fbpx
The Chakras—7 Major Energy Centers

The Chakras—7 Major Energy Centers

Featured Image by Endre Balogh – https://endre-balogh.pixels.com/

Learn about Your Energy Body

& How to Awaken every cell in your body!

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means “wheel”. In our energy body we have seven “wheels of energy” and 72,000 nadis, or channels of energy (also known as meridians), and 108 marma points, or junctures where energy points meet nerve endings, also explained as points where consciousness meets matter.

We have 7 main Chakras in our physical body and many other smaller ones. Often chakras are visualized as a ball—it is more accurate to visualize them as a vortex.  Imagine a tornado or a whirlpool. The root chakra is like a vortex that spins downward through our legs. The crown chakra spirals upward, and the five chakras between spin out the front and back of our body.

 

Each of our chakras is very near one of our major endocrine glands. They are a part of our energy body but they do align with our more dense physical body’s endocrine glands and our organs.

The nadis, or channels of energy is beautifully illustrated by the stunning artwork by Alex Gray in his famous Sacred Mirrors pictured to the right. 

The First Chakra: The Root Chakra, the Muladahara Chakra, is located at the base of the spine just above the anal opening. This energy center is associated with our basic survival needs.

Its color is deep red; the seed sound (Bija) that resonates with this chakra is “LAM”.

Corresponds with the Element:  EARTH

Aligned with the Lymph Glands (neck, under the arms, in the groin, inside the chest & inside the abdomen & pelvis)

The Law of Karma governs this chakra: Try these activating intentions: Witness your choices; Consider the consequences of each of your choices & listen to your heart for messages of comfort & discomfort.

“Om Kriyam Namah” –  My actions are aligned with karmic law.

The Second Chakra, the Swadhisthana Chakra, is located just a few inches below the navel in the area of the sex organs, or in the hip area of the body. This is where our creative and sexual energy reside. This energy center is associated with our basic biological needs and we can use this force to intentionally create happiness and success in our lives.

Its color is orange, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “VAM”.

Corresponds with the Element: WATER.

Aligned with the Gonad, Overies & Testes (male/female reproduction)

The Law of Least Effort is lively in this chakra. Try these intentions: Practice acceptance, Accept responsibility; Establish your awareness in defenslessness (no need to be right or wrong).

“Om Daksham Namah” – My Actions achieve maximum benefit with minimal Effort.

The Third Chakra, the Manipura Chakra, is our power center, and it is located in the area of the solar plexus, just below the sternum.  It is where we manifest our intentions and desires. 

Its color is yellow, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “RAM”.

Element: FIRE

Aligned with the Adrenal Glands (top of kidney) & Pancreas (behind stomach, in front of spine)

The Law of Intention & Desire governs this chakra. Try these activating intentions: Be clear of what your intentions are; Trust & surrender the outcome to Nature; Practice present moment awareness.

“Om Ritam Namah” –  My intentions & desire are supported by cosmic intelligence.

The Fourth Chakra, the Anahata Chakra, is our heart chakra.  It is located in the center of our chest at about the level of our armpits, our center of love and compassion. This center is associated with our compassion and love for those in our life. When energy is freely flowing in this area, our relationships express our open-hearted connectedness with the whole of creation.

It’s color is a brilliant green, described by some as turquoise, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “YAM”.

Element: AIR

Thymus Gland (center of chest, behind the sternum)

The Law of Giving & Receiving governs the heart chakra. Try activating this law with the following intentions: Practice breath awareness; Cultivate an attitude of gratitude; Acknowledge your needs & the needs of your body and surrender to those needs.

“Om Vardhanam Namah”: I am the nourisher of the Universe and the Universe nourishes me.

The Fifth Chakra, the Vishudda Chakra, is where our expression resides and is located in the center of our throat. When we enliven this center, we are able to express unique communicate and express our talents and desires.

Its color is light blue, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “HUM”.

Element: AKASHA or ether

Aligned with the Thyroid Gland in the neck.

The Law of Detachment governs the throat chakra. To activate, try this: Practice detatchment & go with flexibility; Embrace uncertainty; Surrender to the field of pur potentiality.

