Ayurveda: What is a Dosha (constitution type) and how do I discover what my Dosha is?

Ayurveda is the ancient, Indian science of life, focusing on preventing and curing physical and mental illnesses, all of which are considered to stem from an imbalance in our system. This holistic approach therefore focuses always on creating balance in the most natural way possible. Here we look at the whole system and how everything is connected, considering aspects like your lifestyle, what kind (s) sport you practice, and your body. For everyone there is a unique approach.

Ayurveda is based on the five elements and looks at the world through the lens of these elements. Everything is considered to consists of a combination of ether, air, fire, water and earth. The extent to which these different elements are present determines the qualities, but also indicates what goes out of balance easiest and what kind of symptoms result from this. On the basis of these elements Ayurveda works with three doshas, or constitution types. Ether and air together create Vatha, Fire and Water together create Pitta, and Kapha consists of water and earth.

The extent to which you have the different elements in present in your system, determines your constitution. This is usually a combination of two doshas, for example Vata and Pitta. Once you know your constitution, you immediately know which elements go out o balance easily, so you can give them some extra attention. Do you for example have much Pitta (Fire and Water) in your system, it is advisable not to eat foods, or undertake activities that are creating a lot of heath. So no spicy food, alcohol or coffee and no sports during the hottest time of the day or in the direct sun.

Ayurveda distinguishes between two different constitutions:

  • Prakruti: the constitution you are born with

  • Vikruti: your current constitution

From birth you will be exposed to many different experiences that affect your system. For example much uncertainty, loss and instability in your youth induces more Vata. This can cause your current constitution to be more Vata dominant or for you to have a Vata imbalance, while Pitta or Kapha constitution might have been dominant when you were born. We look at your current constitution to see what is happening in this moment and what you can do to create balance. To find out what constitution is, you can do a test online via this link.

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