A Y U R V E D A ( S A N S K R I T )
AYU (‘LIFE’), + VEDA (‘KNOWLEDGE’)
AYURVEDA IS THE WORLD’S OLDEST
DOCUMENTED BODY OF MEDICAL
KNOWLEDGE FOR PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL AND
Ayurveda was codified into a text called the Charaka Samhita by the legendary physician Charaka in the second century BC. It since travelled with traders and scholars to China, Egypt, Arabia and Europe, laying the foundation for plant-based healing all over the world.
Ayurveda expounds a way-of-life, focusing on the balance between mind, body and soul, where true beauty comes from within. It uses fundamental concepts of balance and harmony to assess the inherent disposition individuals are born with, called Prakruti.
This in turn is shaped by the governing forces of all Life, or the Doshas. Ayurveda views individuals as a microcosm of nature based on how synchronised the individual’s Doshas are. Doshas in a state of imbalance are believed to be in Vikruti, leading to a weakened immune system and potential disease.
The main Doshas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha, present in every living being. They represent the
5 elements (Air, Fire, Earth, Water, Ether) of Nature in different proportions.
VATA DOSHA — AIR + ETHER
ITTA DOSHA — FIRE + WATER
KAPH DOSHA — WATER + EARTH
Vata Dosha People tend to be ‘airy’ in movement and speech. Creative, sociable, and
artistic, they are talkative, well informed and aware, but prone to switching interests and pursuits. Light sleepers, and fast walkers, with fluctuating digestion, and prone to nervousness and anxiety. They enjoy activities involving speed and mobility, but don’t possess long-term endurance or stamina.
When balanced: Creative and imaginative, able to stick to a productive routine, joyful, mentally alert, tranquil, patient, and content.
Pitta Dosha People are ‘fiery’. Highly passionate, competitive, and sharp-minded.
They are prone to anger, aggression, and jealousy, and impulsiveness, and like to assert their individuality. They are strong-willed, persuasive, perceptive, and discriminating. They are prone to acne, acidity, and dehydration.
When balanced: Sharp memory, strong metabolism, ability to keep going without getting ‘burnt out’ too easily, flourishing in leadership positions, ability to influence with strong oratory and action.
Kapha Dosha People are the calmest of the 3, ‘grounded’, and relatively ‘slow moving’.
They are tranquil, placid, laid-back, and not easy to irritate. They prefer traditional convention and structure, and the security and sense of organisation they provide.
They are prone to depression, lethargy, excessive sleeping, and can suffer from a sluggish digestion and respiratory trouble.
When balanced: Calm, reflective, compassionate, spiritual, and nourishing, giving
and protective towards others. An understanding of our Doshas can help us make healthy
and productive lifestyle decisions so that we can be stronger and more peaceful
versions of ourselves.