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Tridosha Basics

CONCEPT OF TRIDOSHA

In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means "that which changes." It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix 'dys', such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc.

In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. Doshas are required for the life to happen. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the dosha.

Vata – It refers to one of the three doshas. This is made of air and ether. This functional unit is characterized by movement, coldness, lightness and dryness in the body. When imbalanced it produces pain in various parts of the body.

Pitta – It refers to one of the three doshas. This is made of fire and water. This functional unit is characterized by heat, temperature and digestion in the body. When imbalanced it produces heat and burning sensation in the body.

Kapha – It refers to one of the three doshas. This is made of earth and water in our body. It is characterized by fluidity, strength and nourishment. When imbalanced it produces heaviness and phlegm in the body.

Doshas – Literally that which can go out of balance. Bodily humor

Balanced Tridosha means a Healthy Person

Every person (and thing) contains all three doshas. However, the proportion varies according to the individual and usually one or two doshas predominate. Within each person the doshas are continually interacting with one another and with the doshas in all of nature. These explain why people can have much in common but also have an endless variety of individual differences in the way they behave and respond to their environment.

Ayurveda recognizes that different foods, tastes, colors, and sounds affect the doshas in different ways. For example very hot and pungent spices aggravate pitta; but cold, light foods such as salads calm it down. This ability to affect the doshas is the underlying basis for Ayurvedic practices and therapies.

A balance among the tridosha is necessary for health. Together, the tridosha govern all metabolic activities. When the action of tridoshas in our mind, body & constitution are balanced we experience psychological and physical wellness. When they are somewhat unbalanced, we may feel uneasy. When they are more obviously unbalanced - when one or more of the three dosha influences are excessive or deficient-discernible symptoms of sickness can be observed and experienced.

Regardless of the percentages of vata, pitta, or kapha influences, your basic constitution represents your psychological and physical nature. When balance is maintained, health is at optimum.

Harmony with the Nature and Developing Perfect Health

The theoretical side of Ayurveda provides insights into how to live one's life in harmony with nature and natural laws and rhythms. Its practical side - specifically its guidelines for an intelligently regulated diet and daily routine, its techniques for stress management, and its exercises for increased fitness and alertness-help us take control of our lives and develop radiant health.

The central goal of Ayurveda is nothing less than a state of perfect health, for the individual and for society and the environment as well, in which every man and woman is inwardly in balance and outwardly in harmony with the environment and the laws of nature.

According to Ayurveda, nature is permeated by intelligence. Intelligent laws govern the growth of all living things; kittens grow into cats, acorns into oak trees. Indeed, laws of nature regulate everything, from the tiny world of whirling atoms to the huge, enormous world of galaxies.

Human Body - A Self Correcting Mechanism and Balance

The human body is part of nature, as a microcosm of the universe, and when it runs perfectly, as it was designed to run, it can be perfectly healthy. It is trying to be perfectly healthy all the time, using its innate self-healing, self-regulating ability as it strives for a perfect homeostatic balance. But we repeatedly interfere.

Nature has set us up with all the equipment we need to be perfectly healthy. Health is our natural state, and ill health is unnatural. Every day our systems are exposed to literally millions of bacteria, viruses, allergens, even carcinogens, and yet our immune system has the intelligence and skill to deal with all those invaders and keep us healthy. However, when stress, inadequate nutrition, or just fatigue weakens the immune system, those same invaders may produce disease.

Every second the body is adjusting to countless thousands of changing parameters, keeping us in homeostatic balance. No matter what comes along to upset the balance, the body knows its own nature, knows what ideal temperature it should be and the correct chemistry it needs to maintain, and keeps referring back to that blueprint to maintain proper balance.