Most of us in an urban scenario lead fairly busy and stress-ridden lives. No doubt, there are good and bad times! However, it is a constant dance between the peaks and the dips, with the individual always trying to bring back the balance, managing internal and external factors within the limits of his or her understanding.
Do you know what really influences this dance?
Why do you hate a desk-job? Why do you and your partner have different food preferences? Why is a colleague such a great leader? Or why does a team member consistently underperform? Why does your spouse not wake up early in spite of a million discussions on the topic? Why do you choose tropical places for a holiday? Why are you able to exercise longer while your sister tires out in an hour?
These and many more fundamental questions that you deal with everyday can be answered with a good knowledge of the basic operating principles of Ayurveda. These are the Doshas or primary life forces – Vata (air + space), Pitta (fire + water), & Kapha (earth + water). These forces come together to define the Prakriti, an individual’s characteristic personality. Each one of us has our own unique Prakriti that is characterized by a dominance of one or more doshas. This is our true self. As long we remain close to this true self, the mind and body are in perfect balance.
How do we know what our Prakriti is? How can we achieve a balanced state of body and mind in daily life? How can we apply this knowledge in our work and personal relationships?
The Doshas workshop facilitated by Pradeep Gowda at a1000yoga addressed these questions and a lot more. The insightful session began with a Prakriti analysis test. The participants were guided through the questionnaire, in the process also being educated about the fundamental features of the three doshas.
The second part of the workshop saw a deep-dive into the doshas. Equipped with knowledge from the test, the participants were eager to discover more about their doshas and were also able to clearly grasp the finer details of the ayurvedic principles. They learnt how the different personality types behave in various relatable situations and environments.
From exploring the impulsive, restless, creative Vatas, the strong motivated, logical Pittas and the slow, inactive, loyal Kaphas, the session touched upon most personality aspects of the various doshas. Each dosha has its advantages and disadvantages that can be nurtured or worked on once the awareness sets in. To draw on a few characteristics from the whole pool, Vata dominant people are adaptable, creative and intuitive but not grounded and stable. Pitta dominant people are grounded, clever, sharp and efficient but they are argumentative, critical and aggressive. Kapha dominant people are calm, led by the heart, strong and steady and loyal. But they are also slow, dull and not driven. Therefore, even from a relationship perspective, it would be wise to choose a partner who can complement one’s body type. A Vata-Pitta combination is a more valuable association that enables the other to grow, rather than a Vata-Vata combination.
While one can have one dominant dosha, there are also people of Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha and also Vata-Pitta-Kapha constitutions. In all cases, the inherent constitution remains mostly constant throughout a person’s life. This is passed on from the parents to the child, with the dominant doshas of the parents at the period of conception being expressed in the child. An imbalance of this inherent constitution, takes one away from his or her true self, resulting in disease. The physical, mental and emotional signs of dosha imbalance were listed out in the workshop.
The participants learnt that the doshas reflect in and are connected to the time of the day, stages of life, the seasons and other elements in nature. Taste preferences of the various doshas were also explained and diet information was recommended for the imbalanced doshas.
A lively and interactive Q&A session followed where the participants got a better perspective of different aspects of their life from choice of work to entertainment to holiday to relationships.
To sum up, the session gave a few key takeaways:
- An understanding that all three doshas are required and that one needs to be aware of ones predominant dosha/doshas
- There is a need to constantly monitor oneself to ensure that all three doshas stay balanced. It is likely that with habits or external conditions like the weather, a non-dominant dosha can also become under or overactive
- Diet is the very first and easiest factor to modify towards a balanced body and mind
- Dosha knowledge gives a deeper understanding of the self and others around towards creating acceptance and more harmony in relationships
- With more self-awareness, one can take better control of life, reducing conflicts and responding positively to situations in personal life or at work
- A knowledge of doshas helps decide on the best type of exercise for one’s body type; For instructors, it allows personalization of exercise regimens for students
At the end of the session, the smiles on some of the participants’ faces indicated that it had provided them with solutions to the questions they grappled with everyday. As one of the participants knowledgably said, “Now I know why my husband and I have so many arguments and secretly enjoy them too. We’re both pittas!”
a1000yoga facilitates these interesting and relevant workshops for all Urban Yogis, all year round. Log in to www.1000yoga.com
Hata Yoga practitioner & instructor