Ayurveda is known as the “sister science of Yoga” and literally means “the Science of Life.” This 5,000-year-old system is a holistic medical science that teaches us to live in harmony with the rhythms and elements of nature and our body’s own uniue constitution. We are empowered by Ayurveda to take an active role in our health and healing. Simple changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise, work, play and thought habits can bring about significant changes in our lives and help us take charge of our own health and well-being.
Ayurvedic philosophy recognizes three forces of energy present in the body-mind at all times. These forces are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the three Doshas.
1. Vata is associated with movement. Its elements are ether and air. It brings movement, creativity, clarity, expansion. It is known as the “king of the doshas” as it makes everything move; the nervous system is governed by Vata and it lives primarily in the colon.
2. Pitta is associated with transformation. Its elements are fire and water. It lives primarily in the small intestine and governs determination, drive, awareness, internal fire, body heat, skin color, digestive enzymes, intelligence, metabolism and more.
3. Kapha is associated with structure. Its elements are earth and water. It lives primarily in the chest and is responsible for steadiness, compassion, stability, physical strength, endurance and lubrication.
Each of us carries within us the energies of all three doshas. However, each of us is born with a different constitution or combination of doshas. One or two are generally more predominant. Pakruti is the constitution or Dosha combination with which we are born and it typically does not change.
Due to such factors as food, lifestyle, climate, habitat, seasons, stress, etc., our doshic combination may change on a daily basis. The current state or doshic combination is known as Vikruti. Our goal is to keep Vikruti in balance with our own individual Pakruti.