Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala :: Decipher Ayurveda
DECIPHERING THE AYURVEDIC PHILOSOPHY
Ayurveda, an inimitable combination of science and values advocates that in order to lead a balanced and healthy life, we have to find the perfect equilibrium and synchronization between our different mental and physical energies, our varied constitutions and the five elements of nature. If we adapt and adopt these natural principles into our everyday life, our wellbeing, spiritual harmony and holistic wellness is realizable.
As per Ayurveda our life is a combination of mind, body and soul. Ayurvedic beliefs and traditions, determines that our unique nature or prakriti is made up of one of the five elements of nature or panchabhutams. Our unique physical energies or constitutions is determined by the three doshas vata, pitta and kapha and our mental makeup or gunas, is categorized as sattva, rajas and tamas.
The Dosha trifecta
Doshas are the three primary life-forces or energies that is a resultant of the five elements of nature. As part of our inherent nature or ‘Prakriti’, doshas like Vata Pitta and Kapha are a part of our Prakriti. And identifying the same is unique to Ayurveda. Simply put, ‘dosha’ means, ‘biological kind’ or physical composition. In Sanskrit, dosha is defined as “doosyati iti doshah.” Or that which contaminates our self.
As part of our human constitution, all three doshas are a part of it. Doshas determine our natural, mental and bodily processes that help operate our mind and body effectively. It is a component that is a part of us and also protects our physical wellbeing. The blending or domination of one or more doshas determines an individual’s exclusive traits. In fact, the dosha dominant at birth, forms our personality and individuality. Sometimes we display the traits of only one or maybe a combination of two or more doshas. Therefore, Ayurveda analyzes the doshas inherent to us and conclude body type and thereby determine therapies and treatments accordingly.
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Types of doshas
This is a blending of wind of space and signifies movement. Vata manages all processes that move within us like our respiratory, nervous, excretory and circulatory systems. The distinct natures depicted by a person with a vata composition would be dry, fast, cold, clear and pungent.
Pitta dosha combines the elements of fire and body and aids in digestion and assimilation. The metabolic and chemical changes and manifestations, our thoughts and feelings too are guided by this dosha. The stomach is primarily the seat of this dosha and distint characteristics include, intense, hot, sharp, smooth, sour and salty.
The basic composition of kapha dosha is water. Combining earth and water elements, it is the subtler of the doshas and offers support and stability. It is the seat of all human emotions and renders a sense of wellbeing, comfort and peace. All our positive emotions are controlled by this. The chest is where this dosha is set. Qualities include oily, cool, heavy, stable, smooth, dull, wet, slow, sweet and sour.
Sometimes, due to changes like environmental, physical or mental, our basic doshas can undergo changes or we are affected by it. In Ayurveda, this is termed as Vikriti or an imbalance which says that we are not following our inherent nature or pattern. And it is with the aid of Ayurveda, we set right our vikritis and thus lead wholesome and healthier lives.
As per Ayurveda, matter is made up of five elements or ‘panchabhutams’ which is space, wind, fire, water and earth.
The human body is the seat of all these elements. The distinct traits and qualities of the five elements help identifying and classifying individualities. Therefore, fire does not exactly mean fire, but signifies, heat, warmth etc. Our mind and body is made up of all these elements with one distinct element that forms the basis and these attributes impact our nature.
- Space seats consciousness and the thinking happen here, its distinct attribute is sound.
- Wind denotes movement and is made up of touch and sound.
- Water signifies the flow, and highlights the quality of flexibility, taste, touch and sound.
- Earth indicates determination and steadfastness is a combination of all senses like smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound.
Gunas depict our character or quality which in turn manifests as an urge, desire or an influence. If our bodies contain elements, for our minds, it is gunas. Experiences, changes, exposure, awareness and alterations can affect our basic inherent gunas and we adapt or depict gunas as per the situation or our reactions many a time.The three identifiable gunas are
- Sattva stands for calmness, quietness and knowledge.
- Rajas a dominant guna depicts our likes, dislikes, actions, enthusiasm etc.
- Tamas denotes indifference, apathy, inaction etc.