When I first learned about Ayurveda all I wanted was for someone to tell me what my dosha was. Kapha, Pitta and Vata are the three life forces, or body types, according to Ayurveda. The three doshas are in turn made up of the five elements – Kapha is earth and water; Pitta is fire and water; and Vata is air and either. And while we all have all five elements, and therefore all three doshas, in us, two of the doshas are typically dominant in every individual.
I have since learned through my studies of Ayurveda, however, that figuring out the natural state of our doshas is not that easy. The reason being is because we are constantly changing due to what is going on in the outside world – the season for example – and what is going on internally because of what we are eating and pressures or joys of our life. Everything we put in our bodies and that interacts with our bodies has the power to change our elemental state. So while we are all born with a constitution of our doshas that is purely us – it is very rare we are in that state. Instead, what I have learned is that Ayurveda needs to work backwards and figure out what is going on with our doshas NOW – to get to where our doshas need to be.
Recently, I was fortunate to be able to take a series of classes taught by the amazing DeAnna Batdorff who owns the Dhyana Center in Sebastapol, California. She has an incredibly accessible and modern view on how to incorporate Ayurveda realistically into our modern lives and is a gifted healer. As part of her approach, she breaks down the doshas into four qualities that we can all use to check in with ourselves to see how we are feeling day to day and even minute by minute. These qualities are simply: hot, cold, dry or wet. And as we always do with Ayurveda, if you are feeling hot and dry, for example, balance that by eating or doing something that is cold and wet – drinking a cooling beverage or slowing down and cooling off with some breath work or meditation.
So next time you are feeling a little off, ask yourself – are you feeling hot, cold, dry or wet – and see what opposites you can apply to make yourself feel better. Yes, it really can be that simple. Give it a try and let me know the results!