How Do They Apply to Individual Health?

Mountain Ash Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science in the world. It is a holistic approach to health that helps people live long, healthy, and well-balanced lives, and is recognized in the West today as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and alleviate illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper intake of fluids, appropriate diet and lifestyle, and herbal remedies. It incorporates the concepts of the three "doshas" and of the seven "chakras."

Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments:

The Sanskrit terms for these three elements, or "doshas," are:
• VATA (wind) • PITTA (fire) • KAPHA (earth)

According to Ayurveda, there are FIVE master elements or "panch mahabhutas" that make up everything within our bodies and everything outside of our bodies. The five elements are space (ether), air, fire, water, and earth. Space carries all the aspects of pure potentiality or infinite possibilities; air has the qualities of movement and change; fire is hot, direct, and transformational; water is cohesive and protective; and earth is solid, grounded, and stable. These five master elements combine in different ways to create the THREE doshas.

The three doshas are responsible for the general characteristics of our mind and body - our constitution - which in Ayurvada is called our "dosha prakriti." Each of us has all three doshas in our constitution, in a proportion unique to each individual; some have Vata predominating, some have Pitta most dominant, and some have Kapha.

Vata-Pitta-Kapha IN BALANCE, one's prevailing dosha may manifest as follows:
Vata: Light, thin frame; energetic, joyous, quick-thinking, strong communicator
Pitta: Medium build, light hair and eyes; passionate, intelligent, courageous
Kapha: Heavy set, thick, oily skin; steady, motherly, methodical, thoughtful

OUT OF BALANCE, one's prevailing dosha may manifest as follows:
Vata: Anxiety, gas/bloating/constipation, forgetfulness, restlessness
Pitta: Irritability or anger, rashes, diarrhea, being critical and controlling
Kapha:Depression, weight gain, mucous build-up, difficulty waking, complacency

Prakriti is your basic constitution. It is determined at the moment of conception and relates to your genetically inherited physical and emotional qualities. Prakriti specifically relates to those qualities, characteristics and tendencies that are stable. The five master elements that combine in the body - space, earth, fire , water and air - come together to form the doshas, which control how your body works. Prakriti is enlivened and shaped by the three main doshas or forces, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Since every individual has a unique proportion of the three forces, there is an infinite range of possible prakritis. There are seven commonly identified prakritis:

In Ayurveda, seven dosha-predominant prakritis are described:
• Vata-predominant • Pitta-predominant • Kapha-predominant •
• Three dual Prakritis, where two doshas are equally, or nearly equally predominant:
Vata-Pitta predominant • Pitta-Kapha predominant • Vata-Kapha predominant •

• One Prakriti that has all three doshas equally prominent: Vata-Pitta-Kapha evenly predominant. •

A primary goal of Ayurvedic healing is to identify a person's ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using: diet, herbs, natural cleansing and detoxification, aromatherapy, massage therapy, and meditation to reestablish balance.


For each element, there is a balanced and an imbalanced expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively, enthusiastic, and creative, but when there is too much Vata in the system, anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, and difficulty focusing can result. When Pitta is in balance, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker, but when Pitta is out of balance a person may be compulsive, irritable, and prone to indigestion and inflammation. When Kapha is balanced, a person is easy-going, supportive, orderly, and stable, but too much Kapha may cause them to feel sluggish, gain weight, and have sinus congestion. Environmental factors, such as stress, diet, exercise, and daily routine can affect the balance of our natural constitution. When imbalance is present, toxicity may build up in our tissues, compromising whole-health and well-being, and leading to disease.

Seven Chakras

According to Ayurveda, any disorder or imbalance occurring in the mind, body, or soul is connected to the “chakras.” Ayurvedic chakra balancing promotes healthy and positive energy throughout the body.

“Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex. Our energy system is composed of seven chakras ( energy centers). These energy centers function like valves or gateways, and regulate the flow of energy through our energy system. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, and what to feel, and through which perceptual filter we choose to experience the world around us.

The chakras are aspects of consciousness in the same way that auras are aspects of consciousness. The chakras are more dense than the auras, but not as dense as the physical body. They interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each by the plexus or endocrine gland associated with that chakra.

All of your senses, your perceptions, and your possible states of awareness -- everything it is possible for you to experience -- can be divided into seven categories, each of which can be associated with a particular chakra. Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body, but also particular parts of your consciousness. When you feel tension in your consciousness, you feel it in the chakra associated with the part of your consciousness that is experiencing the stress, and in the parts of the physical body associated with that chakra. The tension or blockage in the chakra is detected by the nerves of the plexus associated with that chakra, and transmitted to the parts of the body controlled by that plexus; it may then manifest in the physical body in various forms of pain or disease.

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