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Yoga's Ayurveda: "The Knowledge of Life"

Sep 11th, 2012
Staff Writer

Balance is key to Ayurveda.The oldest scriptures in the world, the 5,000 year-old Vedas outline an ancient, ritualistic way of life from the India of 3000 B.C. Yoga Journal recently provided an Introduction to Ayurveda for the modern yogi.

Sanksrit for “knowledge”, Veda is a foundation of yoga; the text provides teaching for meditative and yogic practitioners alike. The Ayurveda is the modern equivalent of healthcare, based in the Vedas. It describes life as manifesting itself through three forces (“doshas”): vata, pitta, and kapha.

Kapha nature is strong, naturally athletic, stable and compassionate. The appetite of Kapha types for food and stimulation are considered mild, compared to Pitta and Vata.

Pitta nature is strong, intense and potentially irritable. Competitive, natural leaders and quick learners are all thought to resemble the Pitta force. Pitta appetite is intense, “if they miss a meal they are likely to become grumpy and take a ‘bite’ out of somebody else,” as put by Scott Blossom of Yoga Journal.

Vata nature is creative as well as both mentally and physically active. Vata appetite fluctuates, and persons of this constitution tend to have inconsistent rest and ingestion habits.

Every person is thought to be a combination of these three forces, their proportions and expressions fluctuating throughout their lifetime. Most people are thought to be “Bi-doshic,” having two of the three forces dominant. Scott Blossom’s keys to personal balance are “to hone your sensitivity for noticing imbalances that arise from the environment, diet or emotions, and adopt practices that counterbalance these influences.”