“Om Anandham Namah”: My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome.

The Sixth Chakra, the Ajna Chakra, also known as “the third eye” chakra, is where our insight & intuition reside. It is located between and just slightly above our eyes. This is the center of our insight and intuition. 

Its color is a deep indigo blue, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “SHAM”.

MANIFEST/UNMANIFEST.

Element:  Super ether

Aligned with the Pituitary Gland in the brain.

The Law of Dharma (or Purpose in Life) governs this chakra. Try these activating intentions: Attend to your Silent Witness within & nurture yourself; Acknowledge your talents to become aware of your unique purpose in life; Serve others; Ask, “How can I help.”

“Om Varunam Namah” – My life is in harmony with cosmic law.

 The Seventh Chakra, the Sahasrara Chakra, or thousand-petaled lotus, is our crown chakra.  It is located at the top of our head in the area of the fontanel. Known also as the, consciousness chakra, the Sahaswara chakra is visualized as a lotus flower at the crown of the head. When the lotus unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored. This center represents the connection between our individual and universal aspects. When energy is moving through this chakra without restriction, we never lose awareness of our spiritual nature even as we move through our physical experiences in this time bound world.

Its color is violet, and the sound that resonates with this chakra is “OM”; others tell us that the sound of this chakra is pure silence.

Element: super ether

Pineal Gland in the center of the brain.

The Law of Pure Potentiality governs the seventh chakra. Try these activating intentions: Cultivate stillness in your body-mind; Commune with nature; Shift into witnessing mode; Practice non-judgement.

“Om Bavahm Namah” – I am absolute existence.

I have found a wonderful opportunity for you. It is a FREE resource, so you can learn more about your energy body, your chakras and how to work with them … read on below and sign up! This video presentation is by Anodea Judith, PhD, who has studied and worked with the Chakras for decades. Her books are used in Yoga Teacher Trainings and she is very well respected … see your opportunity to register for her free video training below. I have also posted a link to one of her best selling books on Chakras, Wheels of Life, A User’s Guide for your reference.

 

Make Every Cell In Your Body Awaken and Rejoice!

You’ve probably heard a fair amount about chakra energy centers before from yogis, healers and alternative health practitioners.

But how do you actually use this knowledge to access a dynamic, always-on flow of life energy to enhance your wellbeing, relationships, sex life, power, vitality and creativity?

Fortunately, there are very practical and simple ways to work with chakras, which allow you to tap into a vast field of energy whenever you need it.

Unfortunately, most of us have energetic blocks and imbalances as well as energy-sabotaging habits that prevent us from accessing our full vitality, which leads us to feel exhausted, scattered, dull… even ill.

The good news is that doesn’t have to continue! Bestselling author and the world’s #1 expert on chakras, Anodea Judith, will reveal the secret to optimizing your energy system, during a free virtual event hosted by The Shift Network: Supercharge Your Chakra Practice: How to Heal Your Energy Centers & Unleash the Full Power of Your Life Force.

This video-streamed seminar will directly build from Anodea’s Wheels of Life book, which has sold more than 300,000 copies and is considered the classic in the field.

 

Wheels of Life: A Users Guide

by Anodea Judith, PhD

If you would like a copy of Anodea’s book, here’s the link to purchase from Amazon: The Wheels of Life Book.  The seminar directly builds from her best-selling book, which is considered a classic.

As portals between the physical and spiritual planes, the chakras offer unparalleled opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation. Anodea Judith’s classic introduction to the chakra system, which has sold over 200,000 copies, has been completely updated and expanded. It includes revised chapters on relationships, evolution, and healing, and a new section on raising children with healthy chakras.

Wheels of Life takes you on a powerful journey through progressively transcendent levels of consciousness. View this ancient metaphysical system through the light of new metaphors, ranging from quantum physics to child development. Learn how to explore and balance your own chakras using poetic meditations and simple yoga movements―along with gaining spiritual wisdom, you’ll experience better health, more energy, enhanced creativity, and the ability to manifest your dreams.

