Travels of a Yogi: Ayurveda 101


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Greetings from the Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort in Kerala, India! In previous posts on Facebook or Twitter, some of you may have seen me mention Ayurveda and asked yourself, Ayur-what??? Broken down, AYUR means “life” and VEDA means “science,” so literally, the science of life. Ayurveda is a scientific system that uses mostly plants and herbs to treat common ailments and to keep the body functioning optimally. Ayurveda is a form of medicine that is approximately 5,000 years old. In Ayurveda, every living thing is made of of 5 basic eternal elements:

1. Earth
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Air
5. Ether

These elements are present in each person, but to varying degrees. The elements are broken down into what is called our body’s “constitution.” The constitutions are then further broken down into what are known as Doshas. There are three Doshas:

1. Vatta
2. Pitta
3. Kapha

Each Dosha carries different properties, functions and present themselves in different places of the body.

Vatta is the prime Dosha and steers the ship for the other two Doshas.
Vatta Properties: Dry, bright, cold, rough, subtle and minute, moving
Vatta Functions: Controls movement, breathing and natural urges, tissue transformation, motor functions, sensory functions, controls secretions and extretions, fear, impluses and anxiety.
Vatta Sites: Large intestines, pelvic regions, thighs, ears, bones and skin

Pitta Properties: Slightly oily, penetrating, hot, light, unpleasant odor, spreading nature, liquid form
Pitta Functions: Facilitates metabolism & hormonal function, regulates body heat & temp, helps digestions, intelligent, hunger & thirst, perceptive, color & complexion, anger, hate, jealousy
Pitta Sites: Naval, stomach and upper part of small intestines, sweat, lymph, blood, eye, skin

Kapha Properties: Oily, cold, heavy, slow acting, slimy, soft, stable
Kapha Functions: Gives stability and energy to the body, development of the body, lubrication, enthusiasm, sexual urges, forgiveness, immune resistance, attachment, holding, possessiveness, greed, accumulation, knowledge
Kapha Sites: Chest, throat, head, trachea, joints, stomach, lymph, fat tissue, nose & tongue.

Hmmmm…any of these sound like you How can you know for sure? You can visit one of my favorite websites and answer a questionnaire to learn what your Dosha is and how to care for it to keep you body in balance. More on our Ayurvedic treatments in my next blog.

To learn what Dosha you are, please visit:

Namaste’~ Lisa

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