Ayurveda is built on the belief that harmonious function between the body, mind and spirit is not only possible, but what ultimately leads to true health. This cooperation stems from a balanced constitution. If the last statement leaves you wondering what the heck I am talking about, please read the article below to discover one of the most important principles in Ayurveda. Life is primarily about finding your healthy balance and answering the following question: What is my constitution?
Ayurveda, living a life of “balance”
Now, there are any number of things I could be talking about in terms of balance. Do you have a balanced work/home life? Have you balanced your nutrition by limiting junk food and alcoholic drinks? Do you balance your personal time between yourself and your family?
I could go on and on….
The “balance” I am talking about is balance within yourself. The balance of mind, body, and spirit. I won’t go into detail about the specifics of things you can do to help create balance amongst these three dimensions of your life. That’s not the focus of this post. My hope for this article is to give you a brief explanation of the quality of a balanced constitution and characteristics of imbalance.
Ayurveda is a holistic and health based science. The literal translation of Ayurveda means “science of life” and it has been used for over 5,000 years to help people find balance and live their best lives. Part of the holistic approach is to view a person as having a deep natural and inherent desire to live in balance. You may not feel like you are currently in your best state of health, but your inner being is always striving a searching to reach that point.
Another way to look at it, is that each person holds the keys of knowledge within themselves to live at a state of optimal health and balance. Everything you need to live a healthy and fulfilled life is within you from the point of conception.
What is Prakruti?
What is prakruti? Prakruti, simply put, has two different meanings:
- Nature, everything in our universe
- Your state of perfect balance or constitution
In the case of this article, I am focusing on the later definition. At the point of your birth, you were given a specific constitutional makeup that was determined by your mother and father at the point of conception. This constitution is a combination of the three doshas. Each person has all three doshas, but to different degrees. Prakruti then, is the perfect balance of your doshas, or constitution.
Every day, you make decisions that either move your prakruti on the continuum to balance or imbalance. No matter the choices you have made, you can always take responsibility and move in the direction of balance. However, in order to have the tools to do so, you must first know your specific primary dosha(s).
What is Vikruti?
At this point, we’ve covered why balance is important and what the state of balance is called, prakruti. Now, it is equally important to discuss Vikruti. I’m sure you can guess by this point that Vikruti is the Sanskrit word for imbalance. It is what we experience when our body, mind, and spirit are not working in sync with one another.
Disharmony can occur for a myriad of reasons including some of the following:
* What you consume into your body (food and emotions)
*People you interact with, especially on a daily basis
*Your environment (unclean water, air pollution, chemical pesticides)
*An overload of sensory input by use of technology (IPad, computers, cellphones…)
Reviewing this list you might be thinking, okay well that includes pretty much everything I do all day every day. Don’t worry, the list is not meant to overwhelm you or create a sense of failure before you have even begun. It is simple a guide to help you start being more aware of what you are putting into your body and letting in.
Is balance possible in today’s society?
YES, Yes, yes!!
Balance is most certainly achievable. Will you be in a state of true balance 100% of the time? Of course not, but there are things you can begin doing NOW that will help you not only lean more heavily on the balanced side of the continuum, but stay there.
That is the purpose of this blog. As I begin to dive into my own journey into Ayurveda, I am taking you right along with me. We’ll uncover our unique constitutions and based on this information become more informed on appropriate food choices and daily practices that will help us live much healthier and happier lives.