Ayurveda 101 // Ayurveda's mind

"The Inner Ear" art by Kaitlin Walsh

"Inner Ear" by Kaitlin Walsh (republished with permission)

The Inner is a spiral orbiting an eye, or central pinpoint. A perfect reflection of the conch. The conch is an auspicious symbol in Hindu mythology. It represents Ayurveda’s five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether). The spiral patterns of the conch and cochlear form from perfectly timed pulses of expansion and contraction. The spiral gives the illusion of infinite acceleration.

Having mastered the art of expanding and contracting during development, the inner ear matures to form the major organ for regulating physiological balance.

The moral of the story?
Know when to expand.
Know when to contract.
If you don’t combine the two you will dismantle your centre of balance.

The inner ear is also your internal microphone. It transmits pressure generated from sound waves into electrical impulses that are other parts of your brain recognise as sound.

What about the internal voice?
Where does that come from?

I will let you in on a little secret. The doshas speak. JK. I mean the doshas speak, it's just that it's no secret. The language of the doshas is one of the oldest tricks in the book of Ayurveda. Who knew. All this time you have been guessing, stabbing in the dark as you navigate your internal path, and you already had the power to flick your light switch.

You are a natural born mind reader.

Those internal voices, you know the ones I mean, its the mind chatter or 'chitta vritti' in modern yoga speak. They are not really you. Just doshic excesses and deficiencies.

Knowing the literal language of the doshas - the way that they manifest themselves in your patterns of thought and speech - is game-changing. Life saving, even. At least in my case.

When you recognise the toxic thoughts are an energetic expression of your physical state, it becomes less personal. You are not your imbalances.

Angry? Blame excess pitta.
Feeling spacey? Sounds like Vata.
Are you spiraling out of control?
Perhaps you're lacking Kapha.
Time to do some grounding.
Disinterested? Apathetic?
Too much Kapha there, my friend.

All that your body asks of you is to check-in, observe and listen. Maybe you like what you hear. Maybe you don't. For those times when you don't, know that you can change it. How? Ayurveda makes it easy to restore wellness.

The doshas are the elements embodied.
Earth, water, fire, air and ether.
Kapha is earth and water.
Pitta is fire and water.
Vata is air and ether.
Each of these elements has certain qualities.

The food you eat, drinks you drink, activities you do, places you go and people you spend time with reflect the same energetic qualities. They are your toolkit for health, healing and wellness.

The founding principle is super simple. Like increases like, and opposites balance each other out. To restore balance in your system, to treat an excess of deficiency of the doshas, you have two options. Increase a deficient dosha by taking in the qualities that reflect that dosha. Decrease an excess dosha by taking in the qualities that oppose that dosha.

The wisdom and simplicity of Ayurveda is profound. Here is your little road map to balance. Your tool to connect your pattern of thought back to what the doshas are doing inside of you.

Natural Qualities Natural Elements Chakras In-balance Imbalanced
Heavy Earth, Water 1,2 Satisfied, Contented, Secure Tired, Depressed
Slow/Dull Earth, Water 1,2 Deliberate, Poised, Considerate, Impartial Procrastinating, Blank
Cold Water, Air, Ether 2,5 Patient, Tolerant Withdrawn, Frozen
Oily/Unctous Earth, Water 2,3,4 Praising, Obliging, Loving Self-loathing, Dwelling
Smooth Water, Fire 2,3 Respectful, Diplomatic Indifferent, Undisciplined
Soft Water 2,4 Gentle, Nurturing, Peaceful, Compassionate Vulnerable, Overwhelmed, Needy
Dense Earth 1 Stable, Grounded, Focused Stubborn, Resistant, Miserable
Static Earth 1,4,6 Abiding, Dedicated, Observant Hesitant, Slothful
Gross Earth 1,4 Magnetic Possessive, Conservative, Attached
Cloudy Earth, Water 2,3,6 Introspective, Contemplative Aimless


Natural Qualities Natural Elements Chakras In-balance Imbalanced
Light  Fire, Air, Ether 3,6,7 Perceptive, Insightful, Noble, Idealistic Showy, Flashy
Quick/Sharp Fire, Air, Ether 3,5,6 Witty, Smart, Analytical Cutting, Spiteful, Brash, Intolerant
Hot Fire 3 Productive, Tenacious, Daring, Self-reliant Argumentative, Scathing, Angry
Oily/Unctous Earth, Water 2,3,4 Flattering, Glowing Slimy, Unforgiving, Resentful
Smooth Water, Fire 2,3 Self-confident, Decisive, Leading Bold, Arrogant, Headstrong
Soft Water 2.,4 Cohesive, Drawing, Admirable Controlling, Domineering, Vulgar
Liquid Water, Fire, Air 2,3,5 Fast, Agile, Decisive Manipulative, Willful
Mobile Fire, Air, Ether 3,4,5,7 Opportunistic, Daring, Resourceful Fanatical
Subtle Fire, Air, Ether 3,6,7 Insightful, Influential, Analytical, Meticulous Paranoid
Cloudy Earth, Water 2,3,6 Tactical, Scheming, Scheduled, Orderly Vindictive


Natural Qualities Natural Elements Chakras In-balance Imbalanced
Light  Fire, Air, Ether 3,6,7 Spirited, Intuitive, Optimistic Insecure
Quick/Sharp Fire, Air, Ether 3,5,6 Lively, Talkative, Curious, Energetic Neurotic
Cold  Water, Air 2,5 Inclusive, Non-judgmental Skeptical, Pessimistic
Dry Fire, Air 3,5 Eccentric, Alternative Barren, Alienated, Worried
Rough Air 5,7 Spontaneous, Unconventional, Non-conforming Harsh, Self-deprecating
Hard Earth, Air 1,5 Intense, Demonstrative, Outspoken Rigid, Inflexible, Obsessive, Compulsive 
Liquid Water, Fire, Air 2,3,5 Animated, Obliging Manic, Inconsistent
Mobile Fire, Air, Ether 3,4,5,7 Sociable, Popular, Free, Innocent Repetitious
Subtle Fire, Air, Ether 3,6,7 Dreamy, Persuasive, Hopeful Timid, Forgetful, Unreachable
Clear Air, Ether 6,7 Creative, Inspired, Refreshing Scatter-brained, Delusional, Hyped, Addicted


Got questions?
We (ahh, make that Ayurveda) has answers.

Contact us with your query, schedule a free phone chat, or make a booking in our Adelaide Ayurvedic clinic here. This is the 21st century. We also do remote consultations via Skype.

Or follow this link to take the mind type test.

MA // Modern Ayurvedic TM

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