Vata, Pitta and Kapha

by Dani Trudeau

No, these are not American sorority chapters, these are doshas. In simple terms, dosha means energy. I have been reading Jasmine Hemsley’s book, East by West and learning about doshas, which are regulating forces of nature, present in every tissue, every cell and every organ in our body, thereby they govern all of the body’s processes, from bodily functions to our thoughts and feelings. Typically, every person has one dominant form of dosha that makes up his or her personal Ayurvedic constitution or prakriti.  Although we’re all born with all three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), they come together differently in each one of us, and it is this unique combination that makes us who we are.

I am a newbie to this ancient wisdom but I like finding ways to explore me further and I also like the idea that we can bring ourselves back into balance through food, drink, movement, temperatures and thoughts. We can view natural herbs and spices, colours, textures, aromas, environments and lifestyle choices as “medicine.” I also like that in Ayurveda, every individual is unique and there is no one way or routine that works for everyone. It is super easy to get stuck in the limited thinking of right and wrong. We compare ourselves with others and often think by doing what someone else is doing it will automatically work for us. First you have to be willing to enter into a deep, continuous exploration of yourself. This is the never ending work- the good work.

Let’s apply this thinking to our working lives. I think, at times, we could do with more looking in than looking out. And not in the navel-gazing way, in the way that makes sure that we bring our best selves to the world. Check in with yourself or with another about who you are at your best, your worst and what things can you do be more in balance. What are your dominant strengths, talents, gifts and experiences, that when in balance, is you at your best? Work can fulfil us or deplete us. And since we spend easily half our waking hours on the job, our occupation affects our longevity and health. If that is not motivation, I don’t know what is. So here’s to the never ending fun of trying to figure yourself out- possibly the biggest job of your life, but also the most worthy.