I had my second Ayurveda class and sadly I still can't spell (nor pronounce) the word properly, but I'm not letting that get me down. I'm even more excited about the class than I was last time. This time we got into the good stuff. Not that the basic philosophy wasn't interesting. It was. But I'm the type of person that has to fast forward through the preview to get to the movie. I'm just too anxious. And how interesting it was to find out why . . .
Last night we got into the mental gunas (which bind the soul to the physical form), the 5 elements, the basic constitutions and the sub doshas. Have I lost you yet? It all may sound strange to hear these unfamiliar words. I can rattle off more strange words than you can imagine, but the stranger thing is how much sense it all makes. When it comes right down to it our bodies are completely a result of our environment and our diet. Unfortunately we can not control our environment. We may be able to control certain aspects of it, like where we live or who we choose to be around, but most of the circumstances surrounding our environments is completely out of our control. Our diets, on the other hand, are completely in our control. And the bottom line is that you are what you eat. More on that to come.
Everybody has a distinct pattern of energy -- a specific combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. The three basic energy types called doshas, present in every person are:
- Vata -- energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and heartbeat. When vata energy is balanced, there is creativity and vitality. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety.
- Pitta -- energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and temperature. In balance, pitta leads to contentment and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta can cause ulcers and arouse anger.
- Kapha -- energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system. In balance, kapha is expressed as love and forgiveness. Out of balance, kapha leads to insecurity and envy.
Vatas get immediately emotional and excited when they hear about taking an Ayurveda class and immediately sign themselves up for the class . . . but then they completely forget to go because they are so busy doing a million other things.
Pittas hear about the class, give it some thought, think it sounds great, sign up and then show up either on-time or early, completely organized, with notebooks in their hands.
Kaphas hear about the class and, although they think it's a wonderful thing that they would love to do, they find all kinds of excuses not to go because they just can't drag themselves off the couch.
So which one are you? OK so it's not really that simple. You should get a pulse reading done to be sure, but if you are interested in trying to figure out your constitution via a questionnaire here's a neat link: http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/
There is so much to this science and it's so fascinating. I will try to write about more things that I learn along the way, but in the meantime if you are at all interested in this science I encourage you to explore it online http://www.chopra.com/ayurveda