Ayurveda Confusion


#1

I have been very interested in yoga most of my life. After a few minor health issues I learned about Ayurveda and read as much as I could about it. I always wondered what my dosha was. I did the quizzes and I got various results. So, last year I finally went to an Ayurveda practitioner. I was surprised to hear that I was Kapha, that would have been my last guess. I asked about various things that didn’t seem Kapha in me. She replied, “oh, you are a textbook Kapha.” Okay, so I began a Kapha regimine.

Some things still weren’t working in my life, so this year I went to a Ayurveda doctor in my area. She examined me and told me I was Pitta, and gave me a totally different schedule.

Naturally, I am now confused. How could one person tell me one thing, and the next something totally contrary? I am beginning to wonder, maybe it is the practitioner who actually chooses the dosha rather than reading it from the patient.


#2

Mistake in all medical science streams including Ayurveda is common. Finding right doctor is very difficult. Changes in food and lifestyle can resolve most of the issue along with at least one hour of yoga practice depending on what issue you are facing.


#3

I agree with Soham, it can be difficult to find a knowledgeable source for this. There can be a lot of confusion between very dedicated ayurvedic practioners and those who have just studied it lightly, because the subject is very dense and there so many factors which can affect you. To begin with, we are born with a constitution, and then our lifestyle, eating habits, and life changes will affect the dominant constitution in our body and mind as time passes. For example, I am predominantly vata and when the vata element becomes to high in me due to unstable living, I often make choises (like coffee) that swing me toward symptons of high pitta, ending up with stomach upset, heartburn, irritability and anxiety. One practitioner might guess I was high pitta and try to bring that down with cooling food and drink, but it might aggravate the already high vata. Another practitioner might try to treat both at the same time, which is what my doctor did when I had a back spasm, giving me medicines and creams for the inflammation but prescribing dietary changes ([I]no pastries, no starches, no potatoes, no cold water, and take lots of pongal[/I]), oil massage, and daily intake of oils to help calm down the excess of vata.

So, getting back to the point, it’s possible that A: The state of your constitution changed drastically between then and now due to illness or lifestyle differences, or B: One of the people you consulted is not as wise as the other, or C: Neither are wise.

Your best option is to try out the regimine you have been given now, and see whether you are feeling better than the last regimine you were given. And if you have extra time, do your own research on the foods for each dosha type, and incorporate some of them to see how you feel right after having them.


#4

My constitution did not change. I am pretty much in the same place. Same health, same lifestyle, etc.

I wouldn’t have minded so much but the first Ayurveda practitioner called me a kapha, and gave me a program accordingly. Then this practitioner called me a pitta, and gave me a completely different program accordingly. The problem is that they obviously are totally different. So it could be possible that the first practitioner, instead of just being neutral, was actually doing harm— pushing me even further toward pitta.

Isn’t the first rule, do no harm? One of these two obviously doesn’t know what she is doing. It is unconscionable that one of them would tamper with a person’s health.


#5

Senin,
this is a huge conversation and one I have tried to have so many times. There is massive problems with the level of education of Ayurveda in the West and those who are calling themselves practitioners just the same as there is in yoga. 200 hours does not make anyone a teacher of anything neither does 500 hours training, but that is what is the industry of yoga. in Ayurveda, the minimum education in india is the BAMS doctorate which is 6 years long of full time medical school. In the other foreign countries you find nothing comparative yet they will all argue and defend. What this does is cause a huge problem in the people that are out there practicing. Even the education in the BAMS in india has massive problems because the overseeing govt programs are corrupt AYUSH and ICCM. You really cannot trust that even Ayurvedic doctors have any knowledge. HUGE problem. Then if you come down to the level of forums and reading stuff on the internet, wow, slim pickens.
Most of what you read out there is garbage. Most of what is written is for making a name and making money. This is just the honest truth. Too much fraud and fake and the problem is, without real knowledge how are you to have any discernment at all.
Ask 10 different Western ayurveda practitioners what the doshas do in the seasons and you will get all sorts of different answers. they are taught from their teachers books and not the actual texts. You go to the Ayurvedic Institute in New mexico to the reknown Dr. lad and you pay an outragous price for 5 days of what is not even real Panchakarma. You can simply research on the internet what is panchakarma and then go to their website to verify this. For that price you can also pay for a few years of the BAMS course for a real doctor in india's education. Funny.
If you wanna learn ayurveda, study the real text. Ashtanga samgraha is the easiest text to study. There are not poses for vata pitta and kapha so drop all of that, it is westernized garbage. The learning of ayurveda is not superficial, everything is very very deep and takes time.
Ideally it takes a teacher that is a real teacher an knowledgeable and experienced.

I myself trained in Ayurveda by doing David Frawleys correspondence courses, then when i was done i realized I knew nothing practical. So I then searched and found that the Ayuvedic Institute was the best in the US. I left my life to go there and ended up leaving early and not finishing because I knew it was not proper. I ended up doing my third course for 3 years in the East bay of San Francisco. After that, i was fed up with the superficial knowledge and was lucky to find a teacher in india. For 7 years I lived in a ayurvedic hospital in an ayurvedic university studying from Charaka Samhita daily in sanskrit with my teacher and having clinic in the hospital. I totally lucked out but have come to the end point that all of this knowledge is quite useless here in the West when all there is its such a mess. There are no hospitals here so how can anyone have any real clinical hours to learn? There is so much limitation in the Westernized education of ayurveda and what we consider to be allowable education to then go and practice. And trust me, no one likes me saying any of this.

There is no rule of do no harm in Western ayurveda. Sorry. What we do not know, we do not know. If the education remains superficial, no one takes responsibility for what harm they do because it is not in their ability to see the damage they do. I can say the very same thing about yoga.

I would also say this, if we continue to take western sciences and western thought and concepts and place them on yoga or ayurveda, we will continue to destroy these sciences. if you were to look up any disease on this forum, as i have, what is given for remedies is a western exercise theory and western medicine take on the disease. no where here (or in books on yoga therapy etc) is there the understanding from a real yoga or ayurveda knowledge, just western ones. Huge harm being done by those that don't have the knowledge to see the damage they are doing because the very education and knowledge that comes from that proper education does not exist. What to do?

As far as your question, your are made of all 5 elements. Everyone is. There is no single dosha thing, this is all fabricated western stuff. Stay away from it. Instead of one of those practitioners not knowing what they are doing, maybe it is the entire way ayurveda is being taught in the West. If I was show this to any of my indian Ayurvedic doctor friends, they would laugh at how ridiculous we are. I have done this by the way. They acnnot believe the stuff that is being taught in the West.
Do your asana practice. asana is just the beginning and only the start. Without pranayama and meditation it is nothing really. Fine it is health for the body. Yoga is not asana. Pick up any real yoga text. Read.
If you imbalance your vata following westernized ideas of blending yoga and ayurveda, you will bring on disease. Pretty much that simple.
Asana is to only to make you available to sit for meditation where the greater benefits lie.
learn the seasons from a real ayurvedic text and learn how to be eating, this is where the real important stuff is, not your asana practice. And stay away from reading stuff about ayurveda on the internet. Not really much there that is real.
Hope that helps.