Understanding the Basics of Ayurveda - Air Fire Water
According to Ayurveda, the universe is divided into 5 structural elements: SPACE, AIR, FIRE, WATER AND EARTH These 5 structural elements make up the 3 doshas: VATA, PITTA + KAPHA.
All 3 doshas are present in every cell, tissue and organ. However, Ayurveda defines us by our two most prominent doshas, know as our PRAKRITI. So even though we are all a combination of all the three doshas, our Prakriti is our two most prominent, in order of most prominent to least prominent.
For example, the Prakriti VP indicates a person who is mostly Vata, secondly Pitta and lastly Kapha.
It is extremely valuable for you to have an understanding of ALL THREE doshas because everyone is working with all three in their own unique way.
Ayurveda, however, uses a much simpler and efficient model based on the archetypical energies of the 5 great elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. Once properly diagnosed it is easier to view oneself as an archetypical elemental body/mind type, rather than a chemical composite.
This helps you take your health into your own hands by choosing the herbs, foods and rhythms which enhance your personal balance. To simplify and empower us even further the 5 elements are grouped into 3 pairs:
- Space and Air combined together is called Vata
- Fire and Water combined together is called Pitta
- Water and Earth combined together is called Kapha
These 3 elemental constitutions Vata, Pitta and Kapha are at the heart of all Ayurvedic treatments. Once you know your elemental type it is simply a matter of discovering which herbs, diet and lifestyle choices bring your constitution into balance by reducing excesses or increasing deficiencies.