When you are sitting by a stream of gushing water, absorbed in it, it can be hard to realize this simple fact of life—we are that. We are made up of water and the other five elements that exist in nature. This understanding forms the baseline of Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old science of wellness and longevity; a science so precise that when your pulse is examined by an Ayurveda doctor, he/she can tell you not just about the imbalances at the root of existing diseases but can share in elaborate detail specific qualities about your body type, behavior, and conditions you may be predisposed to.
The science of Ayurveda is all about creating balance—balance between the body, mind, and spirit, and balance between the tridosha (three doshas) that take from the five elements in nature. It does this by first identifying the prakruti or nature of an individual. Secondly, it examines the existing dosha imbalances. Lastly, Ayurveda provides a roadmap to an individual to live a healthy, perfectly balanced life using specific herbs, holistic cleanses and detox treatments, personalized diet that is aligned with one’s unique dosha constitution.
Your Ayurvedic body type, or constitution, is at the heart of Ayurveda’s approach to well-being. Knowing your constitution allows you to maximize your quality of life, health, and happiness by following the recommendations for food and lifestyle for each constitution.
Ayurveda is a personalized school of medicine where there is no one size fits all when it comes to wellness and treatments. Ayurveda uses an ancient and time tested tool for diagnosis of imbalances in the body called the Nadi Pariksha, or pulse diagnosis.
An Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis with an expert is the best way to recognize one’s constitution. It can help determine what your dosha dominance is and what are the current vikritis, or dosha imbalances. Pulse diagnosis in Ayurveda is different and runs much deeper than the Western method of pulse examination. In Ayurveda, it includes examination of an individual’s state of body, mind, and spirit as a whole. It meaningfully examines not just the pulse rate, rhythm, and volume but also observes the flow, amplitude, force, and consistency. It is based on the knowledge that symptoms manifest in the pulse before they manifest in the affected part of the body and that severe aggravation of doshas leads to illnesses in the body. For example, the effect of an imbalance in your blood can be detected much earlier in your pulse.
We discuss here general characteristics of body types of each dosha to help familiarize readers with general tendencies. So read on to acquaint yourself with the main constitutions and the self-discovery that is the joy of Ayurveda.