Un­der­stand­ing the doshas

Yoga Journal - - Live Well -

Ayurveda is based on the the­ory that treat­ment of dis­ease de­pends on the dom­i­nant forces in a per­son’s con­sti­tu­tion. These forces, called doshas, are made up of the uni­ver­sal build­ing blocks of all life, listed in Ayurveda from sub­tle to gross: ether, air, fire, wa­ter, and earth. Air and space make up vata dosha; fire and wa­ter com­bine to form pitta dosha, and wa­ter and earth make up kapha. While ev­ery­one con­tains each dosha, keep­ing these three en­er­gies bal­anced is tricky. In fact, “im­bal­ance is in­evitable,” says Grasser. “One trans­la­tion of dosha is ‘that which can be­come dis­turbed.’” Ac­cord­ing to the an­cient Ayurvedic texts, many things can dis­turb the del­i­cate equi­lib­rium of these vi­tal forces within us: the weather, the en­vi­ron­ment, stress, diet, and life­style. Most peo­ple have a dom­i­nant dosha, and if this “de­ranged” dosha tosses all three out of bal­ance, it can lead to dis­ease and other prob­lems. “Doshic dishar­mony will even­tu­ally man­i­fest as ill­ness,” says Grasser. “The goal of Ayurveda is to re­store or­der among the doshas.”

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