The three energies that are present in everyone and everything.
Now you understand the foundational principle of Ayurveda, the panchamahabutas (the five great elements), we can explore two more significant principles. The Gunas and The Tridosha Theory. Together these three concepts, The Panchamahabutas, The Gunas and The Tridoshas, give you the building blocks to begin working with the laws of nature to live a life of balance and longevity!
Ayurveda teaches that all substances as well as thoughts and actions have specific qualities. According to Ayurveda there are twenty basic qualities to describe EVERYTHING in the universe.
These 20 definitions can be found as 10 pairs of opposing qualities:
Once you relate to these 20 qualities you can understand the nature of everything in the universe.
When we discussed the 5 elements we discovered we can identify the presence of the elements by their energy type and their qualities.
Qualities: Clear, light, subtle, soft, immeasurable.
Qualities: Mobile, dry, light, cold rough, subtle
Qualities: Hot, sharp, light, dry, subtle.
Qualities: Cool, liquid, dull, soft, oily, dull, slimy.
Qualities: Heavy, dull, immobile, dense, hard, gross.
THE TRIDOSHA THEORY
VATA | PITTA | KAPHA
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the entire cosmos is an interplay of the energies of the five elements - Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Ayurveda groups the 5 elements into three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in everybody and everything. There are no single words in English to describe these energy types so we use the original Sanskrit words…
VATA DOSHA, PITTA DOSHA AND KAPHA DOSHA.
As there is no single English words to translate the three dosas there, are also no single English words to describe the word Dosha itself… So lets explore a few definitions to help us understand the nature of there Sanskrit term dosha.
1. "fault", "impurity", "always changing".
2. That which becomes vitiated and then affects the bodily tissues, leading to disease. (a.k.a impurity).
3. The principle that governs psychophysiology response (the way the mind and body interact) and pathological changes (involving or caused by a physical or mental disease).
The doshas can be viewed as the agents of DNA which form the blueprint for our unique physical and mental make-up. As mentioned earlier, the the three doshas/energies are within us (and all of nature around us). These three energies are reflected in every aspect of our being, providing us with a key to deeply understand ourselves and our connection to and the profound interplay we have with the universe around us. It sounds like an extremely large door open (to Narnia?) and understand from one simple principle… but I promise your innate nature already knows this, you are about to journey through some epic "Ahhh huuuuh!" moments throughout this entire blog...
We discovered that the three doshas are derived from combinations of the five elements. The grouping of the 5 elements gives form to the energies of the doshas.
Vata is a combination of Air + Space.
Pitta is a combination of Fire + Water.
Kapha is a combination of Earth + Water.
Just as we can describe the 5 elements by their qualities (the gunas) we can understand the doshas through the same principle.
VATA = AIR + SPACE
Qualities: Dry, Light, Cold, Rough, Subtle, Mobile, Clear.
PITTA = FIRE + WATER
Qualities: Hot, Sharp, Light, Liquid, Mobile, Oily.
KAPHA = EARTH + WATER
Qualities: Heavy, Dull, Cold, Oily, Liquid, Slimy, Dense, Soft, Immobile, Cloudy, Hard, Gross.
In Ayurveda the body, mind and consciousness work together to maintain balance. To learn how to balance body, mind and consciousness requires an understanding of how vata, pitta and kapha work together and their existence within and around us. Vata, pitta and kapha are combinations of the 5 elements that manifest as patterns in all creation. The Doshas are the very foundation of Ayurveda… so what does all of this mean when it comes to your unique self and the integrity of your health? We will be breaking down each individual dosha in the following weeks, identifying their purposes, where they dominate within us and within nature as well as their physical and personal attributes. I am oh so excited to unpack this with you and give great insight to your uniqueness physically, mentally and emotionally to inspire you to BE in your uniqueness and say goodbye to comparing yourself with others. You are about to find out just how special you are, and it's all for devine reason.