Kapha - Pitta - Vata

Nature inside and outside

Our nature is not only outside our skin, but also inside. The outside and inside nature are interlinked and affect each other with the changes that happens as time goes by, year after year, which is what makes our body grow and age. The outside nature changes every day from morning to evening and every year through the seasons. According to the changes in the nature outside our inside nature also changes from hour to hour, season to season, and year after year.

Prakruti (Birth dominant elements)

Although every person is born with the influence of the five elements and its three forces, if carefully examined we can find out that among the others one force is slightly or much higher, which is called the prakruti, the birth dominant.

In a person’s body (right wrist pulse - masculine side) and mind (left wrist pulse - feminine side) prakruti can be either the same or different. According to traditional ayurveda, where the diagnose is done by checking the pulse both on the right and left wrists of a person, if the prakruti is different in body and mind, it should be denoted as a combination of forces.

Three forces in the nature

Ayurveda describes nature as the united form of the five elements and its influences as the three forces – kapha (earth-water), pitha (fire-water) and vata (either-air). Whether it is a leaf or a drop of water, we can see the influence of these three major forces in everything in the nature, creating changes from time to time, from season to season.

In the spring a leaf is influenced by kapha and then changes its colour from green to yellow through the summer and autumn and fall down to earth in the winter with the influence of pitta and then vata.

A drop of water changes its form into solid ice with the influence of kapha, and later into the liquid form of water when influenced by pitta. It rises as steam to sky and form the clouds when it is influenced by vata.

The role of vata in the nature is to decompose things and release the elements back into the nature to support the construction of new things. This is how a fallen leaf is decaying on the ground and fertilises the tree by its essence, climbing back to life through its roots.

Recognize the elements at a glance

During the pregnancy, according to the dominating elements, ‘the character’ of the child is formed in the mother’s uterus. The character of the child means for instance that if it is a kapha dominant child the bone and muscle structure will normally be broad and heavy with large features and moist, oily skin. That child will generally be slow in motion and have a caring character. If it is a pitha dominant child by birth it generally has medium weight, light/sensitive skin and hair, and when it grows we can see hot, quick, sharp, sporty and intellectual features in speech, actions and reactions. A vata dominant child will generally have sleek bone and muscle structure and smaller features with lower body weight and a tendency to dry skin. His or her character can be insecure and artistic.

PDE (Present dominating elements)

Keep one thing in mind; when you are born with the higher influence of any elements, that will be considered as your birth dominant elements (prakruti). Your birth dominant elements won’t change, but with the influence of age dominant elements your body and mind can change when passes through different ages, seasons and even different times of the day and night.

Another very important factor to remember while following ayurveda is that because of wrong food structure and lifestyle for a long period of time your PDE (presently dominating elements) might be different than your prakruti (birth dominant elements). This state is considered as an imbalanced state (vikruti) and is a state that many people get confused about, which recommendations to follow. While practicing ayurveda keep one important thing in mind that you always need to follow the recommendations to balance your PDE, whether it is your prakruti (birth dominant elements) or vikruti (imbalance).

Balance or imbalance

Whatever our prakruti (birth dominant) is, if we don’t take care of our body and mind with right aahar (food), vihar (lifestyle) and vijar (thoughts), while growing through different seasons of life - childhood, youth, mid-age and old-age, one or two or even all three forces can get out of balance and cause symptoms in the initial stage and diseases of the organs in the long period of time.

The imbalance of the elements, vikruti, needs to be observed in time and corrected immediately. That is why, whatever your prakruti is, if you have a vikruti, traditional ayurveda recommends you to correct that imbalance before you start working with your birth-dominant elements (prakruti).

Keep in mind that your vikruti (imbalance) might not always be your prakruti (birth dominant element). That is why you always need to consider your PDE (present dominating element) to follow ayurveda recommendations.

The characteristics of kapha, pitta and vata

Kapha...

...generates life
and the symbolic meaning is love
...binds everything together
...replaces new tissues
...is nourishing
and motherly
and caring
...supports stability

Properties

Slow
Steady
Heavy
Solid
Cold
Oily
Dense

In a human body the heart is the cradle of kapha and its natural feeling is the flow of love from it. While the heart physically functions by pumping the blood into different parts of the body, mentally its purpose is to generate the water of love and pump it into the plants in the garden of your life. In mental and physical function, continuous flow is the sign of health and blockages are the sign of disease. For instance, through the excess of kapha saturated fats accumulate in the blood streams and make obstacles in the circulatory system which is one of the major threats to life by causing heart attacks. At the same time through the attachments in love relationships, the feelings won’t flow naturally and that causes disappointments and sadness in life. While the right balance of kapha promotes stability and youthfulness in the mind and body, the imbalance in kapha, or the high gravity, creates over attachments and obesity.

Pitta...

...is maintaining life
and the symbolic meaning is light
...controls the cycle of seasons
...is pedagogic and organized
...controls the body heat
...promotes the vision of the eyes
...helps the body to break down the food

Properties

Hot
Light
Intense
Sharp
Pungent
Acidic

The solar plexus is the cradle of pitta in the body and it resides in a human body in the upper abdominal region just above the navel. While the balanced state of pitta gives a strong digestion, good eye power, sharp memory, mental patience, efficiency in speech and action, imbalance creates problems in the metabolism, low immune power and blood values, high stress, anger or irritation, dissatisfaction in life. If the state of pitta aggravation continues for a long period, body tissues can damage with the acidic power and externally it causes skin diseases like eczema or psoriasis, and internally creates ulcers or tumors, especially in the digestive system, the stomach, liver and pancreas.

Vata...

...promotes movements
and the symbolic meaning is life/change/time
...is supporting the nature’s recycling process by the theory of destruction for construction
...is artistic

Properties

Light
Cold
Dry
Rough
Moving
Quick
Changeable
Irregular

Physically, in a human body vata resides in the lower abdominal area and controls the reproductive organs and the lower digestive organs like colon and rectum. While the balance of vata gives necessary movements and enough rest for the body and creative thoughts and stability for the mind, imbalances of vata generates pain in the knees and hips, cold and dryness in the skin, stiffness in the muscles and joints, indigestion and toxic accumulation in the blood, gas formation in the colon, reproductive disease of prostate/ovaries, menstrual disorders and miscarriages. And on the mind level vata imbalance gives distracted thoughts, fearful feelings or dreams and anxiety as the deep emotion.

This unique health test by Janesh Vaidya will help you to find your PDE (present dominating elements) in your body and mind systems. The test result will lead you to the answers for your queries regarding your physical and mental health issues.

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