The great thing about Ayurveda is it focuses on our own energy flow type. This allows us to individualize our health plan; foods, daily routines, exercises, imbalances, how we handle stress, and even how we set goals and learn how to stick to them. Even modern medicine is beginning to discover that health is not one size fits everyone. We are all different. Our bodies, minds, and souls handle and process things differently.
So, what are the different energies? There are three main types of energies Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a combination of these three in their physiology, but one is more predominant than the other. You go through two different types of energies throughout your life. Your Prakriti, which is the one you are born with, stays with you throughout your life, and your vikriti, the one that is more dominant now. The dominant one is determined by your age, environment, and any imbalances you may be experiencing. You can find your energy flow type by taking the quiz.
What does it mean when these energies are out of balance? Our bodies strive to abide by natural law. We are inherently connected to nature. We have circadian rhythms that sync us to the Earth’s natural flow. We have significantly lost that connection to the earth, creating many imbalances for humanity overall. What does this mean for you? It creates disharmony within our bodies, oftentimes leading to dis-ease or disease. Some examples of creating disharmony and dis-ease in our bodies are not following a daily routine, not getting enough sleep, not eating healthy foods or the right types of foods for our bodies, being too stressed out, and….. you get the idea. Our bodies are also full of microorganisms that help us thrive in everyday life. They help us digest our food, process and deliver nutrients and so much more! When our bodies are imbalanced it throws off the microorganisms, wreaking havoc on our digestive system, and affecting nearly every aspect of our life. Side note: did you know that your gut is responsible for 80% of your immune system? Anyway, that discussion will be a whole other topic!
So, what are the energy flows, and why are they important to you? Our consciousness is expressed in our physiology through these three streams of intelligence.
Vata is responsible for movement, transportation, and communication in our physiology, which are functions of our body’s channels called Srotas. Examples of srotas in our body are the respiratory system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system.
Pitta is our fire, it is responsible for metabolism, digestion, and the transformation of nutrients into energy in our bodies. Our digestive fire is called Agni. When out of balance, our agni can be too hot or too weak.
The Kapha in our physiology is responsible for the structure of our bodies. It also lubricates our joints and tissues.
Let’s dive into the different energies and learn about each one and how they affect us if we get out of balance.
Vata energy types are made of the elements air and space. In our physiology, Vata is responsible for transformation, movement, and communication. People with the Vata energy type can be entertaining, dynamic, and enthusiastic. They can be very creative, insightful, and sensitive people. They are great multitaskers. They often learn very quickly but can forget quickly as well. They can get overwhelmed easily and have frequent changes in mood. They come up with great ideas, but often get bored easily and move on to the next before that idea is completed. They have a big enthusiasm for life and love to travel. People may describe you as fun-loving and enthusiastic but often impulsive.
When Vatas are in balance they may experience:
- Mental clarity and alertness
- Healthy body tissues
- Normal digestion
- Strong immunity
- Good sleep
When Vatas are out of balance they may experience:
- Have dry skin
- Tension headaches
- Degenerative arthritis
- Anxiety; tends to worry
- Intolerance of cold
Pitta energy types are made of the elements water and fire. In our physiology, Pitta is responsible for metabolism, transportation, and digestion. Pitta energy-type people have fiery personalities. They are quick-witted, determined, ambitious, and highly intelligent. They often like to be in control and like being the center of attention. They have a good memory and can be very focused. They are hard-working, dependable, and very goal-oriented. They are charismatic and make very good leaders. They can have a temper, be very critical of themselves and others, and can be a perfectionist.
When Pittas are in balance they may experience:
- Strong mental concentration
- Good body temperature
- Strong Digestion
- Sharp intellect
- Lustrous complexion
- Good energy
When Pittas are out of balance they may experience:
- Skin rashes
- Inflammatory skin diseases
- Ulcers, heartburn
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Excessive body heat
- Premature balding/graying
- Vision problems
Kapha energy types are made of the elements water and fire. In our physiology, Kapha is responsible for structure, cohesion, and lubrication. Kapha energy-type people are loving, caring, grounded, reliable, trustworthy, and supportive. They love to eat and appreciate art. They may be a slow learner, but they retain information for the long term. They have big hearts and are very compassionate people. They are very protective of your loved ones. They take life at a slower pace and like to relax. Kapha energy types are typically very affectionate and generous.
When Kaphas are in balance they may experience:
- Good muscular strength
- Strong immunity
- Strong joints and bone structure
- Good stamina
When Kaphas are out of balance they may experience:
- Oily skin
- Slow digestion
- Sinus congestion
- Nasal allergies
Ayurvedic treatments work to reduce the accumulation of the doshas in our bodies which cause imbalance and can lead to disease. We can also learn to live in harmony with our particular dosha so we can live a healthy and balanced life. The doshas are qualities of nature and living as best we can in accordance with the laws of nature help to keep us in balance. Ayurveda is thousands of years old. It’s a way of living that is timeless. It is the most ancient and sophisticated science of integrated and holistic medicine. Even in modern medicine and modern diets information is constantly changing. It is so hard to figure out what is right for our health. Ayurveda has never changed because it is ancient knowledge that works! Many of the techniques have been scientifically proven and doctors are starting to catch on to these practices.
Learning about your energy flow and making adjustments to daily life to refine your health. Sounds easy right? It is! Health doesn’t have to be complicated! We often make things way harder than they should be, and that creates agitation and imbalance in our bodies, making the problem worse. Health can be simple enough for everyone to follow. Ayurveda can help you reach your health goals with ease and longevity.