Ayurveda is a comprehensive system of medicine, more than 5,000 years old and based on a holistic approach rooted in Vedic culture. Ayurveda teaches how to stay healthy, radiant and balanced, and unlike many other health systems, looks at roots of the problem and imbalance and concentrates on promoting a long and healthy life.
The knowledge of Ayurveda came from enlightened rishis (sages) who received this wisdom through deep meditation. For hundred years this knowledge was an oral tradition and was later transcribed into book form, Vedas, sacred texts of India. The three main Ayurvedic texts: Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita are still used today and they contain the original and complete knowledge of this ancient, medical system.
Lord Dhanvantari, the God of health, healing and cure, the father of Ayurveda
Five Elements (Pancha
Mahabhutas) and concept of Tri-Doshas
Everything in the universe is made up of a combination of the Five Elements (Pancha Mahabhutas). These five elements are known as:
Space or Akasha (sound)
Air or Vayu (touch)
Fire or Tejas (sight)
Water or Apa (taste)
Earth or Prithvi (smell)
The Five Elements manifest in the functioning of the five senses of each being. This allows the person to perceive the external environment in which he or she lives and are also related, through the senses, to five actions expressing the functions of the sensory organs:
Space - sense of hearing; organ: ear; qualities: light, fine, smooth, soft;
Air - sense of touch; organ: skin; qualities: cold, light, dry, rough, fine;
Fire - sense of sight; organ: eye; qualities: hot, sharp, clear, fine, light, dry;
Water - sense of taste; organ: tongue; qualities: cold, soft, liquid, oily, slimy, heavy;
Earth - sense of smell; organ: nose; qualities: heavy, hard, course, rough, solid, compact, slow.
philosophy, the Five Elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic
forces called Doshas.
Dosha means "that which changes." In
Ayurveda, Dosha is also known as the governing principles as every
living thing in nature is characterized by the Dosha, all activities
of the mind and body are governed by three biological principles. The three
active doshas are:
Elements: Air and Space
Qualities: Dry, light, cold, mobile, subtle, rough, sharp, hard, clear
Location in the body: Brain, Heart, Colon, Bones, Lungs, Bladder, Bone marrow, Nerve function, Large intestines
People of Vata nature enjoy exercise, adventure, travel - they never sit in one place for too long! They are hyperactive, tend to do few things at the same time hardly finishing them on time or at all. Talkative, think and speak quick and fast, their mind is always active. Vata people learn new things easily but forget fast. They also tend to make money quickly but spend it quickly too, they are not good savers or good planners.
Ideal professions: artist, writer, painter, journalist,
People of Vata nature have a predominance of the qualities cold, light, dry and mobile, they tend to be slender and can be tall or short with prominent bones, their hair are dry, thin and usually curly. Face is oval in shape, nose is small, thin, uneven, eyes are also small with teeny lashes. Lips are often dry and chap easily. Fingers are long and nails are brittle with a tendency to split. Dry and thin skinned, Vata person is easily browned by the sun.
Vata governs physical
movement, circulation, communication, mental activity, sensory
perception, motor function, respiration, heart function and all
nervous system impulses.
Vata people have poor circulation, their hands and feet are usually cold - they
often prefer to wear warm clothes and they
hate the cold season, they love summer! With
irregular appetites and thirst, Vatas often experience underweight, digestive
and absorption problems, they usually suffer constipation as well as bloating. Their sleep is often light,
Vata people will quickly go out of balance and quickly come back into balance.
Elements: Fire and Water
Hot, gross, mobile, slightly wet, slightly heavy, sharp, hard, rough, cloudy
Location in the body: Skin, Eyes, Liver, Brain, Blood, Spleen, Endocrine, Metabolic function, Small intestines
Pittas have fiery personalities, they love a good debate or events where they can be competitive. They have razor sharp minds, a witty sense of humor and have the ability to attract others to follow their direction - they make great leaders! Pittas are extremely focused, punctual, organized and they are list-makers even they have a good, sharp memory.They are perfectionists. When out of balance they may become aggressive, irritable, over-controlling and over-criticizing.
People of Pitta nature often
have a clear but direct way of communicating and acting (which may
irritate other people) but they can be counted on to get the job
done. Pittas are quick problem solvers, love to go deep into problems and find solutions but have a tendency to be
opinionated and controlling. They like living in luxurious homes, having fancy cars and other 'expensive toys'. They earn good money and manage they finances well.
Ideal professions: doctor, lawyer, judge, leader, engineer, etc.
Pitta people usually have moderate body builds, not very heavy or very thin, medium in size often with an athletic build, good muscular development. Their skin has nice tone and glow, is often oily, may have freckles or some moles, it may be prone to red rashes or acne. The features on their face are sharp – sharp chin, nose, and piercing eyes. Eyes tend to be blue or light in color. The finger nails are pink and strong and their hair is straight and shiny. Pittas have a tendency to have a receding hairline and/or early balding. Pittas are sensitive to the sun and can easily burn their skin if not careful.
Pittas tend to be on the warm side and are prone to “heated” imbalances like fevers, hypertension, pink eye, and skin problems like acne, eczema. They body temperature is a little higher then usual so they feel quite warm and may perspire a lot hence they like cool weather and dislike hot temperatures. They have a strong metabolism, strong digestion and consume large amount of water. When hungry, a Pitta people need to eat quickly as they become irritable. They weight does not change very much, is stable. Pitta sleep is sound an uninterrupted.
It takes them a moderate
amount of time to get out of balance and come back into balance.
Common Pitta disorders:
Fevers, rashes, acne, eczema, inflammatory diseases, hives, burning sensation, ulcers, acid indigestion, blood shot eyes, poor vision, hyperacidity, early graying, worcaholism.
Tips to balance Pitta:
Elements: Earth and Water
Qualities: Cold, wet, gross, dense, static, dull, soft, smooth, cloudy
Location in the body: Brain, Joints, Mouth, Lymph, Stomach, Pleural cavity, Pericardial cavity, Bodily Fluid function
Kapha people are easy going, extremely tolerant and patient. They won’t ever lead, but are very happy to follow. They speak, move and think slowly, never rush. They are calm, loving people and are not likely to get upset but once you’ve upset a them, they will hold a grudge. Their attitude is positive, mind is steady and once a person of Kapha nature has made up their mind they are not likely to change it. They get easily attached – to people, relationships, emotions, the past. They love collecting things! And they are great money savers too.
Kapha people love eating, sitting and doing nothing, just enjoying life!
Ideal professions: teacher, healer, nurse, carer, etc.
Kapha people have healthy and well constructed body with large, heavy bones,
thick skin and strong joints. Their skin is usually soft, smooth, pale and oily
(clammy) and they have big beautiful
eyes and teeth. Their hair is thick, wavy and oily, eyelashes are long, full and curly. Kapha hands
are big with thick knuckles, thick palms and strong nails.
Kapha people have very good and strong immune system. Kapha people have a slow digestion and metabolism and
tend to gain weight easily but struggle to loose it. As they don't like move too much or do too much, they tend to maintain the same level of energy during they whole life. Kaphas are tend to 'conserve' their energy rather than spending it.
Kaphas do not like wet, cold weather.
It takes quite a long time for Kapha people to go out of balance but it also takes time to come back into balance.
Common Kapha disorders:
Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, nausea, bronchial congestion, cold, flu, sinus congestion, allergies (including hay fever), excessive sleep, impaired digestion, poor absorption, lethargy, painful joints.
Tips for balancing Kapha: