Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant at Herboveda and Holistic Healing Coach. Dr Sonica is open for National as well as International Collaborations with interested people / institutions in fields of Ayurveda, Meditation and Yoga.
We caught up with Dr. Sonica at the launch event for her latest book “Healthy Living through Dosha Healing (Ayurveda)“. Here are excerpts from our discussion:
Q: Why is it important for people to understand their Prakriti (their prominent Dosha type)?
Ayurveda believes that whenever a disease takes form and sets into your system, the primary cause is imbalanced Dosha (Vata or air, Pitta or fire or Kapha or phlegm). So to maintain Natural well being and to combat the ailment that could be affecting your health, the basic principle is to get rid of the dosha imbalance.
Dosha identification or understanding your Prakriti therefore is an easy tool for identifying the dosha imbalance. Also, when you comprehend the ancient Ayurveda wisdom of Dosha identification, you are able to take a more serious note of the maladies that the vitiation or aggravation of either of the three doshas viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha, is bound to present itself within your system.
Keeping the doshas in balanced state is important to promote positive health. Due to stress, improper diet and lifestyle patterns, seasonal, pollution, toxins and other reasons there can be imbalances that alter the body state creating illness. So as to restore good health, Ayurveda believes it to be mandatory to provide proper focus and consideration to your basic dosha, which makes up your innate constitution or the Prakriti, which may be brought about by Dosha identification.
Q: Is it true that most people have a combination of Doshas affecting their mind and body differently?
Although there are three distinct types (Vata, Pitta and Kapha type) of personalities according to Ayurveda, Vata type is a combination of ether and air, Pitta type is mainly the fire and water elements and Kapha type, an amalgam of water and earth basic elements.
Yes, mostly we find that there are combination type individuals. Or in other words, we more commonly find combination personalities with presence of two of the three doshas like Vata-Pitta type, Pitta–Kapha type or Vata–Kapha type. Rarely though there could be amalgamation of the three. Yet, even in the mixed dosha type when we minutely adjudge the basic dosha, by following the physical characteristics, mind attributes, likes, dislikes, attitude, tastes and many other distinguishing factors, we can very well conclude as to which is our basic innate dosha – Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
Q: Can you guide our readers how they can understand their specific Prakriti?
The Prakriti (innate Personality) of a person may be defined as the totality comprising of his physical attributes, his mental characteristics, and his innate nature. The Prakriti, or the basic constitution and temperament, of an individual is believed to be innate and more or less remains the same throughout his or her life span.
I have put down a Dosha Questionnaire in my book which could be good support to identify your specific Prakriti. Nevertheless, let me share some basic Physical and mental attributes in your personality that can be help you ascertain your Dosha.
Vata Type – A person with dominance of Vata dosha would be thin, either tall or short, and with a rough skin texture. Body parts lack stability and show jerking movements. Veins and tendons are more visible. The hair is dry and brittle and the voice is hoarse.The individual walks fast, and normally on movement his joints makes sound. He eats less and prefers food items which are salty or sour in taste. Due to the cold property of Vata, this person cannot tolerate cold climates. Mentally, the Vata person is generally a hurried type. He grasps very fast but soon forgets the subject. As a positive trait, the person influenced by Vatadosha is creative and action oriented.
Pitta Type – The body of a Pitta person is generally symmetrical and pleasant looking. His complexion is fair, with the nails, hands, feet, eyes, and face showing a tinge of copper colour. As a Pitta trait, there could be premature graying of his hair. Also, this individual perspires a lot. Ayurveda believes that due to the basic trait of fire, a Pitta individual is mentally sharp, fast, and alert. He gets angry very soon and just as soon calms down. A Pitta person by and large shows qualities of being courageous, heroic in deeds, bears good intellect, and a wonderful power of memory. An individual with Pitta or fire dominance is a generally balanced kind.
Kapha Type – The body is well built, symmetrical, and attractive. All the body parts are stable and appear to be healthy and full. The Kapha person’s complexion is normally fair and rosy, like a lotus, and with the glow of golden color. His eyes are large and shiny and show happiness, and the hair growth is dense with black and shinning. A Kapha person is not the hurried type, and rather works with patience and calm. His voice is strong with a deep tone. He is fertile and leads a healthy life span with less occurrence of disease. Mentally and emotionally this individual has a pious nature, truthful and thankful, and bears a good moral character. He has a good memory. He has a stable nature, does not change mind very often and is not impulsive.
Q: Does Ayurveda classify patients and treatments by his Doshas?
It needs to be understood that the basic type of dosha (Vatta, Pitta or Kapha) you belong to can be more easily verified as and when you take notice of the relative ailments that tend to impinge onto your natural harmony. Not only this, at the same time, this also pronounces a word of caution so as to be able to forgo the health maladies that might sooner or later set into your system and cause unnecessary distress.