Praise:
“Wheels of Life is the most significant and influential book on the chakras ever written.”― John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga

The Layers of Life: Mind-Body-Spirit

The Layers of Life: Mind-Body-Spirit

According to Ayurveda, we are multi-dimensional beings with many layers of life. This is a different concept than Western, aleopathic medicine, has—which treats each individual merely as a bag of molecules. We often hear mind-body-spirit referred to when speaking of a holistic model of an individual. In Ayurveda, there is a model for this. There is a model for this called the layers of life which I explain in this post, the layers of life are also referred to as the Koshas in some branches of Yoga training.

The Ayurvedic Model of the Human Physiology as a Multi-Dimensional Being/The Quantum Mechanical Framework: The quantum mechanical body is a localized concentration of energy and information in a universal field of energy and information. From this perspective, the physiology is viewed as consciousness first and matter second.

According to Adi Shankara, 9th century yogic sage, there are 3 primary layers of life: physical, psychological and spiritual. Although we tend to think of these levels of existence as separate, they are consciousness in different disguises. When we are able to freely access these layers, we achieve balance and integration, optimal health and vital energy.

The Physical Body:  (Stuhula Sharir)

1.)  Anna maya kosha: food or nourishment – our covering made of food. 

2.) Prana maya kosha: our energy body (chakras, nadi’s, electromagnetic field)

3.) The Extended Body or our Environment

 The Subtle Body:  (Sukshma Sharir)

The subtle body exists in time, but does not occupy any space. Transformation fields have a longer shelf life than the physical body. Includes the mind, the intellect and the ego.

1.)Mano maya kosha: the mind/mental layer. This the field where we experience our emotions.

2.) Buddhi maya kosha:  the intellect. The intellect discriminates for us, deciding what is good or bad, safe or unsafe, what we like or do not like.

The Intellect: Ideas, concepts, beliefs.Determines what action should be taken in reaction to the information brought in through the senses; identified by manas (the mind) & evaluated by ahankara (or ego).

3.) Ahankara: The Ego – the aspect of the mind that claims ownership. “That’s my car, my child, my family.”

 The Causal Body: (Karana Sharir)

Ananda maya kosha – individuality; the body of bliss; conditioned bliss.

1.) The personal soul (atman); 2.) The collective soul; 3.) The Universal Soul (Brahman) – Unity Consciousness.

The Layers of Life

The Physical Body – The Field of Molecules

According to Shankara’s model, the physical body is comprised of three layers: the environment, the personal body, and the energetic body.

Personal Body

Recognizing that the vast majority of the cells in your body are derived from the food you eat, Sankara named the physical body anamayakosha, meaning the covering made of food. This idea underscores the need to  pay attention to the food you consume to maximize nourishment and minimize toxicity.

Energy Body

Shankara named the third layer of the physical body, pranamayakosha, meaning the sheath made of vital energy. This vital energy, known as prana, breathes life into biochemicals and orchestrates cells into a vibrant living being.

Environment—the extended body

Although your senses may tell you otherwise, there is no distinct boundary between your personal and extended bodies, which are in constant and dynamic exchange. Each breath that you inhale and exhale is a reminder of the continuous converation taking place between your physical body and your environment.

The Subtle Body—the Mind Field

Shankara identified three layers of the subtle body: the mind, the intellect, and the ego.

The Mind

Within this framework, the mind is the repository of sendory impressions. As the mind cycles through different states of consciousness, your sensory experiences change. Dreaming reality is different than waking reality. Shankara named this level of the subtle body manomaya kosha.

The Intellect

This is the aspect of mind that discriminates and makes decisions. Shankara called this layer buddimaya kosha.

The Ego

According to Shankara, the ego is that aspect of your being that identifies with the positions and possessions of your life. It is ultimately your self-image and identity. In yoga, the ego is known as ahankara, the “I-former.”

The Causal Body—The Field of Pure Potentiality

Shankara identified three layers of the causal body: the personal domain, the collective domain, and the universal domain.

Personal

According to Shankara, every individual has a personal soul with unique memores and desires. These memories and desires guide the course of your life to the fulfillment of your soul’s highest purpose.

Collective

The second sheath of the causal body is the collective domain. This realm calls you to live a mythical life. The gods and goddesses that reside within your sould have one desire—to express their creative power through you.

