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Date: April 12, 2022

Ayurveda and Wellness Understanding - Prakruti & Vikruti

Whatever our prakruti (birth dominant) is, if we don’t take care of our body and mind with right aahar (food), vihar (lifestyle) and vijar (thoughts), while growing through different seasons of life - childhood, youth, mid-age and old-age, one or two or even all three forces can get out of balance and cause symptoms in the initial stage and diseases of the organs in the long period of time.

The imbalance of the elements, vikruti, needs to be observed in time and corrected immediately. That is why, whatever your prakruti is, if you have a vikruti, traditional ayurveda recommends you to correct that imbalance before you start working with your birth-dominant elements (prakruti).

Keep in mind that your vikruti (imbalance) might not always be your prakruti (birth dominant element). That is why you always need to consider your PDE (present dominating element) to follow ayurveda recommendations.

Prakruti (Birth dominant elements)

In Sanskrit ‘pra’ means ‘original’ and ‘kruti’ means ‘creation’. According to ayurveda terminology prakruti denotes the core nature or the basic characteristics of a person by birth. The inner nature of a person (body and mind) is constituted with five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) at the time of conception. And during the lifetime the body-mind system of the person is functioning with the influence of the combination of these elements that creates three forces (kapha-pitta-vata). If carefully examining a person’s overall life we can see that among the five elements some elements and their corresponding force are slightly or much higher than the other even from the birth. These leading constitutional elements are considered as the birth dominating elements that shape the core nature (prakruti) of a person.

Understanding the constitutional elements

At the time of conception, according to the dominating elements’ influence in the first cell, the core nature of the child is formed. And with the support of the corresponding forces’ level of domination, the body is forming in the mother’s womb as seven dhatus - the constitutional tissues of a body system. The seven dhatus are the seven forms of tissues building the body: rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), medha (fat), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow) and shukra (reproductive tissues). 

The core nature of the person is described through the physical features and the mental characteristics developed with the support of the birth dominating elements and functions with the level of their forces. 

When a person’s birth dominating elements are earth and water, it’s corresponding force is kapha which overrules the construction of the body tissues and builds large physical features like broad, heavy bones and muscle structure and moist, thick and oily skin texture. The kapha nature is slow in physical movement and mentally often attached to people and surroundings and have difficulties to adapt to fast changes in life.

If a person is dominated by the fire and water elements by birth, its corresponding force is pitta and s/he generally stays in medium weight with light/sensitive skin and hair. Opposite to kapha nature, pitta dominants are recognised by their quick and sporty actions, they are sharp and precise in their speech, and often take intellectual and result oriented decisions on time.

A vata dominant physique is naturally shaped with sleek bones and lean muscles, and has tiny features compared to the other two natures. The vata nature hardly gains body weight and the skin often has a tendency to get dry especially in the cold season. Like the wind in the nature, the mental quality of vata dominants can vary from time to time; for instance, moods can change from very energetic and cheerful to tired and anxious in a short period of time. Updated package on this pravarti (technique)

Three forces in the nature

Our planet has an ecosystem, which consists of countless living and non living bodies. Ayurveda describes all bodies in the nature as the united form of five elements, which means that every body, regardless if living or non-living, is constituted with five fundamental elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

While earth, water and fire stays silent in a non-living body like a piece of metal or a dead tree, only air and ether functions as a force in the process of decomposing that body. In a living body all elements are active with the functions of: growing (with the force of kapha by the earth-water elements), maintaining (with the force of pitta by the fire-water elements) and decomposing (with the force of vata by the air-ether elements).

In a living body, the force of kapha functions as the generator of a body through building new cells, the force of pitta functions as the maintainer by controlling the metabolism and sustaining the central heating system of the body through the blood circulatory system. And the force of vata functions as the destroyer of the old body cells and eliminates the toxins in the system.

We can see the influence of these three major forces in every body in the nature, creating changes from time to time, from season to season. For instance, in the spring a leaf is sprouting from the branches with the influence of kapha and then changes its colour from green to yellow through the summer and autumn and fall down to earth in the winter with the influence of pitta and vata, and in the later stage when the leaf is dead, only vata.

The role of vata in the nature is to decompose things and release the elements to return to the nature to support the functions of kapha to construct new bodies. This is how a fallen leaf is decaying on the ground during the late autumn and winter, returning its elements to the Mother Earth and in the following spring fertilizing the tree by its essence, climbing back to life through its roots.

Our Ayurveda and Wellness Tours are planned on the above context.

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