A YOGI CHA BLOG
Know your Dosha- know your tendencies
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
HABITS – CONSTITUTIONS – TENDENCIES AND ADDICTION
Know your dosha – know your tendency
The Ayurvedic perspective is holistic. The five elements that constitutes everything of material have been attributed with three qualities, or tendencies. Earth and water together are dense, heavy and cold. They are the Kapha dosha. Fire heats, moves and transforms into the Pitta dosha whereas air and ether (space) are of a very light, dry and moving force. It’s the quality of Vata. So as the earth materialises, we can see these qualities in all things and we can see how they dominate in terms of climate, vegetation and creatures. Being part of this gigantic organism that the planet is (even if we often feel separate from the rest), the humans are also constituted by the elements and therefore having these qualities inside us. Like the fish, born in water has the qualities of kapha in them (cold, dense, heavy), so has the bird the qualities of Vata since it’s “born” in the air (light, always moving, dry, ….creative in it’s artistic singing!).
So the Ayurvedic philosophy approaches the human being in the same logic. We have all the elements, all the doshas in us (80% water, acidic fiery enzymes in our digestive system, solid and heavy earthy bones, air in our breath and of course we are all really 90% space walking around, quantum physics has told us!) And depending on where we are born, what time of the year and what our parents constitution are; there will be tendencies.
Now, the beauty here is that Ayruveda is not working in a perspective of harmonising the doshas between them. You are what you are and that is perfect. A bird should not try to even out it’s kapha with it’s vata because it wouldn’t be able to fly!
You are born with a perfect combination and your metabolism is that way because of your constitution. Now we tend to mess it up because we have disconnected more and more from our natural tendencies.
Just like in any other medicinal logic; Ayurveda has for purpose to balance the organism. We talk of homeostasis in biology and it’s the same for Ayurveda. A balanced state of each dosha is one of ease, from which we take the right spontaneous action when we encounter any situation. If we are out of balance, our understanding of what is happening is also out of balance and we will tend to react in the wrong way.
Once again I say this: Know Thyself is key. If you know your constitution and you therefore know what tendencies to step out of your own homeostasis, you will know what action to take when uncomfortable.
What do I mean with this?
Let’s tap into the constitutions to see.
Someone with a dominance of VATA (remember: air and space) will be like the wind. The tendencies are lightness, movement, dryness and quickly changing all the time. When in ease, this constitution is flexible in the relationship with other people, easy to deal with and quick to adapt. However, when we move into discomfort, away from a balanced state of mind; vata tendencies will then be scattered, incapable of concentration and moody. Skin, hair and eyes will feel dry and rough. The vata person will be running around, trying to find ease in anything but incapable to do so since what it needs is GROUNDING.
Someone with a dominance of PITTA (remember: fire (and water) )will be like the sun. The tendencies are warmth, light and moving in one strong direction. Always moving up and focused. It’s a strong and charismatic personality when in ease; it motivates and directs other people. A Pitta constitution has a strong and well shaped body, It’s a captivating person. However, when unbalanced, the Pitta person is burning inside. So, like the dragon when throwing fire, they risk to kill anything that comes in their way. Anger and control will rule the relationships with others and the over heating of the body will create ulcers and eczema. They will use their power of heat to destroy themselves as they “burn the candle in both ends”. The only thing they won’t feel inclined to do, is the one thing that will help them. They need to CALM down.
Someone with a dominance of Kapha (remember: water and earth) will be like a lake. It’s a very comforting person, calm and grounding in their presence. The body rarely breaks, they are stable and flexible naturally in their joints. The skin, hair and eyes are thick and oily. The tendencies are one pointed and loyal. No quick changes in the relationships they develop and you can count on them to be there fore you. However, when kapha looses balance, it will cause a depressed state of mind in the person. The tendency will be not just not do anything. To feel sorry for oneself maybe even and reach for comforting food. It is the typical state of wanting to eat ice cream and binge watch rom-coms after a breakup. Because the kapha imbalance will also create jealousy and stubbornness. The elephant is the typical animal of kapha and we know that an elephant never forgets… So the Kapha person will isolate and close themselves off even though what they need is to be STIMULATED.
Now if you look at these tendencies and you take under consideration what ADDICTION is; then you can see that depending on the person, we might reach for one thing or another when we do not want TO FACE WHAT THE PRESENT IS OFFERING. Basically, when we are not dealing with a pain point, when we don’t want to suffer; we reach for something to make us feel better. We will have a tendency to reach for what we are inclined to and find comfort in it, temporarily. So by learning about your own tendencies, you also learn to read the signals when you go from ease to disease. You will know what your tendencies will be in a state of imbalance and can therefore take the right action.
Enjoy the blog?
I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on social media. Register for free access to online classes, courses, meditations and a whole lot more.