Background

Ayurveda literally means “science of longevity”. Veda translates to knowledge, and ayu to longevity. The Vedas were handed down by sages some 5000 years ago and include all aspects of the mind, body and spirit. It literally is a way of life, which includes the way we think, act, feel and interrelate to our environment. All organic living bodies – vegetable, mineral and animal kingdom were created from earth. All matter is born from the womb of the five elements

Philosophy

Ayurveda, is entirely based on the laws of nature. Ayurveda considers Man as a miniature replica or small model of the Universe. The theory of macrocosm – micorcosm continuum’ (Loka – purusha.samya) is the most important principle of Ayurveda. The man and the universe are made up of five basic elements called as ‘Panchamahabhuta’. They are akasha (ether / space), vayu (air / motion), teja (fire / rediant energy), ap (water / cohesive factor) and prithvi (Earth / mass). The individual (purusha) and the universe (toka) remain in constant interaction with each other. They derive and draw materials from each other to maintain their normality and homoestasis.

Human Constitution

The five elements manifest in the human body as three principles or humors, known as Tridosha:

Air + Ether = Vata
Fire + Water = Pitta
Earth + Water = Kapha

Together they govern all biological, physiological and physiopathological functions – when out of balance they contribute to the disease process. In order to live we need each of the elements, but there is usually a dominant quality in each one of us. The best way to determine our overall Prakruti or constitution is to consult an Ayurvedic Doctor who will be able to determine your unique individual constitution. In the case of skin and hair treatments, we are best to focus on the presenting qualities of the elements known as Vikruti – as that is the presenting condition. As seasons change, our lifestyles change, so does our conditional constitution – this is known Vikruti.

Qualities in general

Vata Pitta Kapha
Dry Oily Oily
Cold
Hot Cold
Light
Light
Heavy
Irregular Intense Stable
Mobile Fluid Viscous
Rough Acidic Dense
Quick Liquid Smooth
  Sharp Dull

Functions of Vata, Pitta & Kapha

Vata Pitta Kapha
Movement Body Heat Stability
Breathing Temperature Energy
Natural Urges Digestion Lubrication
Transformation of Tissues Perception Unctuousness
Motor Functions Understanding Forgiveness
Sensory Functions Hunger Greed
Ungroundedness Thirst Attachment
Secretions Intelligence Accumulation
Excretions Anger Holding
Fear Hate Possessiveness
Emptiness Jealousy  
Anxiety    

Seasons

Vata Pitta Kapha
Autumn Summer Winter

Spring – variable e.g. early Spring can be Kapha/Vata late Spring can be Vata/Pitta

Age

Vata Pitta Kapha
50+ 17-49 0-16
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