According to Ayurveda, our constitution or Dosha is determined at the moment of conception. Each of us are born with a unique combination of doshas, often one dosha is more predominant than the other two. Rarely is someone perfectly tridoshic where all three doshas present equally in their constitution.
The three Doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. However, Ayurveda is even more specific. Each dosha is a combination of two elements. Vata Dosha is a combination of ether and air, Pitta Dosha is a combination of fire and water, and Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth. Thus we are each born with a unique combination of the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. These three Doshas and five elements are how Ayurveda describes each individual as unique. This unique arrangement of the elements at birth provides us with a very specific Doshic profile, this is known as our Prakruti – a Sanskrit word meaning “nature” or “the first creation”. Each Prakruti is completely unique.
Your Prakruti is your foundation, it is how you are – uniquely you. Knowing your Prakruti allows you to make decisions, and possibly changes, that will allow you to live in harmony with your basic nature.
Each of us is exposed to different foods, people, environments and situations that influence our balanced state. These influences can impact our constitution at any time. Your own inner wisdom will make adjustments to the food, people, environment and situations allowing you to function adequately – for a short period of time. This temporary alteration is an imbalance. Some of us are living in perpetual states of imbalance that are so normal to us, we erroneously think we are in balance. These extended periods of imbalance can lead to mental/emotional disruptions such as anger, depression or anxiety, or physical manifestations such as dermatitis, hives, obesity or heart disease. Whenever our basic constitution shifts away from its origin, this new, altered constitution is referred to as our Vikruti or “how we are in the present”. The farther your Vikruti is from your Prakruti the more out of balance you are and the more likely you are to be suffering emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually.
In Ayurveda, the foundation for good health is maintaining balance in the mind-body and living in alignment with your Prakruti. Evaluating one’s Vikruti provides vital information about what changes are needed to return the mind-body to state of balance and wellbeing.