The 20 Qualities in Ayurveda
According to AYURVEDA, everything is experienced as a mixture of 20 different Qualities, or attributes, which describe everything in our Physical and Mental world.
The aggravation of the Doshas or their depletion is ascertained by the respective increase or decrease of their activities seen in the body.
Ayurveda has given us the ability to describe virtually any matter by means of 20 qualities. They are organized into 10 pairs of opposites. Substances, including the Doshas, exhibit 10 pairs of opposite properties. You’ll hear this come up a lot in Ayurvedic Descriptions to differentiate one thing from another. Ayurveda has broken them down like this:
- Heavy – Light
- Cold – Hot
- Unctuous – Dry
- Slow – Sharp
- Stable – Mobile
- Soft – Hard
- Slimy – Rough
- Viscous – Liquid
- Gross – Subtle
- Cloudy – Clear
An excess or deficiency in one of these qualities can lead to an imbalance in health. These opposite features point the way to effective diagnosis and treatment of illness in Ayurveda. Ayurveda believes that if the treatment is like the ailment it’s treating, it increases that ailment. Only an opposite quality can combat it.
It can be applied to anything you experience. When you are happy, it might feel light, and mobile and clear. Anger might feel hot and rough. This qualities also instruct us how to find Balance in our Diet & Lifestyle. When the weather is hot and dry, we might find that our body, mind or emotions become hot and dry as well.We could try taking a stroll in cool, light, moist moonlight. Moistening and cooling coconut juice might soothe. Or maybe even a heavy, cool nap.
When the body is experiencing something cold, wet and heavy, like a mucusy cough, it can be helpful to drink some channel-opening, warming, sharp, dry ginger tea. Or to sit in the hot, dry, penetrating sun for 20 minutes.
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