It can be frustrating and confusing to see a whole list of benefits from 1 simple ingredient. Does that 1 ingredient really hold ALL of the benefits listed? I feel like there is a new magic elixir everyday and it can be tough to decide what options are going to be best for you.
When I first started my wellness journey all of these new options really excited me. It felt like continual learning and experimenting, but a lot of what I bought to try didn’t have a big effect on me, or it ended up becoming a huge expense for very little tangible result. I couldn’t tell if my antioxidants were really increasing or if I truly had less free radicals running around my body.
This is why it is so important to be able to tune in to yourself and learn tools to know what is best for you and why.
This is where Ayurveda comes in.
The doshas act as an amazing road map for every choice. I like to think of this as the Ayurvedic Lens. Imagine a magic looking glass that can show you exactly how every aspect of your life will affect you. I know it sounds crazy, but it really is that helpful.
Dosha’s aren’t some seagreen or indian berry, they are groupings of the 5 elements found in every food, color, activity and even time of day.
When we learn about our unique dosha, we can open the door to knowledge for all our health choices (which include a lot more than you might think)
The 5 elements found in our world are Air, Ether, Earth, Water and Fire - these each have distinct qualities that go beyond the literal form. Think of each of these elements as metaphors, and think of how these elements interact with each other in the natural world. Humans are a part of nature and the elements work with each other the same way inside our bodies. It is exciting to use the elements as access points because we have been engaging with them in big and small ways our whole life - you already know so much about Ayurveda, even if this is the first time you are seeing the word.
Applying this knowledge is where an Ayurvedic counselor (like me!) is really helpful. To get started it is good to know the doshas and how they group the elements.
Pitta - Fire & Water
Vata - Air & Ether
Kapha - Earth & Water
Most people are a combination of 2 of these doshas. Every person has all of the elements in their body, the doshas just tell us which ones are most dominant. Some people are tridosha, meaning they have equal amounts of all the elements - if that is the case understanding the elements dominant in each season will give you clues about how to best stay in balance.
I have been using personality types to describe each of the doshas to give a more visceral picture of how they can show up in our lives. Sometimes this is easier than a big long list of the organ systems they control. If you are more of a systems thinker check out this blog.
For my creative types, let’s dive in (think of it like a character study)
Pitta is the go-getting entrepreneur with a sharp tongue and a quick wit. Always achieving and thinking towards the future.
Vata is the spacey artist fluttering around the room chatting with everyone. They are highly creative and most likely are in between 5 different projects.
Kapha is the wise elder. They are the first person you go to when you need a compassionate friend. Patient and calm, they love to sleep in and sometimes are hard to motivate.
Understanding how to see the doshas in your life gives you so much information about what is going to bring you into balance and what is going to take you out. If you can identify which of these energies is a little too much in your life, bring in some of the others.