Knowing your Ayurvedic constitution (prakruti) has many benefits for your life and health:
• Self-understanding, which is the foundation of life, is greatly increased. Ayurveda says that every person is a unique and divine book. To read that book is a great art. The knowledge of prakruti can help you to read your own book, which is your life. By understanding your constitution, you can better understand your psychological tendencies, your strengths, and your weaknesses, as well as your physiological strong and weak areas.
• You may see that your habits and tendencies, such as erratic lifestyle and schedule (vata), irascibility (pitta), or laziness (kapha), or physical problems such as overweight (kapha), ulcers (pitta), or constipation (vata), are directly related to your constitution. The tendency toward such imbalances is inherent in the way your mind-body system is designed.
• When you can anticipate the kinds of illnesses and imbalances you are likely to have, you can take precautions to prevent them from arising. You can adjust your lifestyle—daily routine, diet, amount or type of exercise, and so on—to keep your doshas in balance and your health at its best.
• You can also use the knowledge of constitutional types to understand others with whom you are related, whether in your personal life or at work. To succeed in relationships, which is such a confused and problematic area today, it is helpful to know the constitution of your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Understanding one another brings clarity; clarity brings compassion, and compassion is love. Such a relationship brings happiness, joy, and longevity.
Using this knowledge of prakruti, if your spouse is upset and angry you can say to him or her, “Honey, it’s not you, it’s your pitta!” That will open a new dimension of understanding of emotional reactions in the relationship.
Use the knowledge of your prakruti as a baseline, to see where you should be. Then look at your vikruti, your current imbalances, as a clue to help you restore balance, using the food charts, yoga postures, herbs, recommended exercises, and the like, presented throughout this book.
For instance, if your vikruti shows more pitta than your prakruti, you will want to follow the guidelines for pacifying pitta. If you have a disorder that is caused by excess vata, pitta, or kapha, follow the guidelines for pacifying that dosha. For sinus congestion, for example, follow a kapha-reducing diet until the condition subsides.
If your prakruti and vikruti seem about the same, then choose the diet and lifestyle guidelines for your strongest dosha.
Finally, remember that “balance” does not mean equal amounts of vata, pitta, and kapha; rather, it means maintaining your proportion of the three doshas, according to your constitution. It is not a static state, but a dynamic equilibrium that needs constant renewal.
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic – Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc, Published by Harmony Books, 1998