Why knowing your dosha helps you lead
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, translated as the science (Veda) of life (Ayur), is a complete and holistic health system from India practiced for thousands of years, and arising in popularity again, Internationally and in India, as people look for more integrated guidance and tools to stay healthy and balanced, when our lifestyles feel anything but.
The Ayurvedic system focuses on all aspects of life; our diet, body movement, emotional states, behaviour, sleep patterns, our cyclical relationship with nature and the seasons, and that the mind and body are intrinsically connected.
There are three major elements that make-up our entire body-mind system in Ayurveda. These are known as the doshas. They are Vata (air) Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth/water) and are derived from the five elements that make up all living things.
The three doshas and their elements according to Ayurveda
Your unique body-mind type
As individuals, we each have a make-up that determines our dominant dosha (or doshas).
Understanding your dosha, your body-mind type, helps you maintain your physical, mental and emotional well-being, connect to your natural flow, perform at your best and thrive.
When you know your dominant dosha type you:
Understand more of what gives you energy and what depletes your energy
Know what you and your body needs when you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed
Make better food choices that help you feel light and energetic, not more aggravated or sluggish
Do the right type of exercise that makes you feel energised, not even more exhausted
Understand your common mental and emotional states and what you need to be focused, calm, driven, creative and motivated
Know how to adapt your lifestyle habits that bring you into balance based on the season you’re in
My dominant dosha is Pitta, which means when I’m busy and stressed, some of the worst choices I can make are to drink more coffee, go to a hot yoga class at the end of the day and eat more than I should (Pitta's have a tendency to overeat).
Although I may think they'll make me feel good, they’re all things that increase heat in the system and will throw my already dominant Pitta dosha out of balance, increasing my feelings of stress instead of the opposite.
Why is this important in leadership?
Years of research show that leaders that are more self-aware and can understand and manage their emotions, are better leaders. As a holistic mind and body health system, Ayurveda gives you the tools to increase your self-awareness even further.
Knowing your dominant dosha can help you understand:
What drives you and what’s important to keep you going (in a healthy and sustainable way)
Your emotional triggers and what you need to keep them in balance
When you’re out of balance and how to recalibrate
When you’re in a high stress, 'fight or flight' mode for extended periods of time, your inner resources are focused on ‘escape, fight or security’, so it’s harder for you to listen fully, understand or empathise with another person’s point of view, or even make measured decisions.
When you’re in more resourceful state - physically, mentally and emotionally – you’re better able to connect, influence and inspire others, respond instead of react, help others grow and develop and take measured risks for long term outcomes.
Taking the time to understand your body and mind is key to maintaining your ability to be at your best.
If we agree it’s right for you, I’ll invite you to do a basic dosha assessment and we have an in-depth debrief on how it impacts you, your life and your leadership, as part of your coaching with me. If you'd like to talk more please get in touch.
The Ayurveda Experience also has tonnes of information and a free online quiz if you're curious for more resources.