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Home sjmtoc 3 Constitution (dosha, humor, nature) in Ayurveda

3.4 Physical Constitution


It is possible to have a physical constitution different from your mental constitution, but it is unusual in classical Ayurveda. Currently there are several views on the subject. The classical view states that mental and physical constitutions are generally the same. Additionally, classical Ayurveda states that most people are of one constitution, and only a minority have mixed constitutions.

We now view the constitutions differently because of changes brought about by our modern industrialized society. The change is the result of social transformation: we were once part of a fixed social class and family tradition, and now we are a highly mobile culture. Not only does modern culture physically move around more than ever before, it also is blending many more cultures and classes together to form more broad social classes. In other words things are not as fixed or rigid as in the past. This has lead to many more constitutions of a “mixed” or dual nature. This can manifest as a difference between the mental and physical constitution. My own clinical experience verifies these findings. What may have been classified as a “pitta” constitution with vata as second or disturbed, may now be called pitta/vata - a dual type.

The mental always predominates over the physical. I find the Ayurvedic classifications of the physical body to be the least helpful in the determination of the constitution. I give them here because any thesis on Ayurveda would be incomplete without them. However, I find pulse diagnosis, more accurate means of determining a persons constitution. Even better are the mental habits that, when observed carefully, show clearly the over-all constitutional tendencies.

Jyotish (the science of light), or Vedic astrology, gives a very profound vision of the mental constitution, and was traditionally used by all Ayurvedic practitioners in ancient times. A complete treatment requires that the whole being be addressed, and Jyotish provides the best overview of an incarnation. It also provides insights into difficult periods of health, so that prevention, treatment and possible causes can be considered. My personal study of Jyotish has deepened my understanding of Ayurveda.





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