Prakruti & Vikruti in Ayurveda
How This Helps
The notion of Prakruti in Ayurveda holds a holistic view of a person's constitution, lifestyle, and other factors into consideration for treatment. In this method of treatment, the person is treated as a whole rather than just focusing on the diseases. When the patient's constitution is understood, the treatment in Ayurveda is completed in such a way that it aids in leading balanced optimal health in most fields. The three types of the constitution are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and their combinations.
What is Prakruti?
Ayurveda & Prakruti (the Constitution) and VIKRUTI (the Imbalance)
What is meant by "the character of an individual's constitution (Prakruti)? What does the dosha imbalance (Vikruti) mean?
Ayurveda views Prakruti as the physical constitution of an individual, and Vikruti as the condition of the disease.
Prakruti: The Body Constitution
The Prakruti of a person is given a great deal of importance in Ayurveda. Often translated as an individual's constitution, the term refers to the original or unique creation. The Sanskrit prefix "pra" means "original," and "kruti" means "production." An individual's Prakruti is the inherent balance of the three doshas in the moment of the creation. It's now that an individual's physiological and psychological trends become fixed.
Prakruti is the physical and psychological characteristics or features of every individual. It is the uniqueness of the person. A person's constitution is defined as the inherent balance of the three doshas. It's the interplay between these doshas, which is responsible for the body type and personality.
To understand a person's constitution is to learn their tendencies. If someone knows their inclinations, they could take the activities that maintain their tendencies in check. Someone who knows that they have a propensity to feel cold easily avoids becoming overly cold by wearing more clothes or drinking hot beverages. To know your inherent tendencies is to be empowered with the knowledge required to have your life be in perfect balance.
Every living creature has all three doshas within them. We can't exist without a certain quantity of each. Kapha provides us with cells, Pitta offers metabolic action, and Vata enables mobility & expression. Our constitution is best defined in terms of the proportion of each energy in a person's composition. In this manner, there aren't three types (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha), or even seven types of combinations, but an infinite number of combinations and permutations with no two individuals being the same. Have you seen anyone exactly like you? Probably not.
Most people are a combination of two doshas. They have characteristics of both doshas involved depending on the percentage of the blend. A balanced constitution is perfect and extremely rare in which the stable state of all of the three doshas neutralizes the harmful or undesirable qualities, support and bring out good qualities of the other. According to Ayurveda, a healthy life is symbolized by a balanced condition of doshas, Agni, dhatus, regular operation of mala, cheerful state of atman, sensory organs, and mind are the indicators of a healthy life.
The main factors which determine Prakruti are Sukra-Shonit Prakruti (Condition of sperm-ovum), Kala-garbhasaya Prakruti (condition of the uterus) and Matu-ahar Prakruti (food regimen adopted by mother, during pregnancy). According to Ayurveda, there are seven kinds of Prakruti in which a combination of the three doshas manifests each individual. They're singular types (Vata, Pitta or Kapha predominant)
dual classes (Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha or, Kapha-Vata)
Equal types (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in equal proportions)
Vata consists of Vaayu or air, and it's the kinetic force or mobility in all sorts of biological forms. Vata is responsible for controlling all kinds of moves, primarily functions like circulation, respiration, nerve impulses, and elimination and heartbeats.
What determines your body composition?
Body constitution (Prakruti) is established at conception, set at birth, and remains constant throughout your lifetime. It influences your physiology, your physique, your likes and dislikes, your tendencies and habits, your mental and emotional character, as well as your propensity toward imbalance and disease.
Prakruti of every individual is formed and decided mostly at the time of birth. The three humor or tridoshas combination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha determines the Prakruti of that person. Each humor or tridosha has its unique characteristics to show in the Prakruti. The presence of maximum humor characteristics in person is considered as having that Prakruti such as Vata Prakruti, Pitta Prakruti, and Kapha Prakruti.
The factors which decide the tridosha dominance in the Prakruti are :
1: Quality of reproductive cells and ancestral conditions- Sperm and ovum
2: Condition of the uterus and reproductive system.
3: Lifestyle, social and cultural influences on the pregnant lady
4: Season of conception and birth.
• Reproductive cells, sperm, and ovum. Prakruti of father and mother is reflected in the sperm and ovum. Also, the lifestyle and diseases of both parents influence the humor/tridosha dominance. This helps to understand the concept of genetic abnormality. Many diseases of parents can be passed to the next generation. So doing detoxification before conception can help to reduce the chances of hereditary diseases to the next generation.
• Uterus- It is an organ where fertilization took place, and baby stays for months. If a woman is having a problem of a menstrual cycle or the uterus by any humor/tridosha, it may influence the humor/tridosha domination in Prakruti formation of the baby inside the womb.
• Lifestyle and eating habits of the pregnant woman. The food we eat and our activities change the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha levels in our body. Eating dry foods and traveling can increase Vata, and eating sweet, cold, heavy to digest food like cheese, paneer, and excessive sleep increase Kapha. So it is essential that the pregnant lady must eat a healthy and balanced diet which digest easily and not cause any digestive issues.
• Season at the time of conception. Seasons affect our digestive fire, the strength of the body, and humor/tridosha. Winter is mostly Kapha dominated, summer of Pitta, and rainy season of Vata dominated. Conception in the respective season influences the formation of Prakruti, respectively.
The cumulative effect of all the above factors decides the dominance of humor/tridosha in Prakruti of the person.
Preconception medical counseling, detoxification with panchakarma, and Grabhiniparicharya - Ayurvedic ANC care can help to get the best of each humor/tridosha combination for better physical and mental wellbeing and immunity through life.
What is Vikruti?
Vikruti (Nature of Imbalance)
Vikruti means "after production." The Sanskrit word "vi" means "after" and the root term "kruti" means "creation." An individual's Vikruti is the condition of the three doshas following the moment of conception.
After the moment of conception, the embryo is exposed to and changed by its surroundings. In a wholesome environment, the embryo forms in an optimal way. After arrival, if the environment remains optimal, the child grows up healthy. However, in a less than an optimal setting, the three doshas become disturbed and upset the normal physiology, leading to the signs of disease.
In Ayurveda, once we discuss the Vikruti of a patient, we're referring to the current condition of the three doshas and the way they are expressing themselves within the human body and mind. Because of the less than the optimal environment, the majority of us find ourselves in our Vikruti helps us to comprehend the imbalances or symptoms that we're experiencing.
Prakruti based diet
Diet Varies depending upon the doshas of the individuals.
The external and internal factors are responsible for the state of equilibrium of a person's body. Our body always tries to fight against the changing environmental conditions. When a person reaches an optimum level of his health, he can enjoy a disease-free life. When the balance is disturbed, it can lead to disease and disharmony. During hot summer months, the rate of digestion is meager, and there's a lot of water loss from the body because of perspiration. Heat also results in the gain of the pitta dosha. With the advent of rains on the dry and hot earth, it results in the accumulation of pitta dosha. The intense cold of winter leads to the accumulation of Kapha. But due to extreme cold, the Kapha solidifies. Spring is warm, causing liquefaction of the accumulated Kapha and vitiates it causing disorders.
Ayurveda is based on a fundamental understanding of three basic things:
1) The character of an individual's constitution;
2) the nature of the imbalance; and
3) the nature of the medication.
With this information, a trained Ayurvedic practitioner can make a program of care that's unique to the patient's needs.