What is a Dosha?

If you are taking a yoga class or looking into Ayurvedic Medicine, you may have heard the word “Dosha”, or been told that you are Pitta or Kapha Dosha. You may be wondering what a “Dosha” is, or exactly what it means to you.

“Dosha” or “Prakruti”, are simply terms that Ayurvedic Practitioners use to describe people. They are the way the elements manifest in a particular person, and one of the theories at the heart of Vedic or yogic practices. According to Ayurveda, “Prakruti” or “Constitution”, is formed at the time of conception. Prakruti is a Sanskrit word which means “nature” or “the first creation”. In Ayurveda there are three elements, that make up the Dosha system. Kapha which is “Earth with a bit of water”, Pitta which is “Fire with a bit of water”, (think of it as gasoline) and Vata or “air”.

While prakruti is fixed though-out your life time, all people must interact with their environment. This interaction causes the body and mind to shift, attempting to keep things in balance. The Constitution, your mind and body have shifted to is called “vikruti”. If the current state your mind body has shifted to is significantly different from your natural state, you can become “Imbalanced”, which can lead to either illness or mental stress or both. Like an active person suddenly forced by a broken ankle to stay in bed, being forced to act against our nature to keep things in balance can make us cranky and irritable or worse! It’s no fun for us, or those around us and can lead to disastrous results.

Why should I care what my Dosha is?

Knowing you Dosha, and how to keep it balanced ,can make your life easier and more enjoyable. Certain Doshas have certain things they excel in, and certain other things that throw them off track. Unlike the signs of astrology, which you are born into and can’t change, while you can’t change your Dosha, you can balance it. This means that if things are going wrong, or making you feel funny, you can fix it and get back to feeling good again ! Balancing your Dosha can be as easy as changing your eating habits, or day to day routines, can make you physically healthier and feel mentally more stable, all things most people want to achieve.

Finding your Dosha

You can determine your Dosha by seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner, or taking one of the many tests available online. Once you know your Dosha, or Dosha combination, you can begin to take steps to lead a more productive and balanced life, which will make you and those you care about much happier

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