The first class of our Yoga and Ayurveda course, we learned about the five great elements or panchamahabhutas. These are: Space; Air; Fire; Water and Earth.
Knowing the physical and energetic characteristics of each of the mahabhutas is key to understanding Ayurveda because these elements combine in infinite variety to create our personal mind/body constitutions, and they are the building blocks for creating balance.
When the body is out of balance, mahabhutas with opposite qualities are used to return that imbalance to balance. The panchamahabhutas are fundamental to Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment.
On week two, we are going to see how these five basic elements combine and manifest in the human body as three principles, or humors, known as the tridosha.
- Ether and Air form the bodily air principal called vata.
- Fire and Water are the fire principle called pitta.
- Earth and Water manifest as the bodily water humor known as kapha.
These three basic constitutions or Doshas, vata – pitta – kapha, govern all the biological, psychological and physiopathological functions of the body, mind and consciousness.
They act as basic constituents and protective barriers for the body in its normal physiological condition; when out of balance, they contribute to disease processes.
Our bodies are designed to move and breathe and circulate our prana, or vital life energy. In this course we use the wonderful science of Yoga to find the right balance for our body and mind constitution.