Universal

The deepest aspect of your being is beyond space, time and causality, yet gives rise to the manifest universe. This is the universal domain of spirit in which all distinctions merge into unity. It is known in Sanskrit as Brahman.

Discovering Yourself

Now that you understand that you are a multi-dimensional being, let’s take a few minutes to explore your identity. Please close your eyes, bring your attention into your heart, and listen to the answers that emerge in response to these questions:

Who Am I?
What do I want?
How can I serve?

Please take a few moments to jot down the answers that come to you in your journal. We will suggest that you bring these questions and answers into your awareness each time before you quiet you mind in meditation. 

Primordial Sound Meditation

Led by Deepak Chopra & Roger Gabriel

Master The Chopra Center’s signature Style of meditation—natural, efforless, and personalized. Start your dream practice now.

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Information for this post was created using information provided to Chopra Center Vedic Educators.

The Image for the Layers of Life was used with permission from the Chopra Center.

©Kay Rice, M.Ed. 2019

 

The Five Subtle Elements

The Five Subtle Elements

The Five Subtle Elements of Ayurveda

The Tanmatras

Ayurveda presents a fascinating way of describing our perception of the world. Just as we can organize the material universe into the Five Great Elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water & Earth), we can organize our internalization of the universe through the five Subtle Elements: Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste & Smell. We metabolize every single experience we have through our five senses. 

The First of the Five Subtle Elements is SOUND, the Sanskrit word is Shabda. This is the subtlest element.  Sound is the first vibration that stirs from the field of silence. Sound can be used to balance our doshas, through music, chanting, toning, listening to the sounds of nature.

The Second of the Five Subtle Elements is TOUCH, the Sanskrit word is Sparsha.  Perception of touch is a function of both the receiving apparatus and our attention. The use of touch to nurture and heal can be demonstrated through loving touch from one person to another, contact with another being, and even through daily self massage, or abyanga. 

The Third of the Five Subtle Elements is SIGHT, the Sanskrit word is Rupa. This is our ability to perceive electromagnetic radiation with our eyes.

The Fourth of the Five Subtle Elements is TASTE, the Sanskrit word is Rasa. Our nature has coded information about nourishment or toxicity in the form of taste. Ayurveda recognizes six tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent and astringent. These tastes can also be used to balance the doshas. 

The Fifth of the Five Subtle Elements is SMELL, the Sanskrit word is Gandha. Smell is a primitive sense that allows us to sample our environment at a distance. Think aromatherapy and how we can balance ourselves through the sense of smell. Think also of scents and smells you may associate with a special place in your childhood, such as a grandmother’s home.

Thus concludes a series of posts to explain the Ayurvedic explanation of Consciousness, the three vital principles or Gunas, The Five Great Elements or Mahabutas, and the Five Subtle Elements the Tanmatras. These are orchestrated together in a way that personalizes our Universe through the DOSHAS.

 

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

The Five Subtle Elements

Seasonal Cycles and the Doshas

The doshas have both daily rhythms as well as seasonal cycles that run throught the year. The Kapha Season applies to months when it is predominantly wet and cold, usually during late winter, spring and the early summer. Pitta season applies to the hot summer and early autumn. Vata season are those months when the weather is cold, dry and winddy, usually occurring during the laste fall and early winter. However, the three Ayurvedic seasons are only approximate and have to be adjusted according to local conditions. In addition, it is not really the calendar but natural influences that determine how the doshas are affected. For example, any damp, cold, overcast day will increase Kapha to some degree, regardless of the season.

Traditionally, Ayurveda advises that everyone should follow a seasonal routine to preserve balance as the seasons change. However, the recommendations suggestions should not involve major alterations in your lifestyle, only a gentle shift in emphasis. Note, whatever season it is you favor foods and flavors that are the opposite in order to reduce that dosha type.

Kapha Seasonal Routine

Late winter, spring, early summer

Favor a diet that is lighter, drier and less oily. Reduce heavy dairy products. Favor warm food and drink. Eat more foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and fewer with sweet, sour and salty tastes. 

