Are you always left questioning why the latest fad diet is doing wonders for your friend but nothing for you? Or, why does a workout routine work for you but not for your sister? In fact, if you look closely, you'll observe that the emotional or physical responses of two people in the same situation are completely different. Wondering how is it possible?
Well, let's try looking at the world through an Ayurvedic lens. The ancient science of healing views everything from the filter of Prakriti, also known as an individual’s doshic makeup. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, similarly, every person has a unique doshic constitution made up of three main doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). These doshas form a unique elemental composition that reflects in a person’s body, mind, emotions, and intellect.
Since the concept of one-size-fits-all doesn't exist in Ayurveda, therefore, an individual's doshic constitution is the reason why specific diets, exercises, and environments offer health and happiness to one person but do little for another. Understanding your doshic makeup can help you improve the quality of life, give valuable insight to best utilize your natural strengths, and enhance your overall well-being. Keep reading to know specific ways in which understanding your unique dosha can be of benefit.
Customized dietary choicesUnderstanding your dosha helps you find the foods that will balance your elemental constitution. So, instead of focusing on manipulating the consumption of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your daily meal intake, focus on eating food that harmonizes your doshic elements and frees you from conflicting dietary plans. Understanding your dosha and eating to balance its elements is the pathway to optimal health as it helps increase vitality, energy, strength, and stamina.
Promotes emotional wellbeingPhrases like hot-headed, calm and composed, or aloof and reserved are not just colloquial expressions. These are the characteristics that point towards a deep-rooted emotional and elemental connection. According to Ayurveda, it is believed that an aggravated dosha manifests itself in both physical nature and emotional nature.
For example, if the pitta dosha is aggravated, anger, irritability, and other “fiery” behaviors may surface. Similarly, if Vata dosha is out of balance, anxiety and worry may overwhelm the mind, and if the Kapha dosha is aggravated one is likely to feel depressed, stuck, or unmotivated. When in balance, the tridoshas can help you maximize your abilities. Therefore, understanding your dosha is imperative as it allows you to find a personalized routine/practice that will help maintain your doshic balance so that you can keep your equilibrium.
Personalized self-careDifferent doshic constitutions require different self-care practices because the ways in which you best receive self-care are directly linked to your dosha. Understanding your doshic imbalance (vikruti) allows you to choose the self-care practices that will benefit you the most.
For example, when out of balance, Vatas enjoy relaxing by the bonfires and going on tree-studded hikes while Pittas are more likely to unwind by taking a dip in the ocean or attending a social gathering. Whereas Kapha dominant individuals may benefit from motivational and movement-based activities. Customizing your self-care in accordance with your dosha is the key to maintaining the doshic balance.
Susceptibility to diseasesUnderstanding your dosha can help you identify the diseases you are likely to be susceptible to and thus allowing you to make lifestyle changes to prevent those diseases. For instance, since Kaphas are more prone to get lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity, leading a physically active lifestyle can help prevent these diseases.
Likewise, Vatas are vulnerable to diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and can avoid it by following the right self-care practices. Similarly, Pittas can avoid many diseases by restricting exercises that involve too much physical activity and instead opting for calming practices like yoga.
Tailored exercise regimeNot all doshas are made the same and no one exercise regime suits them all. Understanding your dosha allows you to customize your workouts to gain maximum benefits. For eg. Vatas tend to have light, petite body frames and benefit greatly from strengthening exercises. Whereas Pittas are blessed with a strong physique and are natural athletes. Even though intense workouts help Pittas release excess fire, it is important for them to balance the fire with exercises like swimming to avoid getting overheated. On the other hand, Kaphas are advised to focus on cardiovascular fitness that breaks a sweat to help balance out the naturally heavy energies of earth and water.
So, by curating an exercise plan that works with the elements in your primary dosha instead of against, you can maximize the benefits of your workouts.
Doshas are responsible for an individual’s body structure, quality of life, mentality, personality, vulnerability to diseases, reaction to food or environment, and response to treatments. So, understanding and learning about your unique doshic constitution opens a path for you to craft a life that radiates health, vitality, and happiness. It helps you lead a life where you can make informed decisions and consciously choose actions that create balance, stability, and health.
Psst! If you are struggling to figure out your doshic constitution, take our 'Know Your Prakriti Quiz'.