Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga.  Whereas yoga is the science of union with the divine/truth, Ayurveda is the science of life.  “Ayu” means life or daily living.  “Veda” means knowledge.

Ayurveda provides us practical knowledge of self-healing.  It is designed to promote happiness, health, and creative growth.  Ayurveda helps the healthy stay healthy and the diseased to regain health.  This is done by understanding an individual’s dosha. Dosha is a Sanskrit word that translates to “mind-body constitution".  


There are five elements that make up everything: ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Ether is space and carries all possibilities, air has the qualities of movement and change; fire is hot, direct, and transformational; water is cohesive and protective; and earth is solid, grounded and stable.


These five elements combine to form the three mind-body system, called doshas. There are three doshas: Vata – elements of ether and air, regulates movement and change; Pitta – elements of fire and water, regulates digestion and metabolism; Kapha – elements of earth and water, maintains and protects the integrity and structure of our mind and body.


Our bodies are made up of all three doshas. Doshas are present in every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. All three doshas are essential components of life. Because we are all unique individuals, we organize our doshas in unique and different ways. This determines the distinctive qualities of our mind and body. Typically, we each have one or two primary dosha, sometimes three.


Knowing our primary dosha is important in understanding how to attain and maintain good health and manage your high stress and anxiety. It is when we are not in balance, our primary dosha’s “bad side” becomes most present. By understanding this we can bring ourselves back into harmony.

In yoga we learn to calm the mind and tune in to the body.  As we calm the mind and tune in, we are able to become aware of subtle changes that may affect our balance.


Ayurveda helps with answers on how to bring us back into balance.







Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North