The Psychology of Elements

I do not know who to blame? Should the constitution, or dosha, be blamed, the agitated emotions, or the external stress triggers? Maybe all three should be blamed? 

But the point is, they are all intricately entwined and work as a team. So you might receive psychotherapy or CBT therapy to calm the mind, while the heart rages. Or you might do meditation while the mind conjures conspiracy theories. Or you may lament the lack of endurance that the body constitutionally possesses. But the point is, it doesn’t matter who or what started the fire, sooner or later all will slide down the hill. 

Well, time to look at the brighter side now. Since all are intricately entwined, the reverse is also true. Soothing the mind, calms the emotions and rejuvenates the body. A better diet, makes its way into the heart and mind. 

Now who understands this better than Ayurveda? That too 6000 years ago?

Ayurveda recognizes five elements as the composition of the universe – space, air, fire, water and earth. These combine into three basic dosha types. And this statement of fact, is the simple, yet profound genius of Ayurveda. If your dosha is imbalanced, everything will be imbalanced, sooner or later. Your gut, your heart and your mind.

Too much movement or variability

The Vata dosha is really a windy constitution. Although flexible like the wind, it is intrinsically  low on stamina and endurance. The main imbalance issue, when simplified to the bare core, is of too much movement. A little movement is good, and very calming. Balanced movement feels good – so much flows out: enthusiasm, creativity, curiosity, the travel bug. Notch it up further, and now the wind turns into a storm. The first to go is the nervous system, the messenger system of the body. The hyperactive nervous system shows up as a restless mind, worried and anxious emotions and an unsettled digestive systems swinging between constipation and diarrhoea. With lots of bloating to boot. The best way to visualize this dosha or constitution is like a zig-zag movement. Fast-paced and sharp jags, will derail you. Serene and spaced out movement will support the body. 

Too much fire, too much pressure

Now you may ask, would not a wind behave habitually like a wind? Yes, the wind in the sky does, but it is  okay with it. Today a breeze, tomorrow a hurricane. But we are not merely doshas. We are thinking humans with choices. The choice is whether you would allow your dosha to be in balance or imbalanced??

The Pitta dosha is a fiery constitution. Yes, it powers our minds and bodies to get up in the morning, to work hard for our goals, to run the whole marathon race of life. It digests the food we put into our bodies, so that it is blended into a nutritious soup that supplies all our cells in the body. If your digestion is not working properly, then your cells are not getting fed. A strong dose of pitta in your constitution, and you will do whatever it takes to become the leader of your community. But when the fire becomes a wild fire, nobody can check you. The stronger the fire, the more they prefer to duck out of your way. You are the angry, driven person with acid reflux and inflammation popping up through out your body. This dosha has an outward trajectory.

Heavy and stagnating energies

The Kapha dosha is the heaviest of the three constitutions. This is because most of matter, and the bodies, is made of water and earth elements. They have strength, endurance and stability, just like a mountain. They will support you and the whole community. However unlike the wind, they cannot move quickly or make rapid changes. A happy mountain is great to have in our backyard. But when the mountain becomes stagnant and stubborn, then nothing is accomplished. They feel isolated, unmotivated and resort to emotional eating to pack up the bulk. Weight piles on and the chest weighs down with congestion. This dosha has an inward trajectory.

You could be a pure single dosha, or have one type of body, and mind of another dosha. Maybe you have a good mix of all three. However the key is, balance leads to health, imbalance leads to illness. 

The path to your gut, heart and mind health lies in your dosha. Wise is the  man who is  a calm wind, the cool fire or the active mountain. Oxymorons? Not really, it simply boils down to our lifestyle choices. Remember we are not mere bundles of energy and matter, but humans with the will to choose the paths we tread. 

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