Body Constitution and Imbalance
Prakriti – Body Constitution
Ayurveda describes the uniqueness of Pancha mahabhuta or the three Doshas. The five elements are represented in our body in the form of three doshas. Each individual has a unique ratio or combination of these three doshas, which is termed in Ayurveda as Constitution or Prakriti. As each dosha expresses a unique blend of physical, mental and emotional characteristics, this can be used to understand an individual completely. Understanding our qualities or characters (the strength and weaknesses), we can choose the right lifestyle and diet suitable to our constitution.
Characteristics of Vata constitution (Vata Prakriti)
They have proneness to dryness of the skin, eyes, mouth, lips, body hairs, body joints and even in the bowels, light and thin body frame, either very tall or very short, prominent body joints, long extremities, cold extremities, body temperature below the normal, minimal sweating and prefer warmth and hate cold
They are light sleepers – likely to wake up often and toss and turn in bed, active with irregular lifestyle, hodophiles (one who loves traveling), progressive (a person who likes changes), easily adaptable, very social, extroverts, open minded and make friends easily.
Characteristics of Pitta constitution (Pitta Prakriti)
They have medium size body, strong and excellent appetite and digestive functions, body temperature above the normal, oily and sensitive skin that burn and tan easy, sharp and penetrating ideas, leadership qualities, perfections, love routines and are short tempered, hangry (angry when hungry), intolerantt to heat, diaphoretic (sweating heavily), good planners and like intense activities and sports, push themselves to the extremes.
Characteristics of Kapha constitution (Kapha Prakriti)
They have good stamina, strong well-built body, large beautiful eyes, thick oily hairs, soft and moist skin, slow and steady movements, slow metabolism and are prone to gain weight easily, sound and heavy sleepers, good listeners, mentally strong, loyal, calm, tolerant, supportive, not easily adaptable, reluctant to change and so on.
Vikriti - Imbalanced state
When the unique ratio of doshas are in harmony, a person experiences good health. Factors like changes in climate, seasons, lifestyle, diet, pollution etc. can affect the natural state of the doshas and lead to imbalance. This imbalance of the most predominant or any other doshas creates some changes in our body and this temporary state of the doshas is called Vikriti or Imbalanced state or diseased state. Understanding the qualities of dosha, helps to find out the role of dosha in a particular case of imbalance from the symptoms showing up.
When your doshas become unbalanced:
Expresses the following symptoms – increased dryness, roughness or even cracks, constipation and dehydration, low energy and fatigue, tremors, underweight, insomnia, anxiety, fear, restlessness, over active mind, vivid dreams, weak bones, arthritis and so on.
Expresses the following symptoms – intolerance to warmth, acidity and heart burn, burning sensation, infections , inflammations, acne issues, skin problems like eczema, herpes, fungal infections etc., anger, envy, jealousy, aggressive, short temper, over controlling and so on.
Expresses the following symptoms – excessive sleeping, heavy and sluggish feeling, overweight, cravings for sweets and carbs, water retention, sinus congestions, asthma and other respiratory issues like bronchitis, cysts and growths, stubbornness, emotionally attached with people and things, greediness, depression, sentimental and sad.
Factors that cause dosha imbalance:
Factors that aggravate Vata dosha:
Exposing too much to cold and dry wind, too much traveling, irregular and active lifestyle, late nights, lack of proper rest, cold food and drinks, stimulatants like coffee, alcohol, drugs and excessive spicyfoods, habit of eating quickly and raw foods and high intensity sports and activities,
Factors that aggravate Pitta dosha:
Exposure to excessive heat and sun, stimulants like alcohol, coffee, chilies, over salty, citrus and sour foods, nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant etc., raw onions and garlic and high intensity sports and activities.
Factors that aggravate Kapha dosha:
Sedentary lifestyle, over eating in general and especially of carbs, sweets, salty, oily and fatty foods, excessive sleeping, sleeping during day time, cold foods and drinks, dairy products, sugar rich fruits, red meat and completely dedicate to slow and restorative activities.
How to rebalance your doshas:
When any dosha gets exacerbated, bring it down to balance by reducing the impact of those dosha qualities, by incorporating their opposite qualities. This is explained by the principle “like increases like and opposite balance” – same qualities of dosha enhance that particular dosha and create imbalance; indulging opposite qualities of that dosha reverse the imbalance.