A few weeks ago, we discussed three human characteristics and their connection to our mind, body, and emotions: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. For a quick refresher on the doshas, you can visit my previous post.
Ayurveda tells us that overall health and happiness is achieved when all three doshas are in balance. The concept of balance in the doshas, however, may be different from what you think. Like most things in life, humans are not completely equal in all aspects of their life and qualities. If all humans were 1/3 Vata, 1/3 Pitta, and 1/3 Kapha…wouldn’t we all be exactly the same in temperament and personality? How boring! Instead, we tend towards a predominant dosha which defines our typical characteristics. To find your predominant dosha, visit my previous post for a link.
Health is achieved by maintaining one’s natural constitution. Let’s say that I am 45 Vata, 37 Pitta, and 28 Kapha on a normal and healthy day. Any deviation of 10+ points on any given dosha (positively or negatively) indicates an imbalance. For example, I found myself at 57 Vata, 32 Pitta, and 11 Kapha yesterday. As a result, I was super unfocused, anxious, and relatively hot-headed. The results of a dosha imbalance can be felt through the mind (e.g., hyper- or hypo-focused, indecision), emotions (e.g., irritation, anxiety, depression), and body (e.g., stomach upset, headaches). These imbalances are most apparent when either the Dominant or Passive dosha is out of whack (so for me that would mean an imbalance in Vata or Kapha). I have listed the signs and symptoms of each imbalance below:
The characteristics above should be taken in context, and are not meant to cause excess worry or thought. Rather, use this information to take your personal health into consideration. If you happen to be coughing one day, it’s likely that you have a cold and do not have a Kapha imbalance. However, if you present 5 of more of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms at the same time, you may consider seeking at-home or external Ayurvedic treatments. Other than costing you time (at-home) or money (external), there is no harm to working to achieve harmony and balance in your life. I encourage you to evaluate your current state of being and identify any potential areas of concern for you this week. We will meet back later to discuss ways to achieve dosha harmony through herbs, food, yoga poses, and breathing.