Pitta Seasonal Routine

Midsummer through early autumn

The digestive fire is naturally hight during hot weather, so your appetite may be increased. Respect this change by not overeating. Favor cool food and drink, but not ice cold. Favor sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and reduce sour, salty and pungent ones. Your body will desire more fluids in hot weather but avoid large volumes of ice cold liquids during or after meals..

Vata Seasonal Routine

Late autumn through winter

Favor warm food and drink, heavier food and a more oily diet than other times of the year. Your food should be well cooked and easy to digest, accompanied by plenty of warm liquids. Eat more foods with sweet, sour and salty tastes and fewer with pungent, bitter and astringent ones. Reduce dry or raw foods. It is natural for your appetite to increase during the Vata season. You may take increased quantities of food during this season but be careful not ot overeat. 

 

Ayurveda teaches there are Six Tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter & Astringent.

Sweet & Salty tastes increase Kapha

 

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

The Five Subtle Elements

Daily Cycles and the Doshas

Our Daily Routines and the Daily Cycle of the Doshas

According to Ayurveda, human beings are a part of nature and therefore optimal health means that our internal rhythm be in tune with the nautral cycles in the environment. Human beings have a circadian rhythm as do the other animals in nature. There are daily cycles and seasonal cycles. The cycles of time during the day and night as well as the seasonal changes throughout the year influence the doshas.

When  Dr. Simon, co-founder of the Chopra Center, taught us about the daily routines he was fond of saying, “There is really no such thing as a night person, only a person with bad habits.” Electricity which can keep it light 24/7 and 24 hour a day TV, Internet and other stimuli have made it easy to ignore the daily cycles and rhythms of nature.

The Kapha dosha predominates in the morning from 6:00 am until 10:00 am, and from 6:00 pm tuntil 10:00 pm at night. In the morning during this period the body feels slow, heavy relaxed and calm; all of which are qualities of Kapha. In the evening a major source of traffic accidents are people going home from work who fall asleep. 

Pitta predominates from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, and then from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am. The period of peak physical activity and appetite occurs at noon, during the middle of the first period of Pitta. Pitta is responsible for metabolizing food and distributing energy throught the body. Pittas need to eat by around 1:00 pm or the fire burns out of control, and then emotions tend to erupt.

Vata dosha predominates from 2:00 am until 6:00 am, and again from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Vata which governs the nervous system, predominates in the late afternoon, during which time mental activities and physical dexterity are most efficient.

The second cycle of the day begins at 6:00 pm with Kapha and its tendency to create a slow, relaxed evening. During the nighttime Pitta period, the body is metabolizing dinner, but since the body is asleep during the 10:00 pm to 2:00 am period, the energy is being converted into warmth and the rebuilding of tissues. The early morning Vata time activates the nervous system in the form of active dream sleep, or REM (Rapid Eye Movement).

According to Ayurveda, synchoninzing you daily routine with the natural daily rhythms enhances health. Waking before dawn during the end of the Vata period allows you to take advantage of the Vata qualities of alertness and energy. Eating your main meal during the noon hour when the Pitta fire is strongest insures strong digestion. Going to bed by 10:00 pm at the end of the Kapha period takes advantage of the slow, dull Kapha qualitiies and encourages sound sleep.

2 am to 6 am – Vata Period

Nature is awakening at this time of day. Get up by 6:00 am and no later than 7:00. Most dreaming occurs in this period. Get up and meditate with the alertness of Vata. During this period of movement, toxins get moved into the elimination tiessues & channels of the body you can get rid of them when you get up. 

6 am to 10 am – Kapha Period

This is a heavier period of the day. If you stay in bed for too long you will feel dull and heavier. If you experiences stiffness in the joints, it will help you to get moving before the Kapha period begins. Eat a lighter breakfast, and this is the best time of the day to do vigerous, heavy physical exercise. It is also the best time to take chemotherapy, because at this time of the day the healthy cells are at their least active; cancer cells are over-active all of the time.

10 am to 2 pm – Pitta Period

This is the warmest time of the day and the sun is at its highest. Digestion (Agni) is it’s strongest at this time. Many cultures used to take a rest during this time of the day to keep from over-heating. This is the best time of the day to eat your main meal.

