Ayurveda is a great tool for choosing just about anything in life. Which cheese is best for me? Which breed of dog will I get along with best? Which person will make the best partner for me in life? What type of exercise is best for me? Literally, Ayurveda can help you make all the choices you need to in life.
Ayurveda is the ancient healing science of India that is alive and well today in Western society. Every major city in the country has an ayurvedic center and practitioners that are helping people find balance in their lives by teaching them about who they are at the elemental level.
We are each made up of the five elements - earth, water, air, space and fire. The thing is, is that we each have different proportions of them within us. Read more about this here.
The elements converge within our bodies and all throughout nature in three biological energies called doshas. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is made of the elements space or ether and air. Pitta is made up of fire and water. Kapha is made up of water and earth. Although it is very difficult to actually pinpoint your precise natural born constition, a recipe that was made the moment you were conceived from the state of mind, body, and soul of your parents, it is easy to see some general trends within yourself. Look through these three lists, but keep these ideas in mind:
- You will see characteristics from all three that you can identify with.
This makes sense because we each have a combination of all three.
- There might be one that makes you snicker a little bit because it is "textbook" you.
- There might even be two of them that are equally prominent in you.
|dry skin and hair
prone to anxiety
prone to insomnia
chronic joint pain
prominent joints and bones
tired by heat
prone to overwork
prone to inflammation heatburn/ulcer
|thick lustrous hair
pale smooth skin
tolerant and calm
prone to laziness
prone to inertia
Which one do you identify with the most? Are there two that speak to you? Do all three ring true to you?
There are many dosha quizzes out there that you can play around with to try and figure out your prakriti or what dosha you are by nature- a very elusive task indeed. I have been trying to figure out my prakriti dosha for twenty years!
The reason is it is so hard to really know your natural blueprint is because we spend our lives having experiences and creating habits that throw us out of balance; something that is actually quite unnatural to us has become who we think we are. When you take a dosha quiz, like the one I suggest here with Banyan Botanicals, try and think of how you have been or behaved for most of your life - not how you just are now. It may be helpful to ask someone who has known you for a very long time to help you decide on some of the questions you struggle with.
Once you learn to see everything through the lenses of the elements and the three doshas, the world makes so much more sense. The weather really does impact who we are and how we feel. The adage, "you are what you eat"- makes crystal-clear sense. The company you keep and try to avoid suddenly has a science behind it.
There are a million books on Ayurveda out there. One very easy, cheap and quick read is Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad. Read it and let me know, what's your dosha, baby?