Within Ayurveda, there are three distinctive energies that we are said to have within ourselves: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These energies are known as doshas, and it is believed that we each hold these energies, or life forces, but not necessarily in equal proportions. Much like chakras, our doshas can become skewed and imbalanced, heavily affected by seasons or what we put in our bodies, and the overall environment we live in. An imbalanced dosha can have a significant impact on our mental well-being, our health, our mood, and the way with which we move about in the world.
Doshas are the cornerstone of Ayurveda, and they are derived from nature. They incorporate the five elements; earth, water, air, fire, space. Each dosha is associated with a set of characteristics—or personality types—and once you determine yours, it can help you make conscious decisions about how you treat your body, your mind and your spirit.
Those who are Vata types are often thought to be quick thinkers, agile and, more on the thin side physically. Pitta types are thought to favour structure, be logical and rational, hold their concentration for extended periods of time, and be fair-skinned. And finally, Kapha are often patient and loved by most people because of their calm nature, but have a propensity for excess eating, a lack of exercise and too much sleep.
Determining and understanding your dosha means you are able to address any imbalances in your life. If you’ve been wondering why you are struggling with concentrating at work, why you feel so tired all the time, or why you are trying to find ways to combat health issues, knowing your dosha can help you address all of that, and create a plan to make changes. Let’s take a deeper dive and learn about why knowing what your dosha is can positively impact the way you live your life in all aspects. Here are five ways that knowing your specific dosha is going to change your life by helping you:
Understand Your Emotional Responses
Have you ever asked yourself why you react a certain way to a stressful situation? Maybe your automatic response in conflict is to be defensive or to shut down emotionally. Your dosha could explain why you have these reactions, and what your elemental connection is. If the fire element within you is prominent, it is said that this contributes to fits of anger, stubbornness and misplaced passion. If the air and space elements are more prominent, it could explain why you suffer from bouts of anxiety, and feel overwhelmed. Knowing your dosha and how it’s interpreted can help you improve your mental health, and help you make changes in your thought patterns going forward.
Maximize Your Leisure Time
Time is precious, and one thing we can never get back. Your spare time should be spent doing things that bring you joy, inner peace and happiness. In an era where we are finally realizing the true benefit of self-care, the ways in which you take care of yourself are connected to your dosha. Determining your dosha helps you understand which activities are going to make you feel the most fulfilled.
Approach Beauty in a Holistic Way
All genders have a beauty and restorative regime, but are we choosing the right one for ourselves? Our beauty care should be directly related to what we put on our bodies. Afterall, what we put ON our bodies, eventually ends up IN our bodies. When you understand the characteristics of your dosha, and how they manifest physically, most notably on your skin, you know what it is you should be including in your beauty regimen. For example, a Pitta skin type has a tendency to have redness in the skin and requires soothing ingredients.
LOVE Your Body
We now understand that our bodies are composed of five unique elements and these elements appear in numerous physical characteristics including body size and overall structure. In Ayurveda, the idea of beauty is not universal, but quite diverse. Each dosha enjoys its own category or set of characteristics that are thought to be representative of beauty. In Vata, the idea of beauty is framed around a thin and more delicate body type. In Pitta, beauty is thought to manifest in strong, athletic body types. And within Kapha, a full-figured, curvy body is considered beautiful. This multidimensional beauty construct allows us to not only accept, but to love all shapes and types of bodies.
Learn About Your Relationship with Money
If you think of money as an energy force, knowing your dosha can provide you with valuable insight into how you feel about money, how you spend it, and what you think you should be doing with it. For some individuals, their dosha may show them they are exceedingly spendthrift and could easily afford something they never thought they could. Or, it could show them they are spending money faster than they make it and provide steps to help them improve their financial situation.
Knowing and understanding why your dosha is important is not a quick fix for deeply rooted issues. But it’s a great starting point to understanding how your mental and physical health are connected to your life energies. It can help you pinpoint personality characteristics and make you more mindful of how you choose to walk through the world.
About the Author:
Kristie Santana is a life coach, entrepreneur, and educator with 15 years of experience in the coaching and mental health fields. She is the founder of the National Coach Academy and, more recently, Life Coach Path. Her passion is helping young coaches kickstart their careers, get proper coach training, and watching them thrive in their own coaching practice. You can read their most recent blog post here.