IMPORTANCE OF DOSHAS AND CONSTITUTION IN MAINTAINING HEALTH AND BALANCE IN LIFE

Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing therapy of the world. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’. Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the ‘Mother of All Healing’. This healing therapy places great emphasis on preventive techniques and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.

The Importance of Doshas in Maintaining this Balance


Doshas are the vital energies or humor, which control the whole body. The physiology of the human body is governed by three vital energies, which can never be measured in any real sense, but only observed and monitored. According to Ayurveda, everything in existence is made up of five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether/Space. These five elements are expressed as three Dosha types in the human body. Vata corresponds to Ether and Air, Pitta corresponds to Fire and Water, and Kapha corresponds to Earth and Water. Each person has a unique combination of Doshas from birth. This is referred to as your body constitution.

It is important to note that the word Dosha in Sanskrit translates to the English word ‘fault’, meaning a crash or point of weakness where you might go out of balance. By knowing your dominant Dosha and constitution, you can more easily identify where and when you fall out of balance. You can also quickly and effectively bring back balance by including Dosha balancing foods in your diet, exercising and performing recommended activities.

YO1 instagram vata

Vata Dosha


Those with a Vata constitution had air and ether predominantly present during their birth. Vata is responsible for the body’s energy, movement and nerve impulses, which manifests as breath, circulation, elimination, and flow of thoughts.

Balancing Vata: When balanced, people with Vata Dosha are enthusiastic, light, creative, alert, quick-witted, active and open to new experiences. When out of balance, Vatas will become anxious and suffer from insomnia, constipation, gas, bloating, dry and/or rough skin. They are also prone to bouts of headache, back and/or joint pain, and cold hands and feet.

Diet for Vata: Since Vata types need to balance their cold, light, airy and dry qualities, they need to eat foods that are warm, heavy, dense, and moist. They also require sweet, sour, and salty foods. It’s important for Vatas to avoid alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and stress. They need to maintain regular bedtimes and mealtimes and indulge in moderate exercise and meditation daily. Such people should try to stay in warm, humid, quiet, safe, and comfortable environments.

YO1 instagram pitta

Pitta Dosha


Pitta is governed by fire and water and is responsible for transformation and regulation of metabolism, body temperature, digestion and intelligence. Pitta is essential for the digestive and endocrine system of the body.

Balancing Pitta: When balanced, Pitta types are content and well-structured with strong digestion, good vision, sharp intellect, and radiant skin. When out of balance, Pittas can become angry or hot-headed and may experience acid indigestion, diarrhoea, gastritis, stomach and intestinal ulcers, fever, hot flashes, infections, rashes, acne, eczema and liver infections.

Diet for Pitta: Since Pittas need to bring balance to their hot, fluid, and sharp qualities, they need to eat cool, dry, and mild foods. They also require sweet, bitter, and astringent foods. It’s important that Pitta types practice moderation, take time for play and laughter, spend time in nature (especially around bodies of water) and enjoy exercise (but avoid extreme workouts or competition). Pitta types should also avoid sources of heat (e.g. mid-day sun) and stay in cool, well-ventilated environments.

YO1 instagram KAPHA

Kapha Dosha

 
Kapha’s prominent energies are water and earth. Kapha is essential for structure and fluidity, and manifests as weight, growth, strength, tissue lubrication, and formation.

Balancing Kapha: When balanced, Kapha types are lovable, strong, patient, loyal, supportive, stable and calm. When out of balance, Kaphas may become greedy, lethargic and depressed and may suffer from obesity, diabetes, respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis, and swelling and tumors. They may also become resistant to change and hang on to things and people after they are no longer necessary.

Diet for Kapha: Since people with Kapha Dosha need to balance their moist, soft and heavy qualities, they need to eat light, dry and fiery foods. They also benefit from eating astringent, bitter and pungent foods. In addition, it’s important for Kaphas to wake up before 6 a.m., take their main meal at noon and exercise regularly and vigorously. Kaphas tend to adhere to their routine, but they need variety and new experiences. They benefit from dry, warm environments.

Constitution - Body Type


Prakruti, an individual’s baseline constitution is determined at the time of conception and relates to inborn or permanent physical and emotional characteristics and tendencies. These would include qualities such as height, natural eye and hair colour and innate personality qualities. While all three doshas are present in every constitution, they are present in different ratios. For example, some may have a high concentration of Pitta (fire) in their constitution, with Kapha (earth) secondary and only a small amount of Vata (air), but someone else may have a different combination.

Knowing your constitution is useful because it increases awareness of your natural strengths and challenges. This can be a positive step towards understanding health. A combination of two Dosha is called Dwandwaja, which is common in everyone. Tridoshaja is a combination of three Doshas and Ekadoshaja is the term for those exhibiting a single Dosha type, which is rare. In this manner, there are a total of 7 types of constitution.

With a combination of all these additional types, there are a more complex array of types that are best determined by an Ayurvedic wellness specialist who can help you determine the best foods and activities for your body constitution.

Bodily Imbalances


Another step towards understanding health, according to Ayurvedic principles, is to understand if and how we have strayed from our natural, healthy constitution. Vikruti is a Sanskrit word loosely translated as a “changed condition of body, mind and consciousness.” In Ayurveda, it is most often used to describe your current state of health (or ill-health) in relation to your Prakruti, or “natural state.”

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are positive forces in the body but, due to environmental, emotional or physical conditions or stress, they can increase or, less often, decrease beyond what is the appropriate level for our constitution. Vitiated doshas may cause an imbalance in the body or mind. This imbalance, or Vikruti, creates an environment that is more hospitable to diseases. While Prakruti governs permanent characteristics, Vikruti reflects temporary changes, like gaining or losing pounds, feeling nervous or irritable, developing a cold or flu, etc.

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What is Ayurveda?

Practiced by the great sages of ancient India, Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of holistic medicine defined as Knowledge of Life (Ayu meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge). It describes the healthy and unhealthy state of life (mind and body) and describes the methods of balancing unhealthy conditions. Ayurveda focuses on the wellness of every person as a whole. Since the constitution differs from person to person, the wellness therapies also differ and are unique to every individual.

What is Naturopathy?

Human beings have remarkable recuperative powers that can heal the body on its own without external chemical or surgical interference, which simply suppresses symptoms but does not heal nor remove the root cause of the disease. Naturopathy seeks to heal the body by promoting its own internal processes. Naturopathy gives importance to internal hygienic conditions using healing therapies such as Dietetics, Hydrotherapy, Mud therapy, Reflexology, and Massage, among others.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a lifestyle, to be incorporated. It includes practices like Kriyas, Asanas, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra, Meditation etc.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a holistic energy healing technique where certified healer directs universal energy to the person who seeks healing. This restores your emotional, physical and spiritual energy.

What is included in your all-inclusive package?

If you choose our all-inclusive package, you will get a well-appointed luxurious room, Ayurvedic therapies, Naturopathic therapies ( hydrotherapy, massage, mud therapy, reflexology, dietetics) yoga sessions, acupuncture, all meals, all amenities, and a personal wellness consultation.

What types of food do you have?

Our culinary program is based on a wholesome, balanced and portioned diet. All of the food served at YO1 is locally sourced, organic, and sustainable. The ingredients that are used are free of harmful chemicals, alkaline, and genetic modification to create meals that promote an optimum state of health.

Where are you located?

We are located in the tranquil Catskills Mountains in Monticello, New York. Resting on over 1,300 acres of pristine landscape, including the historic and impressive Kutsher property, YO1 is easily accessible and offers guests the fresh air and serenity needed to make the profound changes in their lives that they are seeking.

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