Ayurveda is all around us - inside of us and outside in our daily lives and the rhythms of nature. It is a spiritual experience just to look around and see how Ayurveda is in everything.
Everything on our planet is made up of the 5 elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. These 5 elements then combine to form the 3 Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Doshas are quite apparent in nature when we look through the lens of Ayurveda.
The sky and the cosmos is made of the ethers. Air is all around us and inside of us. The fire element can be seen in bright sunlight and in the process of our digestion. Water flows through us and through the planet, from a small stream to a vast ocean. Earth is present in the rocks, mud and trees.
An even further way to identify Ayurveda in nature is through the Doshas. The Doshas can be defined by their Gunas, or qualities.
Vata is movement and change, like the leaves that alter their colors and then fall from branches; the blooming of flowers and then their dying. Vata is dry and rough, like the bark of a tree branch, like trees swaying in the breeze. A wind sweeps through with the cold and mobile qualities of Vata.
Animals also have the principle of Vata: birds chirping and flitting about, squirrels scampering in and out of trees and rabbits hopping.
Pitta is transformation: a cocoon becoming a butterfly, a bee pollenating a flower and fruit growing from seeds. The growing of fruit and flowers is a natural process that requires sunshine and water, the elements that comprise Pitta Dosha. Pitta is hot like the rays of the sun and the warm sand on a beach. Pitta is light. Pitta is sharp like a ridge or the edges of a pinecone. Pitta’s sharpness manifests in nature as woodpeckers using their sharp beaks to create holes.
Kapha is structure and lubrication, heavy like a mountain, moist like rain. Kapha’s solidity is reflected in boulders and dirt. Trees are a manifestation of grounded Kapha Dosha. Fog and clouds are slow and moist like Kapha and when we look up at them, they seem soft and gentle, which are also attributed to Kapha.
Just as all of us have all three Doshas in us, nature also has components that are dual and tri-Doshic.
A perfect example of this is the beach! We can start with the waves. The waves near the shore are swift like Vata. When they become huge and strong and cause damage, like a tsunami wave, they display the transformative quality of Pitta. If you picked up a piece of coral in the sun on the beach, it is dry like Vata, but also earthy like Kapha.
Let's move on to volcanoes now. The molten lava is Pitta and the lava sliding down a volcano is like Vata Dosha. The hollow opening at the top exemplifies the clear quality of Vata Dosha, which occupies empty spaces. But the sturdy volcano is also dense like Kapha.
One of the reasons that Ayurveda has persisted so long, even into the modern age, is because it's able to be understood how Ayurveda manifests within us and outside of us in nature. Understanding how the Doshas work within us allows us to stay in balance and be healthy. Next time you’re out in nature, taking a walk on the beach or exploring on a mountain, slow down and take a look at your environment through Ayurveda.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.
Ayurvedic skincare The skin or the integumentary system is the largest organ of the body and involves the skin, hair, and nails. Ayurveda refers to skin disorders as Kustha, and literally means that which alters the complexion of the body.