Ayurvedic Psychology


The sages of India, called rishis, who originated the Ayurvedic system of medicine discovered that all diseases have a mental / emotional / spiritual root. Therefore it is very important to understand and take care of our thoughts and emotions.

The mind is known as one of several channels that exist in the human body and is called the mano vaha srota. This mental channel does not have its origin in the head, it has its origin in the heart, that is, in our emotions. It's as if Ayurveda is telling us that we need to get out of our heads and get to know our hearts. This is similar to the Toltec sages of Mesoamérica who "dialogued with their heart" and this custom was considered a central practice in their disciplines of integral development of consciousness.

In Ayurveda mental health is not separate from spiritual health. In Ayurveda medicine, what we consider spirit is the fifth sheath of human beings, which in yoga philosophy is called the anandamaya kosha. It refers to the "bliss sheath" because it's the part of an individual where there are no more thoughts or emotions, only bliss, happiness and peace. So Ayurvedic psychology not only treats the mind, but rather heals the heart, mind and spirit.

From this broader perspective, mental health can provide us with immunity to a wide range of diseases and abundant energy. Mental imbalance can be the cause of illnesses that diminish our health. A balanced Ayurvedic constitution, Vata, Pitta or Kapha, shines with all the positive qualities of their mental nature:

A balanced Vata mind is enthusiastic, unique, fast, motivated, creative, dynamic, with a lightness of being and a pronounced intuition.

A balanced Pitta mind expresses mental clarity, courage, intelligence, vision, leadership, satisfaction, and passion for your ideals.

A balanced Kapha mind is filled with love, compassion, steadfastness, patience, support, caring, and serenity.

An unbalanced mind expresses itself as follows:

Vata: hyperactive, anxious, obsessive, overwhelmed, worried, fearful, scattered, confused, changeable, without direction, self-sabotage, addicted, accelerated thoughts and words, unstable depression, feelings of loneliness, panic and instability.

Pitta: frustrated, over-critical, over-demanding, perfectionist, impatient, envious, resentful, anger, stupidity, rigid in their own ideas, exaggerated ambition, frustrated depression, ruthless desire for power.

Kapha: apathetic, complacent, lazy, possessive, deep sadness, attached, envious, jealous, greedy, slow to understand, lethargic depression, with a tendency to accumulate material possessions, and to bury/hide their emotions from everyone including themselves.

How do we take care of our mental, emotional, and spiritual health? Here I share three Ayurvedic tools that any constitution can use:

  • Spending more time in nature: this connects us to our own nature and the mind begins to balance itself quickly. Ideally we leave the city, but if it's not possible, we can spend time in city parks and take care of a plant at home.

  • Meditate: a discipline that begins to train the mind to be at the service of our consciousness and not vice-versa. You can start with the simple practice of meditating for a minute a day upon awakening by simply observing the breath. When you get distracted just kindly guide your attention back to observing the breath.

  • Cultivate a good relationship with food: when you eat imagine that you are feeding a sacred being (your high vibrational nature) and surely you will make better food choices. It should not be an arrogant intention but a change of perspective so as not to project your neurosis onto your relationship with food.

The mind of each constitution benefits from practicing and cultivating ways of being the exact opposite of what they naturally desire. This must be practiced with great patience and without trying to force anything as it can be very difficult.

Here are some suggestions of what each constitution can do to balance their mind:

The Vata mind must balance its mobile/nervous nature:

  • simplify your daily activities.

  • limit your screen time.

  • learn how to do nothing from time to time.

  • visualization in your meditations: earth colored roots that start from your hips towards your legs and feet and extend and connect you deeply to the earth proving you with a feeling of tranquility, peace and security.

The Pitta mind must balance its ambitious/mobile nature:

  • remember that you are valuable even in the moments that you are not productive.

  • smile and don't take things too seriously.

  • take time to enjoy life and not just work.

  • visualization in your meditations: see and feel a cool, blue liquid light gel that shines from your heart and spreads through the entire interior of your body leaving a feeling of freshness, calm and regeneration.

The Kapha mind must balance its stable/co-dependent nature

  • change something small in your daily routine to get out of your comfort zone.

  • get rid of material things you don't need.

  • do activities by yourself and for yourself.

  • visualization in your meditations: see a flame of fire illuminating your chest, the orange light spreads throughout your body transforming and liberating psychic accumulations leaving you with a feeling of lightness, alertness and action.

Talking with a counselor, Ayurvedic practitioner, teacher, and/or trusted friends is also an important practice in maintaining mental balance for everyone. Isolating yourself can make mental imbalances much more pronounced. In very extreme imbalances where the mind is affecting the basic capabilities of the individual, the support of a medical professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist is necessary.

The most powerful tool that Ayurveda gives us in relation to mental health is the perspective that we are already well we just need to find balance so that the positive aspects of our nature shine more than the unbalanced aspects. Understanding ourselves is the most powerful practice we have. Also, in Ayurveda, eating more ghee strengthens the nervous system and using Nasya (nasal drops) balances emotions and thoughts. Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and shatavari are taken in Ayurvedic medicine to make the nervous system adapt more easily to life changes. Ashwagandha and Shatavari are the base herbs of our formula Calma that you can buy from us. Hopefully they can take care of their spirits, minds, and hearts with the reflections in this article.

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