Mental Doshas

#5 Understanding Mental Doshas: Achieving Mental Balance for Optimal Health

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian practice, defines doshas as functional energies that regulate the body’s functions. There are three doshas in Ayurveda, and they can quickly get out of balance, causing a range of health problems. Vata dosha is responsible for movement, Pitta dosha for transformation, and Kapha dosha for protection and cohesiveness.

But did you know that doshas also exist in the mind? They are Rajas and Tamas, the two states of mind, and Sattva, the natural state. Rajas is the state of passion, movement, and desire, while Tamas is the state of darkness and inertia, needed for rest and sleep. Sattva is the natural state of the mind, where it is peaceful and stable.

When the mind gets stuck in Rajas or Tamas, mental imbalances like anxiety and depression may occur. Therefore, it’s crucial to bring the mind back to its natural state of Sattva. Cleansing the mind doshas involves acknowledging and assessing the state of mind and reducing the daily inputs that contribute to the imbalance.

The excess inputs, like overstimulation from working too much, reading too much news, having too much contact with people, and buying too many things, weaken the mind and body. This excess, called atiyoga in Ayurveda, can lead to mental illness. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize what’s most important in our lives to reduce accumulation and overload and increase Sattva.

Evaluating priorities is the first step in this mental cleanse. If an activity is causing anxiety, discomfort, or taking time away from your true desires, is it worth it? Before cleansing the mind, it’s crucial to get clear about what you want in life. Is it money, a new car, a beautiful home, or popularity? Perhaps it’s none of these things, but joy, peace, or spiritual fulfillment. Once you are clear about your goals, it’s easier to focus on reducing the daily inputs that hinder your mental balance.

Cleansing mental doshas requires practice and changes in behavior. There are several ways to achieve this, including:

  • Practicing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation to increase awareness of your thoughts and emotions.
  • Reducing the amount of time spent on social media, news, or engaging with people who drain your energy.
  • Cultivating healthy relationships with people who uplift and inspire you.
  • Engaging in hobbies, reading, or taking walks in nature.
  • Prioritizing self-care and rest.

Cleansing the mind doshas can significantly impact overall well-being. It’s essential to prioritize mental health and take steps to maintain it. By reducing the daily inputs that cause imbalance and practicing mindfulness and self-care, you can increase your natural state of Sattva and live a more fulfilling life.

Other helpful practices for cleansing the mind doshas include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding processed and sugary foods, and practicing gratitude. It’s essential to remember that the mind and body are interconnected, and taking care of one will benefit the other.

Ayurveda also emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with nature, as our natural environment can have a significant impact on our mental and physical well-being. Spending time in nature, eating seasonally and locally grown foods, and incorporating Ayurvedic herbs and spices into your diet can all help to support balance and harmony in the body and mind.

In addition to the suggestions mentioned above, Ayurveda also offers specific practices and treatments for balancing the doshas and promoting overall well-being. These may include Panchakarma, an Ayurvedic detoxification program, or Abhyanga, a full-body oil massage that helps to balance the doshas and nourish the body. Ayurvedic practitioners can also offer personalized recommendations based on an individual’s dosha imbalance and health concerns. By addressing the root cause of mental imbalances, Ayurveda can help to support overall mental and physical health.