Many people today taking Ayurvedic constitutional quizzes in books or online and feel that these give an “accurate” model of their so-called “dosha type” and sometimes get confused when going to a Practitioner and it differs.
Some practitioners place too much emphasis on temporal rather than life-long traits or on very variable factors such as the Pulse (nadi) alone (which requires much skill).
Such assessments don’t reflect deeper life-long traits and patterns and we often have biases ourselves. Mental traits, abuse, predominating climates, age, sex, digestive strength due to diet etc. and also disease can alter our normal state. There are several factors to consider for even the Prakriti or one’s in-born biological constitution or nature alone, which can easily be changed or altered, such as by life-long diseases, dietary and other factors.
Doshas themselves are but simplified expressions of the five great elements (panchamahabhutas) and the 20 gunas (qualities) within us known in Ayurveda.
Each element itself is further divided into portions and qualities of its own. Each of us has a unique set of these also threefold: constitutionally, psychologically and disease-wise, of which the dosha-model is but a simplified version of alone.
Then there are sub-types within these doshas as heavier Vata and Pitta types and slim Kapha types. Vedic Astrology has numerous types also, for example, a Budha-Prakriti or Mercury-type is a “strong-Vata” type, athletic, with secondary Kapha qualities, but primarily Vata and may hold weight at times, due to their secondary Kapha-nature and also sometimes high-Vata anxiety-eating, or even poor kidney function and metabolism.
As most people are dual-constitutions, they can thus aggravate even the lower dosha in them. Vata is always involved as it always moves the doshas and our Vatic diets and lifestyles can throw any type out by being aggravated!
This is why a full assessment is required of all bodily tissues (dhatus), channel systems (srotas), mind on various levels etc. as well as disease, digestion and so on which advanced practitioners can read from face, pulse, medical history etc.
Then there are Eight other aspects to be examined relative to (a) Constitution and (b) disease to arrive at a valid conclusion and what is best for the patient.
However, there are several other factors and considerations also that are also examined In the classics (Sushruta, Sutrasthana, XXXV.3-45; Charaka, Vimanasthana, VIII.94) before a complete diagnosis can be put in place:
There are also Astrological concerns or Cosmic Factors, where diet and lifestyle regimes have to be modified and synthesised along with the above also:
These affect (a) the psychology of the person and also (b) onset of various diseases, according to their combinations and aspects etc.
Hence this does not mean merely assessing one thing such as the mind or Prakriti or the body and correlating the two as many do, or diagnosing the disease alone. We have to examine and work with all factors. This simplified form of Ayurveda, does not consider the whole picture. We must educate clients on diets, seasons, planetary periods etc. and adjustments made accordingly, to properly bring them into the Ayurvedic way of living.
This also means tailoring Yoga techniques and practices also, relative to deeper Prakriti, psychological afflictions, disease-specifics and cosmic or astrological changes, which may also require they do certain rituals, mantras etc. and work with their karma on a deeper level also, not simply take herbs, one diet or a rigid (or genetic doshic) Yoga practice.
This is why regular check-ups and consultations are required by clients to be able to cover all such factors and also work with them on an integral basis, relative to changes in our environment.
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