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DOSHAS –

THE BASIS OF AYURVEDA AND PANCHAKARMA

According to the Ayurvedic view, all things in the world consist of the five basic elements of fire, earth, water, air and ether (empty space) in different proportions. Each element, in turn, is characterized by a combination of its associated properties: the air element has the properties of light, flexible and fine. Earth has the property of heavy, cold, stable. Fire involves hot, agile, penetrating. In our body and in nature, two of the basic elements form a dosha:

Air and ether are comparable to the Vata.

Vata describes all movements

The elements fire and earth are shown in the pitta.

Pitta is the transformation

Kapha is a combination of earth and water and manifests itself as matter.


These three bioenergies regulate all processes on a physical, mental and emotional level. The Ayurvedic constitutional doctrine is based on the foundation of the doshas: the relationship of their parts to each other comprises the constitution of a person, which remains unchanged throughout their life - at least as long as they are healthy. Depending on the dominant Dosha, one speaks of the Vata, Pitta, or Kapha type. Their composition determines certain strengths, weaknesses, susceptibility to illness and personal characteristics.

VATA

The principle of movement

The combination of the elements space and air together forms the bioenergy known in Ayurveda as Vata. The primary characteristic is movement.

Vata controls processes such as breathing, blood circulation, the musculoskeletal system, the transport of all liquids, secretions, gases and waste products. Vata thus affects the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract and the respiratory system. It also causes the conduction of nerve impulses from the brain to the motor organs and back again. In Ayurveda, Vata also dominates the nervous system and the brain and thus also controls human consciousness. Vata is the dominant dosha; Without Vata, the other two doshas would be like clouds in the stormy sky, says a poem from the famous Charaka Samhita, the well-known Ayurvedic textbook. The Vata Dosha can quickly be out of balance because two of its essential properties are impermanence and lightness. Vata dosha is often disturbed in people suffering from stress.

Vata-dominated people are described as: either small or very large, slim, with protruding joints and highly visible veins. Since Vata is made up of air and ether, these people often feel chilly, usually have cold hands and feet, rough, dry skin, brittle, cracked fingernails and brittle hair. This type of constitution is very communicative and creative, they talk and move quickly and flexibly. On the negative side, they quickly becomes anxious, unsteady, they start a lot and finish little. Their understanding is very good, as is the short-term memory.

PITTA

The principle of transformation

 

In Ayurveda, Pitta is responsible for generating heat and processing food in the body. In Ayurveda, the term pitta means "what converts". It controls the entire metabolism, our digestion, the conversion of food into body substance, the conversion of sensory stimuli in thoughts and thoughts in memory. Pitta also controls body temperature and regulates needs such as hunger and thirst. Pitta attributes such as courage, bravery and decision-making power are attributed on an intellectual level. Pitta also controls human sensations such as fear, anxiety, anger and sensual desire. Pitta disorders in the body are for instance skin problems and inflammation of the stomach. Outbursts of anger and being a "hothead" are mental pitta disorders.

This is how people are described who are dominated by Pitta: They have a medium bone structure, are slim but athletic and mostly active in sports. They have robust metabolic functions, can eat and drink large amounts without gaining weight. Because Pitta is made up of fire and little water, these people cannot tolerate heat. They sweat profusely with intense odor, are prone to blemished skin, hair loss and premature graying of the hair. They are very active, have a sharp intellect and tend to have strong emotions. They are ambitious and perfectionists and strive for managerial positions or independence. Since the fire element is very strong in them, they can have a tendency to speak sharply.

​​KAPHA

That which holds together

 

Kapha, the third Dosha, consists of the two elements water and earth. Kapha is bioenergy, which is primarily responsible for growth and structural growth. In Ayurveda teaching, Kapha also brings about cohesion and protection. This means that all tissue and substances in the human body that have a protective function, for example for organs, are attributed to the Dosha Kapha. Kapha gives the body the strength to endure physical stress and to cope with all difficult tasks. Kapha contributes to stability not only physically, but also mentally. Fat metabolism disorders and obesity are physical disorders of Kapha; Listlessness, sluggishness and depression are mental states that can occur with excessive Kapha.

People dominated by Kapha have a well-trained body with strong bones, a sluggish metabolism and therefore tend to be overweight. They are slow in terms of motor skills, have a slow comprehension, but have good long-term memory (similar to earth and water signs in astrology). Kapha constitution types tend to be sluggish and like to sleep a lot. They often feel chilly, have a strong vitality, are patient, generous, forgiving, dutiful and loyal.

Prakriti – प्रकृति

The individuality of Ayurveda Doshas


Prakriti (literally translated "essential nature") represents one of the most elementary and most important theses of Ayurveda. Translated it can be called "basic condition". It says that every person is an individual and that everyone has their own unique design of the three doshas from birth. The individual dosha design) of each person is determined during conception and thereby determines their individuality. The balance of these forces in humans is crucial for their health and vitality.


Vikriti, the current division of doshas

(the current, changing appearance)
When a person's doshas are out of balance, their condition changes. The dosha structure no longer corresponds to the basic constitution (Prakriti) - this state is called Vikriti. This deviation can be caused by certain environmental influences. However, such a deviation leads to illnesses in the long run.

Triggering factors for a Dosha disorder are:

External influences such as an unhealthy lifestyle and diet, climate, professional and private stress.

Inner stagnation: Depending on the individual nature, each constitutional type requires certain forms of expression and appropriate behavior. If these needs are suppressed, the disease-causing imbalance arises.

Many Dosha disorders manifest themselves in the initial stage in the energetic and emotional area. The body shows symptoms of illness only later. In our western world, more than 80 percent of all disorders are triggered or exacerbated by Vata. Environmental pollution, stress and certain living conditions are extremely vata-causing. That is why the Vata-reducing measures such as oil massages, warm meals and relaxation exercises are particularly important to us.


Paths to recovery
Ayurveda understands health as far more than just the absence of illness and pain. The texts read: "He is truly healthy:


whose energies are in balance


whose digestion and metabolism are balanced


whose tissues are correctly constructed and from which the waste materials are excreted


whose five senses work properly and


who lives happiness and fulfillment.


According to Ayurvedic knowledge, there is not one generally applicable treatment for a disease, so two people with the same disease will not be given exactly the same treatment. In this point, the healing approaches differ fundamentally between Western medicine and Ayurveda: While the conventional medicine takes the illness as the starting point of the treatment and wants to cure it, the Ayurveda doctor keeps an eye on the person whose energy balance is disturbed. In this regard healing means to restore this balance by removing the excess doshas from the body.

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»The Mind is everything.

          What you think, you become.«

Lord Buddha

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