Ayurveda Basics: Prakruti and Vikruti

Ayurveda teaches that each us of is born with a unique constitutional balance.  This is known as our prakruti.  Prakruti is  determined by our parents’ nature, as well as the circumstances of our birth.  Our mother’s emotional and physical state, the season, and location of our birthplace are all determining factors in our prakruti.  Then our prakruti becomes imbalanced due to internal and external factors and becomes vikruti. Prakruti and vikruti go hand in hand.

Genetic factors, bad food combining, repressed emotions, weak tissue and organ systems all contribute to our vikruti.  Prakruti is our inner nature, while vikruti is our imbalanced current state. We need to consider both prakruti and vikrutiin an Ayurvedic assessment.

Ayurveda utilizes an eightfold examination process.  The best determination of prakruti and vikruti is through the pulse. Ayurveda’s system of nadi pariksha has seven levels of pulse on each hand. The most superficial level is the vikruti or our current state. The deepest level is our prakruti, our original nature.

Prakruti and vikruti are described in terms of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  We are either born with one of the three doshas prominent, or with a dual doshic prominence.  This manifests as a combination of Vata and Pitta equally or Pitta and Kapha equally.

Any or all of the three doshas can become imbalanced at any time, though our prominent dosha is most subject to imbalance.  A doshic imbalance is a state of variance from our equilibrium. We want to go back to that homeostasis.

Seasons can also contribute to imbalances. Generally, we are susceptible to Pitta imbalances in the summer, Vata in the fall and winter, and Kapha in the winter and spring.

While it’s important to know our prakruti, as it is our true nature, an Ayurvedic practitioner will pay most attention to the vikruti.  It’s what has to be balanced through Ayurvedic herbs, dietary modifications, lifestyle regimens, and Ayurvedic treatment.  All these are customized to suit your needs.  This free quiz can help you determine your vikruti and give you a glimpse into your health patterns.

Once we know our vikruti, we can partake in the journey to restore our health to its natural state of balance through Ayurveda.

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Madhavi Rathod is a graduate and former employee of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM, the premier educational facility for Ayurvedic Medicine in the U.S.  She has worked closely with Dr. Vasant Lad, the President of the Ayurvedic Institute. Madhavi has also studied Vedic rituals with Maya Tiwari at the Wise Earth School. She is also a trained Vedic astrologer. Madhavi incorporates these sister sciences to provide people with a comprehensive healing plan for their lives. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner and Vedic astrologer and combines these sister sciences to help individuals achieve their optimal well-being. She resides in Northern California.

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