The principles of Ayurveda state that nothing exists in isolation, so that everything you interact with, your diet, family, work or relationships, has an effect on your health and well being. One guiding principle of Ayurveda is that mind and body are connected and that the mind has a profound influence over our health and well-being. While conventional Western medicine is still grounded in the paradigm of mind-body separation, Ayurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a dynamic state of balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit.
According to Ayurveda, each of us inherits a unique mix of three mind/body principles which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called doshas.
Most of us have one or two doshas which are most lively in our nature, with the remaining one(s) less significant.
What’s My Dosha?
If we have mostly Vata dosha, we tend to be thin, light and quick in our thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of our lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.
If Pitta dosha is most lively in our nature, we tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.
If we have mostly Kapha dosha in our nature, we tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.
Using the principles of Ayurveda, we can identify our mind/body nature and use this understanding to make the most nourishing choices in our lives.
Deepak Chopra, M.D. is a best-selling author and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA. Learn practical tools and techniques to balance everyday life in the upcoming workshop Journey into Healing. February 19-22, 2007 at Kripalu, MA . For more information on this and other programs, visit chopra.com, email
, or call 888-424-6772.