I recently taught an Ayurveda workshop at an organization where we talked about organizational conflict management and building employee relationships using Ayurveda. The host said, “Sweta, you should create a dating app where you use Ayurvedic doshas to explain synergies between people. I am convinced we will see fewer failed relationships.” The thought has crossed my mind several times but that’s a story for another day and on my to-do list for someday.
Whether you are looking to dip your feet in the dating world or figuring out your partner’s idiosyncrasies and tendencies, Ayurveda might have the answers! It explains why people are the way they are and what motivates our behavior. I am sure you are wondering what Ayurveda has to do with dating and relationships! Well, if we understand the three Ayurvedic doshas and 10 pairs of opposite Gurvadi gunas, trust me, we understand a whole lot about human behavior. They help us comprehend why someone has a sharp tongue or why someone is quick-witted or why picks a fight or why someone remembers your favorite tea or why someone is over-enthusiastic or why someone has a hard time sticking around in relationships.
A Little Intro to Ayurveda
The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Ayurveda, which literally means “The Science of Life,” is the healing medical science from India and is over 5,000 years old. While many believe Ayurveda is a folk science (mostly because their exposure and knowledge of Ayurveda is limited to turmeric milk and ajwainfor gas), Ayurveda is beyond home remedies. Classically, Ayurvedic Medicine was conceptualized and practiced as eight major clinical subspecialties of medicine in addition to numerous adjunctive specialties. These eight major subspecialties continue to be taught today.
Why the Ayurvedic Doshas Matter in Dating
Ayurveda is built around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth. The unique combination of these elements makes up three metabolic types or doshas. Each dosha has specific qualities or gunas. A person’s constitution, or dosha, determines what a person is naturally attracted to and what causes a person to become out of balance, sick, and diseased. Isn’t this what we want to know when we swipe on dating apps? Maybe not someone’s medical history but compatibility and personality. With Ayurveda as the backbone, there is no lying or making up stories in setting up profiles.
The three primary doshas are vata, pitta, and kapha.
Vata: Basically, vata is responsible for all the movements of the body and mind, sensory impulses and motor regulation, breath, removal of waste, speech, and the pumping of the heart. Made up of air and ether elements, Vatas are known for thinking outside the box but can become easily distracted. Vata not only regulates the nervous system but also our creativity, a Vata imbalance negatively affects our ability to create. When vata is out of balance, the result is fear and anxiety. Movements become erratic, excessive, decreased, or are blocked.
Pitta: This is made of the elements of fire and water. According to Ayurveda, this is the dosha responsible for our ability to mentally digest our life experiences and biologically digest our food. Know any Type-A, go-getters who are bright, ambitious, hard-working, focused, diligent, and always have the answers (or so they believe)? These are your typical pitta folks. If pitta accumulates unchecked, it will often lead to severe anger, rage, hostility, intense jealousy, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and even depression. Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders.
Kapha: It is made up of earth and water elements, and its qualities are heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, and oily. The common translation of kapha is “that which binds things” or “that which holds things together.” Kaphas are big-hearted, non-judgmental, compassionate, and move slowly. A kapha personality is calm, stable, sweet, loving, and loyal. They are the people at social gatherings making sure everyone else is okay. People with an excess of kapha tend to be hoarders and unhealthily attached. Excess kapha leads to stagnation and congestion in both the mind and body. Think lifestyle-induced diseases.
Ayurveda has two core principles for the purpose of this essay:
1. Like increases like: If your pitta is imbalanced, and you choose to eat spicy, Thai red curry for lunch, it will lead to further Pitta imbalance. Excess pitta in the mind can show up as jealousy, anger, criticism, and judgment.
2. Opposite qualities can bring the dosha back into balance: When tje vata dosha gets vitiated, you might feel cold, anxious, constipated, and unable to keep your thoughts together. A bowl of warm soup and scarf around your ears (They increase kapha) can restore balance.
Ayurveda and Personality
Personality clashes happen in our home as well as the work environment, no, along with the dating scene. Have you ever met a person whom you took a liking to instantaneously? Think of that friend who lights up every room they walk into! That date who is forever anxious about restaurant reservation, parking, crowds, allergies! That colleague who remembers everyone’s birthdays at work. That person you met online who is often competitive and insecure. We all have that family member or a friend or a coworker or a date who has a sharp tongue or is pushy or is bossy or can be sulky or uses abrasive words. Some people get drunk at gatherings, some talk loudly, some get brash, some can never look present, some use food as an emotional tool.
Ayurveda and Relationships
Ayurveda teaches us to get a glimpse of our true nature. By doing so, we find the best ways to live a life of balance and harmony. This ancient healing science reiterates that our mind-body-spirit-emotions are all connected and impact one another. With this knowledge, you can walk into a blind date or family gathering or work meeting and not lose your center, no matter the situation. If you understand what another person’s dosha is … you know whether you are going to click. For instance, if you are a high-performing, competitive Pitta individual, dating someone with the same qualities might lead to a more volatile environment at home. If you are an imbalanced kapha who likes to sit on the couch all weekend while eating unhealthy foods, it might be in your best interest to date someone who likes to move in moderation and make healthier choices. We can all use that fire of motivation. If you are a vata person who can never make commitments (personally or professionally) and struggle with staying focused, a Pitta with sharp qualities or kapha’s grounding qualities might be what you need in a relationship.
Looking to dive deeper into doshas and gunas? Want to know more about dosha and guna’s role in matchmaking? You can schedule a one-on-one consultation today and gift yourself clarity, peace, and self-care.
For more of “The Balanced Life,” check out the last column, The Dangers of Sugar