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V P K are umbrella terms. Go beyond them to where Ayurveda is practical and can answer your health questions.
The Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are labels or categories, not energetics themselves. These terms have been misrepresented and although commonly used can be a limiting way to approach your health. You'll get far more insight into what you need right now to be healthy if you apply the factors the Doshas refer to like the five elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) to your situation. The six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent). Or even better the 20 properties (gunas) - eg: light, heavy, liquid, solid, hot, cold. The gunas are things we understand and considering them makes for sustainable self-care.
For those new to Ayurveda: the 5 elements combine to become what're called 3 Doshas (V P K) when within our bodies, or that of a plant or animal, and they have logical properties called gunas. It's tricky to know what the elements 'fire' or 'earth' mean sometimes and the terms V P K are equally vague when we need instant understanding of what to eat for our next meal that will help us feel better!
Ayurveda is an amazing relief when we first encounter it because it makes sense through all the health fads and confusing information out there. For us to use Ayurvedic health science successfully at home is possible and practical when we take the right approach - not too general and with just the right amount of science where it meets our experience. It's important to view yourself as a changing being within your surrounds and to recognise you know what makes you feel good and what leaves you feeling crappy. You know these things!
A problem has arisen where we've become fixated on the terms V P K and it's limited the ability for us to tap into the very common sense and personable approach that the founders of Ayurveda intended we have. Our intuition is a vital communication between our physical, mental, breath body and our bliss.
When you complete a Dosha questionnaire to determine your body type, you're subjective. The result is likely your presenting health situation, what we call your Vikruti, rather than your well, balanced constitution (Prakruti). It takes time and experienced perspective to see under the layers of your presenting health situation to confidently assess your constitution. You already know how to be you! You know when you feel great and on reflection what food, exercise, attitude brought you there.
We want to know what to do when we feel off, bad and not good in our body.
Knowing your your body type can be helpful as you tend to your current health needs. It's good to consider your Prakruti while you address your Vikruti. But it can become very confusing and mislead you if you label your situation with a blanket V P K because there's a naturally occurring blend of everything that V P K refer to in your system. You're a wonderfully complex mix and you alter slightly every day depending on external influences like the weather and what you eat. Knowing what to do when a symptom or food type presents as dual Dosha (eg: VP) is simplified by using the 20 gunas to work out what we need or what effect it will have on our body. Like increases like - simple!
Your health needs are best met at any given moment by asking yourself how you feel right now. You know if you feel hot or cold, dry and light or damp and heavy. Once you recognize that, it becomes simple to recognize the property, called guna, in your food. Then you can reduce what you have too much of and regain balance through self-care. Trust yourself, try something and observe the response. If you're seriously unwell please see your health practitioner.
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