“Sri Sri Ayurvedic herbal supplements are based on the 5,000 year old system of health care from Ind”ia called Ayurveda (‘the science of Life’).”
Central to Ayurveda is the concept that all of life is made from combinations of the five elements (space or ether, air, fire, water and earth). They combine in together to create the three Doshas, or governing principles (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Each person is governed by one or two of these Doshas, which result in a person’s psycho-physiological type. Knowing one’s Prakriti, or constitutional type, is the basis of health and life style recommendations which will promote balance and harmony between body, mind and spirit.
Your Prakriti is best determined by a trained Ayurvedic Physician, but some general indications can be learned by taking a brief questionnaire, which can be downloaded bye clicking HERE.
Central to Ayurveda is the concept of the three Doshas, or the three basic constitutional types of human beings. A person’s Ayurvedic constitution is a combination of the three Doshas, with one or two Doshas that predominate. Each Dosha contains or represents a combination of two of the five elements.
|VATA||Ether & Air||Dry, cold, light, mobile, subtle, hard, rough, changeable, clear|
|PITTA||Fire & Water||Hot, light, fluid, subtle, sharp, malodorous, soft, clear|
|KAPHA||Earth & Water||Cold, wet, heavy, slow, dull, static, smooth, dense, cloudy|
Each Dosha can be in a balanced state or an imbalanced state. In the balanced state, the Doshas maintain balance within and between the bodily systems. When they are imbalanced or aggravated, the Doshas display a number of effects and bodily sensations:
|Dosha||When in Balance||When Aggravated|
|VATA||Maintains the energy of will, inhalation, exhalation, movement, equilibrium of the tissues, acuity of the senses||Dryness, dark discolorations, desire for warmth, tremors, bloating, constipation, loss of strength, insomnia, loss of sensory acuity, loss of mental focus, fatigue|
|PITTA||Responsible for digestion, heat, visual perception, hunger, thirst, luster of skin, intelligence, determination, courage, softness of the body||Bodily heat, fever, inflammation. Yellow discoloration of waste products, eyes and skin, and may create hunger, thirst, burning sensations and difficulty in sleeping|
|KAPHA||Firmness and stability, maintenance of bodily fluids, lubrication of joints, and such positive emotions as peace, love and forgiveness||Loss of digestive power, accumulation of phlegm and mucus, exhaustion, feeling of heaviness, pallor, cold sensations, looseness of limbs, difficulty of breathing, coughing and excessive sleep|
A person’s fundamental constitution is acquired at birth and is called Prakriti. A person’s current state of health (Vikruti) or imbalances in the Doshas may deviate from this Prakriti due to a number of dietary, life style, life events and environmental influences. As diet and lifestyle take their toll, a person’s Doshas become imbalanced, which can lead to a variety of symptoms and ultimately lead to disease within the body.
Knowing your Dosha(s) will help you make sensible choices about diet, daily routine and preventative care which will re-establish balance and harmony in the body, mind and spirit.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Ayurvedic system of health is that it takes the season of the year into account as a significant effect on a person’s health. In each season of the year, one or a combination of the Doshas [Vata, Pitta, Kapha] are most active, and these active Doshas and their corresponding elements impact the constitution of the individual.
How the Doshas correlate with the seasons: Summer is dominated by Pitta (fire/water elements); Fall is dominated by Vata (air/ether elements); Winter is dominated by Kapha (earth/water elements); Spring is dominated by Kapha/Pitta (earth-water/fire elements).
When you know your own constitutional type (Vata, Pitta, Kapha, or a combination of them) taking into account the seasonal influence will help you understand how the elements of each season will impact your health. This assists you in making dietary and lifestyle choices to enhance your comfort and well being during each season.
TIME OF DAY:
Like the Seasons, the time of day has its own rhythm and is governed by the Doshas. A day is divided into Day & Night and within this division there are identical time periods governed by each Dosha:
|DAY||6 am – 10 am||10 am – 2 pm||2 pm – 6 pm|
|NIGHT||6 pm – 10 pm||10 pm – 2 am||2 am – 6 pm|
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: To understand what Doshas (and therefore which elements and qualities) are predominating at any given time, consider the SEASON first and then the TIME OF DAY.
Example: In summer, Pitta Dosha (fire/water elements) dominates, with its Hot, Light, Fluid, Subtle and Sharp qualities. Depending on a person’s Dosha, these qualities may tend to sooth or aggravate that person’s experience. A primarily Pitta person will be likely to experience aggravation, while a Vata person may be soothed by the warmth of summer.
THE SIX TASTES
Ayurveda identifies six Tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
In Ayurveda, the taste of a food or an herb has as much of an effect on our health as does the ‘chemical’ or nutritive value.
Each of these tastes is associated with one or more of the Doshas. The taste of what we eat affects the Doshas. Eating foods with the tastes that correlate with our Prakriti (constitution) and pacify our Vikruti (imbalances) helps to maintain health, balance and comfort.
|Vata||Sweet, Sour, Salty||Fall|
|Pitta||Sweet, Bitter, Astringent||Late Spring/Summer|
|Kapha||Pungent, Bitter, Astringent||Winter/Early Spring|
Not surprisingly, each Season correlates with one or two Doshas, which can be aggravated or pacified by our diet (Tastes) and lifestyle choices.