2 pm to 6 pm – Vata Period

During this Vata period you will be more light and alert. This should be a period that we are mentally alert, fresh, and creative. It is a good time to meditate. If you tend to experience that mid-afternoon slump, look for what may be out of balance.

6 pm to 10 pm – Kapha Period

This is a slwer, heavier time of the day. Animals quiet down, the sun sets and dark sets in. Take advantale of the quietness. Use this time to go to bed by 10:00. To stay in tune with the circadian rhythm go to bed between 9:30 and 11:00 pm at the lastest. Eat a light evening meal early in this period, from 6-7 pm.

10 pm – 2 am – Pitta Period

Pittas wake hot and throw off the covers. We will get hungry again if we are awake, and it may cause you to raid the refrigerator at night. Often pittas gain weight by eating late at night. Most people will notice a dip in energy around 10:00 pm. If you sleep during this time, agni metabolizes at this time. The body rids itself of toxins during heavy sleep.

When I spent time at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastary, I noted the monks kept their daily routines in line with these daily cycles. They were up by 4:00 am for the first service of the day of chanting and meditation, a second service at 8:00 am. Then in the evening another service at 4:00 pm, and the last one of the day, just before retiring was at 8:00 pm.

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

The Five Subtle Elements

The Doshas—Mind-Body Typing

Ayurveda has a unique way of typing our mind-body constitution or Dosha types. The doshas are made up of THE FIVE GREAT ELEMENTS. The five great elements organize themselves into the three principles, or doshas, of movement, metabolism and protection. In sanskrit these principles, or doshas, are called Vata, Pitta & Kapha.

Vata, the principal of movement, is comprised of the elements of space and air. You can think of it as Wind. Pitta, the principle of transformation, is comprised of fire and a little bit of water. You can think of it as Fire. Kapha, the principle of protection, is made of earth and water. Think of it as Earth.

These principles are responsible for every function in our mind and body. We all have all thre dosha principles, but since we are each a unique expression of nature, we have our own unique psycho-phsiological type, or dosha type. This explains why we each respond differently to the same situation or stimulus. Some of us respond with more fire, while others may be more airy or earthy.

We all come into the world with our own unique combination of the doshas, which is determined at conception, and is referred to as our Prakruti. Most people have either one or two of the doshas more predominant. In addition to our basic dosha type, or prakruti, our experiences and choices also influence our doshas, as do the seasononal and daily cycles.

Everyone is one of the followng seven mind-body types: Vata, Pitta, Kapha (mono-doshic); Vata-Pitta (or Pitta-Vata), Vata-Kahpa (or Kapha-Vata), Pitta-Kapha (or Kapha-Pitta) having 2 predominant doshas (bi-doshic). The last type, tri-doshic (which is the most rare) has more-or-less equal expressions of all three dosha types in the constitution.

The three doshas regulate every function in our human body.

 

Vata

Vata is the principle of movement and is comprised of the elements of space and air. When you think of Vata, think about the qualities of wind: Dry, cold, light, irregular, mobile, quick and rough. Vata activity is quick, daily routines tend to be variable, under stress Vata becomes anxious.  Vata learns information quickly  to learn and is easy to forget. Physically, the Vata constitution tends to have a light, thin frame, and active, restless and creative mind, variable diet and sleep patterns, digestive irregularity, dry skin and hair. In the body the Vata Dosha is responsible for mental activity, neuromuscular activity, respiration, digestive movement and cardiovascular circulation. A person with a strong Vata Constitution may have inconsistent appetite and moods. They generally welcome new experiences, embrace change and can be lively and talkative. Their habits, interests and daily routines are likely to change from week to week.  Mentally, when in balance, Vata is energetic, adaptable, has strong initiative and is a good communicator. When vata is under stress or out of balance they become restless, inconsistent, undependable and overly talkative. To balance Vata think “rhythm”.  When you meet someone with a predominance of the Vata constitution, you may think this person is unpredictable.

