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3 types of psychophysiological constitution: Doshas

3 types of psychophysiological constitution: Doshas

by Shanti Gowans

In the human body, various anatomical structures and physiological processes have common attributes, and are closely influenced by each other. Such related structures and functions are grouped into three governing principles in Ayurveda. These three psycho-physiological governing factors are called doshas. The Sanskrit names for these three governing factors or doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.


The Vata principle includes the complete nervous system, some aspects of the endocrine glandular system which coordinate the metabolism and most of the sense organs. Vata structures and functions are also responsible for all the communications within the human being as well as the communication with the outer universe. Vata deals with transportation and movements within a person’s body and mind. Vata entities are responsible for the pumping action of the heart, the breathing process in the lungs, the peristaltic movement of the intestines, and all the movements of the bones and muscles.

Vata is also responsible for mental functions such as intuition, imagination, resilience, sensitivity, spontaneity, indecisiveness and emotions such as exhilaration, fear, insecurity and doubt. In lay terms, Vata represents the biological principles of air and space. Vata structures and functions usually have qualities such as dry, cold, light, quick, rough, unstable and subtle.

Pitta includes all the digestive enzymes secreted within our gastrointestinal system, the cellular enzymes and the stimulating hormones. Pitta structures and functions are responsible for all the digestion, absorption, assimilation, heat regulation, sweating and metabolism going on in the body and the mind. It also governs skin complexion, visual perception, and the process of understanding.

Pitta dosha is responsible for mental functions such as intelligence, confidence, enterprise, organisation and emotions such as joy, excitement, courage, anger, jealousy and hatred. Pitta may be described as the biological principle of fire and water. The structures and functions of Pitta have qualities such as hot, moist, light, fluid, sour-smelling, sharp and penetrating.


Kapha structures and functions are responsible for the growth, stability, lubrication and storage within the body. Kapha includes the musculoskeletal frame, composition of all joints, the process of tissue building, wound healing and various accumulations. Kapha dosha is also responsible for mental functions such as memory, tranquillity, faith, forgiveness, devotion, and emotions such as love, affection, calmness, patience, sympathy, attachment, greed and lethargy. Those with predominant Kapha are more susceptible to weight gain.

Kapha is the biological principle of water and earth. The Kapha structures and functions have qualities such as heavy, cold, wet, slow, steady, soft, oily, sweet and smooth.

Of all the three governing factors, Vata is fundamentally the most important, in that it coordinates both Pitta and Kapha. Vata govern all the general physical processes. Imbalances in Vata are therefore more serious in nature. Kapha provides the material foundation and support for both Vata and Pitta.


The structures and functions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are spread throughout the body, but in general, Kapha is more predominant in the area above the heart level. Important locations of Kapha are chest, throat, head, nose, sinuses, tongue, stomach, lymph and fat tissues. Within the digestive system, the primary location of Kapha is the stomach.

Pitta is generally more predominant in the area between the heart and the umbilicus. Important locations of Pitta are the small intestine, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, blood and organs of vision. Within the digestive system, the primary location of Pitta is the small intestine.

Vata is generally more predominant in the areas below the umbilicus level. Important locations of Vata are the colon, thighs, hips, bones, ears, and organs of touch. Within the digestive system, the primary location of Vata is the colon.

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Ayurvedic Training 2017

Ayurvedic Training 2017

New intake for Diploma of Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation starts Monday 10 July 2017. (Accredited Course Code HLT 52615, CRICOS code 089840B) at the Health Institute Australia, is a 600-hour Government Accredited, Austudy and CRICOS Approved Course. This course is designed for health seekers and is the foundational study course for Ayurvedic practitioners. Tutorials and attendance will be on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

New intake for Advanced Diploma in Ayurveda with Dr. Shilpi Boseroy BAMS starts Monday 10 July 2017. (Accredited Course Code HLT 62615, CRICOS code 089841A) from the Health Institute Australia is an 1200-hour Government Accredited, Austudy and CRICOS Approved Course. This course is the study course for becoming an Ayurvedic practitioner. Tutorials will be on Thursday mornings 10am-1pm. Fridays 10am – 5 pm.

Learn the art of Ayurvedic Vegetarian Cooking at the Health Institute Australia, Southport campus.
Tuesdays 4-5pm. Fee $60 AAPA members 10% discount. (07) 5531 0511

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Urine analysis

Urine analysis

During your lifetime, your kidneys will work very hard to filter over one million gallons of water. Urine is about 95 percent water and 5 percent uric acid, the stuff that your body does not need, including minerals, enzymes and salts that are dangerous if they accumulate in your body.

Urine can fluctuate in colour and odour depending on what you are eating and drinking, how active you are, the time of day, or what supplements you are taking. However, urine colour and odour can also be an indication of something more serious.

Urine should be pale yellow or clear, not glow-in-the-dark yellow or dark yellow. It should not be cloudy or have a knock-you-over odour, unless you have been eating asparagus! Anything other from clear and odourless could be a sign of trouble.

Urine is made up of excess water and waste that your kidneys have filtered. Urochrome, a pigment found in blood, gives urine its natural, light-yellow tone. Depending upon how hydrated you are, you urine colour can fluctuate from clear to darker yellow, or even tinted orange.

Here is a quick urine primer to fill you in on what you should look for and what your urine may be telling you.

Super clear or transparent

Yes, there is such a thing as urine that is too clear. If your urine is super clear, it may mean you are drinking too many fluids. Be careful not to over-hydrate. The best choice is to drink when you are thirsty! Another common rule of thumb is to aim for half of your body weight in ounces each day. This means, if your weight is 120 pounds, you should be drinking 60 ounces of water per day.

