Ayurveda offers something that is really appealing to people. It says that regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. that you have the ability to heal. It also doesn’t pretend that each and every person is somehow equal to everyone else and there is a one size fits all approach to medicine.
However, Ayurveda does categorize people. But it categorizes them in the same way it categorizes everything in nature, including medicine and disease. These categorizations are the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas we’ve grown to know and love so much over the past four months.
This brings me to finding “your” dosha. People often want a really quick answer. They want to be able to say “I’m definitely a Kapha (or Vata or Pitta).” So they seek to find out what type they are. The easiest way is to take an online quiz. It will ask you a series of questions, you check the boxes, it spits out the answer:
“Congrats! You’re _____ dosha!”
Maybe you’ve even seen a yoga instructor or someone who doesn’t specialize in Ayurveda, but does a similar such quick assessment via template questions. But the problem with these sorts of things is that they are never objective.
Not only do people tend to give inaccurate information, since we naturally all have a distorted view of ourselves, but the questionnaires themselves will never be thorough enough, except to provide accuracy in the most stereotypical of patients (which are a sliver of a fraction of the population).
The only real way to gain an objective and thorough understanding of how your body works is to see a trained Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (CAS). A CAS is qualified to find the whole story about you. They are professionals who seek to understand the whole person, from their history right down to the minutia of their current state of health. An initial consultation with a CAS takes two hours! When’s the last time someone sat down with you and cared that much about hearing about your life?
It is so tempting to jump into one of those quick little surveys. I will admit, even I have done it. They’re entertaining because the doshas themselves are very interesting and relatable. They are as fun as those “Find out which TV show character you are!” quizzes and the like we see on Facebook. But they don’t give the complete picture. Worse still, they can give a completely inaccurate one that people will use to then justify making health decisions. Like using webMD, after taking a survey on which dosha you are, it’s so tempting to start googling ayurvedic remedies to all your problems.
Don’t be tempted to do this.
I cannot stress that enough. Ayurveda is a medical science, and as such it requires training. When your stove breaks down, unless you are trained in how to fix it, you will have to call a repairman. Why? Because if you aren’t careful you could break an expensive piece of equipment, or even hurt yourself. A CAS is the stove repairman for your diet and lifestyle and diseases.
Those questionnaires aren’t all bad. If they are introducing people to the doshas and to Ayurveda, then that’s a good thing. But let that curiosity grow into seeing a trained professional. The 5000 year old science of Ayurveda cannot be learned in the span of a 5 minute survey and a few google searches relating to your symptoms.
I can safely say from the type of instructors and students I have been journeying with in the college, that Ayurveda Practitioners genuinely care and strive to help people improve their lives.
So take that quiz if it perks your curiosity. But trust me when I say it’s more than worth it to see a CAS. The cost associated with being unhealthy is far greater. Don’t wait two years until I am done my program to see me! I’m flattered but you can see someone else now! 🙂
Your journey into healing begins in each and every moment.