Vata Imbalances often lead to dryness of skin, hair, fingernails and large intestine. Irregular appetite, delicate digestion, constipation, gas or bloating are all indications of Vata imbalance. Since this dosha governs movement in the body, a vata imbalance may cause restlessness or insomnia. Emotionally, those with a Vata imbalance may feel anxious, isolated, fearful or overly sensitive. Symptoms may come and go, a reflection of the irregularity of the wind principle, and may be brought on by times of change or instability. 

To balance Vata, think rhythm and grounding.

Pitta

Pitta is the principle of transformation and is comprised of the elements of fire with a little water. When you think of Pitta, think about the qualities of the element FIRE: hot, light intense, penetrating, sharp and acidic. People with a lot of pitta in their constitution will display these attributes both mentally and physically. They tend to have a medium frame, a discriminating mind and are intellectually sharp. They have a strong appetite and digestion, tend to perspire easily and have warm hands and feet.  Under stress they will become irritable and angry.  Pitta is responsible for all forms of digestion. In our body, the fire principle metabolizes our experiences so we can absorb what is nourishing and eliminate what is not. Pitta is responsible for the digestion of food, detoxification, intellectual discernment, vision and pigmentation of the skin and hair. Emotionally, when those with a predominance of Pitta are intelligent, warm, friendly, courageous and good leaders. Out of balance or under stress they become critical, irritable, headstrong and controlling.

An imbalance of Pitta in the body can create an excess of heat and acidity. Symptoms may emerge as skin rashes or inflammation, indigestion and heartburn. Emotions may become inflamed when pitta is out of balance, causing one to easily become angry, intolerant and hyper-critical. Pitta imbalances are likely to develop when one feels pressured or has “too much on his plate.” 

To balance Pitta, think decompression and cooling.

 

Kapha

Kapha is the principle of protection and structure, and is comprised of the elements earth and water.  People with a predomenence of the Kapha principle are generally sturdy and consistent. The qualities of earth are heavy, cold, solid, stable, wet, smooth and slow. These attributes are typical of thise with a lot of the earth element.  In the body, Kapha is responsible for protecting the digestive tract, protecting the heart and lungs, and for the sense of taste, protecting the brain and lubricating the joints. Those with a predominance of the Kapha dosha tend to be heavy set and stocky with great strength and endurance. Their skin is smooth, soft and lustrous, and they often have large eyes. They sleep long and deep. Emotionally, when in balance, Kapha is calm, steady, slow to anger, devoted and content. Under stress Kapha tends to depression or withdrawal.   Out of balance Kapha can become boring, inert, needy and complacent.

When Kapha becomes imbalanced, one will feel sluggish, lazy and may become congested. Weight gain, retention of fluids, allergies and sinus congestion all reflect an excess or imbalance of Kapha. Emotionally, Kapha imbalance may present itself as depression, or an inability to let go of things or relationships even if they are no longer needed or nurturing. A person with a Kapha imbalance may be slow to react and resistant to change. 

 

To balance Kapha think Action & Movement

 

When the doshas are imbalanced

Unhealthy lifestyle choices and stress can cause the doshas to become out of balance. Each of the doshas have a balanced and imbalanced expression. When in balance the principles are circulating in the mind body physiology in appropriate proportains and we feel healthy and happy. All our bodily functions work in harmony with on another. Due to improper diet and lifestyle choices and stress these principles may become disturbed and cause distress or disease in the body or mind.

When the a dosha is imbalanced it means we have too much of that dosha active.

In ayurveda, the doshas are brought back into balance using all five of our senses. We are not just what we eat, we are what we metabolize through every sensory experience: What we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and the emotions we feel. We nourish ourselves with self-care through the experiences of taste, smell, touch and sounds.

There are six tastes in Ayurveda: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent.  

Daily Cycles and the Doshas

Seasonal Cycles and the Doshas

The Six Tastes

The pinnacle of accomplishment within the world-renowned Chopra Center is to be certified to teach all three pillars of Ayurveda which includes Yoga, Meditation and the Lifestyle Principles of Ayurveda. Proficiency in—and mastery of—these three disciplines conveys a special designation known as the Chopra Center Vedic Educator. This coveted triple certification represents the highest level of commitment to exploring the depths of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga.

Kay Rice, M.Ed.

Certified Vedic Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Pin It on Pinterest