Ayurveda and the Search for Balance
At some point, I’m almost certain that we’ve all heard these terms uttered at some motivational seminar or yoga class: Work-life balance. A balanced diet. Balanced living. It seems that everyone is after some kind of balance in their life and I can’t blame them! If you count yourself among those on the hunt, you may want to consider identifying your Ayurvedic dosha and set out on your way to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Thousands of years before motivational seminars preached balance, Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu system of nutrition, was developed. The “science of life” focused on the two guiding principles that the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
To get yourself started on the basics of Ayurveda, you have to identify your dosha, or your mind-body type. The three doshas’ are vata, pitta, and kapha. These Sanskrit words correspond to the three primary energies and elements that are present in the world and to a number of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.
Vata represents the air, and governs breathing and muscle movement. In balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety.
Pitta represents the fire, and governs digestion, metabolism, and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta stimulates anger and jealousy.
Kapha represents the water and earth, and governs the body’s moisture and maintains immunity. In balance, kapha is expressed as love and forgiveness. Out of balance, greed and envy.
There are many online quizzes to find your dosha, like Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Dosha Quiz, which gives you a breakdown of your energy and the corresponding qualities and characteristics. Once you’ve identified your dosha, you can begin to recognize potential energy imbalances and take steps to restore your well-being.