More serious conditions, such as acute viral hepatitis or cirrhosis, can also cause your urine to turn very clear. However, you will also have other symptoms, such as skin yellowing, nausea or vomiting with these conditions. Pale straw colouring to a transparent yellow hue means you are healthy and receiving a proper amount of hydration.

Dark yellow

While urine that is dark yellow in colour is still considered within a normal range for healthy individuals, however, it also likely indicates you may not be as hydrated as you should be.

Honey or amber coloured

These darker, orange hues are usually a sound indicator that you are becoming dehydrated. It is best to increase your water intake and then check to see if the colour returns to a normal yellow range. When combined with pale-coloured stools, orange urine may be an indication of liver problems.

Neon yellow

Glowing yellow urine may be the result of excess vitamins that are not being absorbed by your body, which places an extra loading on your body. It is best to eat from a healthy source of whole foods and stick to whole food supplements that your body can absorb.

Light to dark orange

This is a somewhat ambiguous colour because it could mean something or nothing. This tint can be caused from food dyes, dehydration, or actual health problems with your bile duct or liver. It is always best to check with a doctor.

Green or blue

This is most likely going to be caused from artificial colouring in something that you ate. However, it could be from a bacterial infection in the urinary tract or the sign of a rare genetic disorder. Consult with a doctor to rule out health problems.

Brown or cola-coloured

This colour is a possible sign of serious dehydration, or even possible liver disease. Immediately increase your water intake and check to see if the colour lightens. If this darkened colouration persists, you should follow up with your doctor.

Light pink to darker red

This is hard to interpret. Many foods can cause urine discolouration, such as beetroot and blueberries. Medications can also contain dyes and compounds that can change the colour of your urine. However, it might indicate the presence of blood in the urine, yet many times blood in the urine is not visible to the naked eye. There are a number of possible causes that would lead to blood in the urine, such as kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and prostate issues. It is always best to consult with your doctor to be sure.

Other considerations

In addition to colour, pay careful attention to other urine abnormalities including the following:

Cloudy urine

If you are having lower back pain, lower abdomen pain, or urinary urgency combined with cloudy urine, see a doctor. Cloudy urine may also be the result of kidney stones, generally accompanied by great pain.

Fizzy or foamy urine

Besides the colour, it’s important to take notice if your urine appears to be fizzy or foamy. If this only happens on rare occasions then it is likely just a benign cause. If it is occurring regularly, it may be indicating possible high levels of protein in the urine. When in doubt, it is best to get it checked out.


Normal urine should not have a strong odour, but there are also many substances that can alter the way your urine smells. Urine is the reflection of what is going on inside of your body and contains many metabolic by-products and compounds. Some dogs are even able to “smell cancer” in human beings.

If your urine has a very pungent aroma, like ammonia, it could be an indication of a urinary tract infection, urinary stones, or a sign of dehydration. Because dehydration causes urine to become concentrated, it will have a stronger than usual odour. Some sexually transmitted diseases, and certain metabolic conditions can also increase the ammonia smell.

Other reasons for a change in urine odour include the following:

Medications and supplements. Some may change the colour of urine.

Diet. Certain foods, such as asparagus, cause urine to smell foul.

Diabetes can cause urine to smell fruity or yeasty.

The most important thing to remember when checking your urine colour is that it can change to a myriad of colours because of a number of factors. Just knowing what normal urine should look and smell like provides a useful measuring tool. Noticing the colour changes in your urine can be an early indicator of potential health problems. See a doctor if your urine changes colour and the colour persists or is accompanied by other symptoms.

Paying attention to the colour (and smell) of your urine may be a warning sign to catch early health problems. It is certainly worth a quick sneak peek in the toilet bowl to make sure that everything is okay.



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Dhatu ksyaya

Dhatu ksyaya

The depletion of bodily tissues in Ayurveda is termed dhatu kshaya.

Whenever a tissue is depleted, there is soon a corresponding increase of Vata dosha in the body. All emptiness, all spaces in the body are soon filled up with Vata dosha. Examples include:

– soon after blood loss because of an injury causing hemorrhage, there is Vata dosha increase;

– soon after childbirth, there is Vata increase in the lower part of the body;

– when there is menstrual flow, the pain that some women suffer is a vata symptom. Vata increases when menstrual blood, known as arthava, flows out of the body.

Any depletion of tissues, including weight loss, causes vacant spaces which denote an abnormal increase in the combination of space (akasha) and wind/air (vayu) elements, the two elements which form Vata in the body. This leads to the vitiation of Vata. Thus any tissue depletion leads to the pathological increase of dhushya (the dosha disturb the body’s tissue). When more tissues are depleted, the more the wind (vayu) is aggravated and the more significant the damage. This leads to the manifestation of many diseases.

The pathological depletion of tissues also denotes deteriorating immunity. The essence of all the tissues is experiences as the immunity factor, ojas. Tissues form the building blocks of the body and their integrity denotes a balanced immunity.

Bone tissue (known as asthi), is associated with Vata dosha. Bone tissue and Vata are inversely proportion to each other, which is why when Vata increases, there is a corresponding degeneration of bone tissue, which leads to sandhivata, or osteo arthritis.

Kapha dosha is directly proportionally related to the following tissues:

nutrient fluid, rasa

muscle, mamsa

fat, meda

bone marrow, majja

reproductive fluid, shukra

urine, mutra

Faeces, puresha, and

essence and immunity of all the tissues, ojas.

Here, when these tissues decrease, there is a decrease in Kapha dosha, decrease of heaviness in the body. The decrease of heaviness in the body indicates increase of lightness, which is a vata quality. This leads to an increase in Vata dosha.


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