Ayurvedic ‘Tridoshas’: Vata, Pitta & Kapha
Ayurveda is a traditional repertoire of medical knowledge bestowed to human race by Lord Brahma himself. The belief goes that the system of medicine has existed since time immemorial and has its genesis in the times when Lord Brahma created universe and mankind. Ayurveda is medical knowledge deemed as a subsidiary Veda — an Upaveda. Ayurvedic literature has even been discovered to contain medicinal plant names found in Atharvaveda and other Vedas. Atharvaveda is also inclusive of incantations and 114 hymns that are magical cures for treating various diseases.
However, other than salient medical prescriptions, Ayurveda also incorporates a holistic and comprehensive focus on our health, wellness, happiness and creative growth.
Ensuing here is an insightful discussion about the crucial Ayurvedic concepts of ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Tridoshas’ that will help you gain better knowledge of your core being to optimize your way of living towards a healthier you.
Like all forms of creation, human body comprises of three ‘doshas’ — Vata, Pitta and Kapha that are peculiar formulations of the five universal elements — Earth (Prithvi), Fire (Agni), Air (Vayu), Water (Jala) and Space (Akash). Vata is composed of Air & Space, Pitta of Fire & Water and Kapha of Water & Earth.
Our ‘Sharira’ is inclusive of Vata that represents the subtle form of energy associated with the nervous system. Pitta represents the form of energy associated with digestion and metabolism and Kapha is the form of energy associated with our body’s structure.
Our neurogenic system, muscle & tissue movement, breathing, heart pulsation, blinking and excretion are functions that fall under the domain of Vata.
Pitta oversees our metabolic system, digestion processes — absorption, assimilation & nutrition, eye vision, hunger, taste, thirst, softness of body, body temperature and skin luster & pigmentation.
Kapha takes care of bone, muscle & tendon formation, joint lubrication & strengthening, skin moisturization, maintenance of immunity, nourishment, viscidity, solidarity and sexual viguor.
At the level of cellular functioning, Vata is responsible for the inflow of nutrients into body cells and outflow of wastes out of cells. It also caters to movements within the cell membranes and cytoplasm.
Pitta activates the digestion of nutrients to furnish the energy essential for cellular operations.
On the other hand, Kapha monitors the proper structuring of our cells and allows the cells to be held together.
Having said that, it hardly needs to be emphasized that proper balance or harmony between the ‘tridoshas’ is highly desirable for our overall well-being. Any kind of excessiveness or deranged state of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in our body can jeopardize our healthiness in major ways. Ayurveda posits that imbalances in these three bio-elements, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, originate diseases.
In this context, it is important that one has a better knowledge of one’s ‘prakriti’ — unique mind-body constitution, distinct to each individual. A human body is typically predominated by one ‘dosha’ or by a dual constitution of two ‘doshas’.
To keep our ‘tridoshas’ in an optimum state of equilibrium, we must deeply understand our ‘prakriti’. Specific exercises, diets, yogic postures etc. are recommendable for specific ‘prakritis.’
This way we can not only forestall illness and diseases but also sustain a healthy state of physical and mental being.
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