Thousands of years before the advent of even the most primitive forms of modern medicine, the people of India followed a trusted medical system known as Ayurveda which literally means ‘the wisdom of life’. Ayurveda realizes the eternal truths of the human body, mind and spirit. It teaches that disease affects both the body and the mind and neither can be treated in isolation. This medical philosophy holds the key to insightful cures for the simple and more profound ailments using natural methods individualized to one’s personal constitution, without side-effects, and provides treatment for the root cause instead of fleeting symptoms.
The science of Ayurveda is based on the principle that five elements or ‘mahabbutas’ make up the entirety of the universe, and everything in it. These elements are ether (empty space), air, fire, water and earth. These elements combine to create the three bio-energies or forces of the human constitution known as doshas. Vata is a combination of air and ether, pita of water and fire and kapha of water and earth. These doshas, in their various combinations make up everything in the world, including people.
Every person is born with an innate constitution, known as prikriti, which is a unique blend of each of the above doshas. The tridoshic system of Ayurveda is similar to other classification systems like the ying-yang system in Chinese medicine or even the type A/type B classification in western medicine. Knowing your constitution is of vital importance as balancing your doshas is necessary to realize perfect health and understand your predisposition to disease.
Normally every person is comprised of a prominent dosha with some balance of the other two. For example, one can be 60% vata, 30% pita and 10% kapha making their predominant dosha vata. Mostly, these people will suffer frm imbalances of vata but they can also be affected by imbalances of the other two in certain aspects of their life. It is rare that anyone will be a perfect balance of all three doshas and if one is lucky enough, they will get the benefits of all the doshas and likely exude perfect health. Below are some basic characteristics of the individual doshas:
Vata people are the fleeting Type A personalities. They are generally ectomorphs (thin, lanky bodies) with a scant and irregular appetite. They often have quick bursts of urgent energy yet tire easily. Likewise, their mind tends to jump around, create and innovate; yet they cannot withhold the information in their memory. Their moods are erratic, emotional and are generally worried or anxious.
Pitta people are the mesomorphs – medium build with nicely built muscles. They have a good steady appetite. Their minds are sharp and then tend to boast leadership qualities striving on challenges and competitive environments. Watch out though, pitta people have a quick firey temper and become aggravated very easily.
Kapha people are the endomorphs, thick, solid and sometimes over-weight. Their appetite is low as are their energy levels. Their minds might not be as quick as a vata, yet they have a gripping memory. Kapha are always compassionate and loving and their tranquility makes them adept at activities requiring low energy, but high persistence.
To see a complete list of doshic characteristics, visit the article here: http://www.livingnow.com.au/advertise/articles/18-health-and-healing/4388-unleashing-vitality-achieve-optimal-health-with-ayurvedas-ancient-wisdom.html
And, for more information on Ayurveda in general, visit this site: http://www.eattasteheal.com/Ayurveda101/ETH_BodyTypes.htm