Dosha Healing enables you to at first assort your physical and mental entity as to the dosha that shows maximum resemblance in terms of properties, actions, basic physique, mental disposition, timely reactions, likes and dislikes et all. This also indirectly discloses about the basic constitution and temperament to which you belong. Ayurveda believes that imbalance of the Vatta dosha (air body humor) results into production of 80 types of diseases or disorders. Whereas the fire or Pitta dosha can cause 40 types and Kapha dosha (phlegm) would stand responsible for 20 types of ailments.
- Vata Dosha imbalance may result into diseases like muscular cramps, joint pains, stiffness, palpitations, deafness, partial loss of vision etc.
- Ailments like burning sensation in the entire body, excessive perspiration, foul body odor, fainting, mouth ulcers etc demonstrate of Pitta dosha imbalance.
- Kapha dosha imbalance and vitiation presents itself in the form of diseases like drowsiness, lethargy, excessive sleep, obesity, suppression of digestion, urticaria et al.
Dosha Healing comes into play to make you understand as to how to keep your basic Dosha in natural balance and know more about what is apt to your basic personality and inbuilt constitution or Prakriti.
Q: Tell us about your new book “Healthy Living through Dosha Healing (Ayurveda)” and how it conveys the essence of Dosha healing?
‘Healthy Living through Dosha Healing (Ayurveda) is my fifth published book and this book is the sequel of my earlier published book – ‘Healing through Ayurveda – Tips on Dosha Understanding and Self-care.’ Click here to preview this book or watch the video.
My latest book “Healthy Living through “Dosha Healing” is a health fiction based on hard facts and centuries old knowledge. I have tried to present the basics of Ayurveda healing in the form of a story. As you turn the pages and get intimate with the lives of each of the characters, you will find yourself drawing parallels to your own self and your life. And before you know it, you too will be pulled onto the path of dosha healing, much like the three friends that are the main characters of the book, and be transformed inside out.
If you thought that ayurveda was boring and had only to do with your physical health, you are about to find out how wrong you are! Three childhood friends part ways only to meet after nine long years. But the reunion takes an unexpected turn, forcing them down a road they never dreamed of. Along the way, they find out several things about each other that are both shocking and heart-wrenching. More importantly, each finds out things about herself – things that change who she is forever. After a lifetime of questions, they finally find the answers. And all this because of one man who introduces them to the ancient wisdom of ayurvedic dosha healing.
Q: Do you believe that once understood this knowledge about your own self, can empower people to heal themselves?
Yes, I very much believe in this. My book on ‘Dosha Healing’ is principally a Self-care book which can be your friend, philosopher and guide life-long. Once you understand the basics of Ayurveda healing which focuses on being a preventive therapy, you are sure to be empowered not only for yourself, but also for your family and friends, and all others who touch your life.
When you know what is the diet which is actually meant for you and what lifestyle could be of your highest support, you can be confident enough to take your health in your own hands. You can stay in the bliss of natural wellbeing on all levels of mind, body and spiritual wellbeing, and that is what the beauty of Ayurveda healthcare is all about.
Q: Do you think Ayurveda is getting its due and what misconceptions about Ayurveda are unwarranted myths?
This is great delight and gratification for all of us that Ayurveda, the 5000 years old ancient science of healing from India is coming to rescue of health and wellness of individuals, the world over. As an Author, Speaker and Consultant primarily in the field of Ayurveda healing, I am finding great support and interest of the lay man who is actually fed up of gulping down synthetic drugs and consequently fighting and recovering from the side-effects and after-effects. This statement can be essentially verified by some stats that I have envisioned that are very much present in my success story
My blog on the niche’ of Ayurveda write-ups has more than 1 Lac viewers in less than 9 months, my slide-share content has been among top 2% most viewed, with one of the top 1% linkedin profiles and nearly 7 Lac views on Google +. The entire success credit goes to Ayurveda awareness and acceptance worldwide. Recently a radio channel in the US broadcasted two of my interviews on Ayurveda healing for about 2 weeks and they were thrilled to share the story of my book with the West where it was listened all-ears.
About the misconceptions as you have asked, I would say that yes, Ayurveda is still combating certain myths and misconceptions, owing to the false notions hovering in people’s minds. Although, I do belief that it needs to be the effort of all Ayurvedists (be it through writing, authoring, speaking, consulting or even while proving Ayurveda treatments) that we take to educate the layman as well as clear the array of false misconceptions. I have been doing this on my part. Here is the link to my take on Debunking Myths of Ayurveda therapy. Although I do believe that our relevant outlook towards the science of Ayurveda is backed by logical research, we can more easily and effectively proclaim the authenticity of our ancient science of healing!
Thanks you Dr. Sonica for sharing your wisdom with our community. We wish you great success in the noble endeavor of spreading Ayurveda awareness through your work and your latest book “Healthy Living through “Dosha Healing”