Our health pays the price for today’s fast-paced routine. When we fall sick, we pump in over-the-counter medication and rough it out. What if we told you that the changing weather, location, and even your job profile can adversely affect your health because of your inherent nature? Surprised? Allow us to introduce you to the Ayurvedic concept of doshas.
In an interesting interview, Ayurvedic physician, Dr Manikantan Menon spoke to Soulveda about the concept of doshas and the connection between Ayurveda and yoga.
Excerpts from the interview:
Can you tell us about the Ayurvedic concept of doshas?
There are three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha. These are biological energies that govern the human body, much like the departmental heads in an organisation. The internal and external systems of the body should function smoothly for it to be in perfect health. These energies dictate our physical aspects and are also connected with the mind.
What are they?
According to Ayurveda, the entire creation is composed of earth, water, fire, air, and space—the five elements also known as the panchamahabhuta. Even doshas are characterised by these five elements. For instance, earth is an element that is still, water is cooling and moves downwards, fire rises against gravity and heats—it is their nature. By this definition: vata is formed by air and space, pitta by fire, and kapha is formed by earth and water. The human body is governed by these five elements.
Can you give us examples to explain how these doshas affect us?
If you have a little rigidity in the mind, you are not able to accept change, it indicates a lack of water element or kapha. On the other hand, the kapha element is dominant in a person with an accommodative mind. Vata or the air element is dominant if one has an active mind with several thoughts.
Can there be visible signs of a particular dosha dominant in a person?
On some days, you wake up enthusiastic and plan to get a lot done in the day, but you end up doing things at random without much productivity. This is a sample of a vata day. A pitta day is when you wake up angry and irritated for no apparent reason and blame everyone else for minor things. A kapha day is when you are really lazy and don’t want to move. If these reactions continue for a week or a month and are left unattended, you could be sowing the seed of an illness. How quickly you take remedial actions matters.