Pillars of Ayurveda
The word Ayurveda is derived from Sanskrit which means the knowledge of life predominantly serving to amalgamate body, mind, and spirit to ensure a healthy self. It is exclusively a holistic and timeless approach which focuses on diet, exercise, meditation, herbal remedies, and physical therapy. It tends to balance the energy of each element to maintain a healthy life. Dating back to the origin of Ayurvedic medicine, the 3 categorised body types are entitled as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – the blend of which marks the fingerprints of our personality.
Similarly, according to the Theory of Somatotypes proposed by William H. Sheldon, human bodies can be ectomorphic, mesomorphic or endomorphic. Each type has its own set of characteristics. The division of body types propagates the idea of unleashing the strength of each type by fulfilling the ground rules that empower that particular type.
Around 55 to 75% population of the industrialised countries spends their day sitting. And as you can imagine, this very thing breeds metabolism irregularities and diseases. Therefore, there is a dire need of this age to understand the potential of Ayurveda which fuels a healthy collaboration of our body and soul.
When we stage a closer look at the muscle (aka mamsa dhatu) from Ayurveda point of view, we find that muscle strength shapes our ego and ignites self-confidence in us. Muscle strength can be achieved by a fine blend of 2 elements: earth and fire! Earth accounts for the bulky structure and is associated with dietary intake of protein in foods like legumes, meats, nuts, and grains. While the fire, also known as rakta dhatu, drives the action of the muscles.
The Ayurveda diet consists of herbal ingredients which help to detox the body and boost the immune system whilst energising the muscles and bones. The diets used to strengthen the muscles include nuts, seeds, meet, sweetener (honey), greens and oils (sesame oil).
When the primary fire of the body or rakta dhatu is balanced, the ingested earth is converted into a healthy muscle without any injury and accounts for qualities such as density, hardness, and stability of the formed muscles. Thus, the muscle formation and strength is directly proportional to the exercise and food intake.
The energy of doshas
The 5 major elements around us (air, water, fire, earth, space) form doshas that emit particular energies. All the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – have their unique muscle tissue characteristics and metabolism patterns. To assist these doshas, different practices such as doing yoga, eating lighter foods and using herbal remedies are recommended to restore the natural balance of the energy.
The subtle energy – Vata – is made up of space and air and governs energy linked with body movement. Vata propagates minimal tissue which can be easily injured and hence fuels low confidence in people. It is extremely vital to the body and most prominent during seasonal changes.
Pitta is composed of fire and water. It is associated with the energy that results from the metabolism of our body. It constitutes minimal to moderate and strong tissues and develops strong will and confidence in people. Vegetarianism is most preferable to the pitta people along with a moderate intake of dairy products and regular exercise during the cool time of the day.
On the other hand, Kapha is expressed as energy that forms the body’s structure and working of tendons, bones, and muscles. It is associated with stamina and patience and is prominently a blend of earth and water as its 2 main elements. Kapha breeds excessive hard and inflexible tissues as well as quiet self-confidence in people.