While I just returned from a five-day safari in Africa, I have to confess aside from my dog who I treat and talk to like a person, I have never been a huge animal lover. I have nothing against them, per se, just never had much interest in them. That said, I believe in taking opportunities when they are presented to me and if I flew over 24 hours to go to Africa, there was no way I was going to pass on the incredible opportunity to go on safari.
And I have to say, while there was way too much driving for my liking and it was a bit surreal to be stalking animals all day, the adventure gave me a new love and appreciation for animals. What struck me the most is that us humans are supposedly the most evolved species yet we are the ones paying our hard earned money to chase around animals all day and capture the perfect picture of them doing exactly what they do each day and they truly could care less.
I learned a lot about different types of animals on my safari and what struck me was that many of the characteristics of the different species corresponded with the doshic body types according to Ayurveda.
Take the mighty elephant for example. Elephants are quintessentially Kapha. They have large frames and are known for being loving, gentle, and a stickler for routine. And elephants take their routines seriously as apparently all elephants do all day every day for every waking moment of their lives is eat. Yup, they just eat grass and leaves until they fall asleep and they live until their stomach can’t eat any more leaves and grass and they die. And the fact that they live on the light diet of leaves and greens is exactly what a Kapha should be eating.
Next is king of the jungle – the lion – the undeniable Pitta. Pitta’s have strong appetites and digestion and can pretty much eat anything – much like the carnivore lions that hunt and prey. Pitta’s are also courageous and natural born leaders and when you view lion’s in their natural habitat it is very clear who is boss. Granted, other animals stay away from them because they are literally afraid for their lives, but lions also have this aura and air about them that lets you know they are in charge. But it is a hard life for a lion, getting fresh prey for your family isn’t easy, yet they courageously forge ahead. (Actually, interesting tid bit is the women do all the hunting for the male and her cubs…just sayin’..).
Last but not least is the Vata giraffe. Giraffe’s have light, thin frames and while they are huge creatures they walk very gracefully – almost as if they are floating on air up in the ether. And while they also feed off leaves, because of their height, they get to eat the leaves off the top of the trees, giving them access to higher quality food which a Vata needs to sustain their constitutions.
It never ceases to amaze me how Ayurveda can be applied everywhere you look. What is your favorite animal and how what dosha do you think it corresponds with?