I’ve noticed a lot of tired people this week, people crippled by Daylight Savings Time’s new bright and early wake up hour. It can be a hard adjustment for our bodies to make – and it’s only an hour! As humans, we tend to like stability and routine, interspersed with variety and spontaneity, and the perfect balance is largely dependent on our constitution.
As an Ayurvedic practioner and teacher I’ve found that one of the most useful applications of doshic theory for my students is an understanding of the different ways each constitution relates to change. They’re able to apply this to their routine – and also use it with their partners, employees, employers, children and friends.
There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each represents a group of mental, emotional, and physical qualities, and everyone has a blend of all three. Most people have one or two doshas that are predominant, and some people have one dosha that is especially prominent. This article won’t even come close to giving you a complete education on the doshas, but I want to convey enough of this wisdom to give you a sense of how each one relates to change.
Change is inevitable. It’s up to us to create a healthy relationship to it.
Vata’s Relationship to Change
When Vata dominates someone’s constitution, they’re highly changeable. In fact, they will tend to desire change even when changing things may not be the best option. They don’t stay hooked into any single version of reality for long. They move, travel, change subjects, switch careers, and alter hair colors as often as my iPhone autocorrect thinks I’m trying to say ‘ducking.’ Vatas are often compelled to change, whether they like it or not. Their energy can come in surges and then disappear, their digestion can be fast and then slow, their enthusiasm can wax and wane. While change is inevitable for Vata, the more healing thing for them is to have periods of structure and stability. This will help focus their scattered minds and give them the ability to put all of their creative energy toward something of substance.
Pitta’s Relationship to Change
Pittas are results driven, so if change will get them closer to their goal then they’ll get on board readily and with gusto in the new direction. However, if they don’t see the change as beneficial for their desired end result, they will resist it with fiery passion. The most useful tool for Pittas in dealing with change is to take a little time to process and plan the change before acting. It can be hard for Pittas, who tend to be fast thinkers and fast responders, to allow for a little space in a situation they think is faulty. Doing this will give them perspective – and be gentler on those who may be affected – before they move fervently with the change or react hastily in opposition to it.
Kapha’s Relationship to Change
Kaphas dislike change. I’d say that they hate change, but they aren’t likely to express emotion in such a strong manner. So, I’ll stick with dislike. Kaphas are prone to staying in crappy situations, because they would rather have the crappy situation they know than the unknown future that change would bring. When forced to change, Kaphas are very slow to adapting. But, once they adapt, they’ll be loyal and dedicated to the new situation.
For Kaphas, regularly changing certain elements of their routine is helpful for maintaining balance. Varying things like food choices, exercises, clothing, or route to work – trying new things – can help them remain flexible. They also do well with lots of physical movement and mental stimulation, this breaks up and moves stuck energy and makes it easier for them to adapt to change.
You can use this ancient wisdom to help work through changes in your family or business. If you live or work around a Pitta, don’t take it personally when they decide without warning that a major overhaul is necessary. Help them get some perspective and cool down a bit before making any big changes. If you have a Kapha kid or employee, giving them a lot of time to get used to a change before it’s implemented can help ease them into it and relieve some of the resistance they are likely to feel. If you have a Vata partner, knowing about their variability may help you be more tolerant when they change the subject in mid-sentence, or seem unable to make up their mind about anything.
How do you react to change? What can you do to help maintain a healthy balance?
Your loving Pitta,