, mobility of hands, legs, blinking of eyes, enabling natural urges. When Vata is increased in our body it causes dryness, discolouration (mostly blackish), losing weight, tremors, bloated tummy, constipation. If it is decreased below its normal level then weakness of body parts, loss of speech and consciousness, decreased digestive power, drooling, lethargy, heaviness of body, breathing difficulty, coughing bouts and excess sleep can occur. Vata is usually seated in lower abdomen, hips, thighs, ears and skin. This Vata has been divided into five again owning specific functions inside our body. Usually Vata predominant mind will cause a person to be active, restless, and talkative.
Pitta is the combination of Fire and Water, fire being dominant. Pitta is fierce like fire, light, mobile and flowing, moist, has a foul smell. It is usually associated with the digestive system. Normal functions of Pitta include enhancing hunger reflex and digestion, vision, body heat, thirst reflex, complexion, intelligence, valour, softness of skin. Increased Pitta cause yellowish discolouration of urine, faeces, eyes, skin, excess hunger, thirst burning sensation and lack of sleep. If decreased it will lead to cold extremities, anorexia and diminished complexion. Pitta is located in navel, stomach, sweat glands, circulatory system and Skin. Pitta is also classified further into five types. This pitta when attributed to mental qualities will make a person fierce, intelligent, confident, smart, and he will have valour. It is because of pitta why anger can rise in the body and mind.
Kapha is formed of water and earth elements, earth element being dominant. Kapha is moist, cold, heavy, slow, slimy, soft, and stable. Kapha in balanced state provides, stability, lubrication of joints and forbearance. If increased, it will have qualities of decreased Vata, diminished digestive capacity, drooling, lethargy, heaviness of body, white patches in skin, cold in touch, laxity of joints, breathing troubles, cough, excess sleep. If decreased, dizziness, palpitation or laxity of joints can be experienced. The locations of Kapha in body are: chest, neck, head, joints, stomach, plasma, adipose tissue, nose, tongue. Kapha is also five types. A Kapha dominant mind will make a person more Sattvic, patient, calm and peaceful.
(Prakruthi, Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Body Type, Constitution, Physical Qualities, Psychological Qualities)