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Ayurveda and Relationships

Written by Mary Thompson

When considering one’s relationship the temptation arises to base the hopes for its future on one’s basic constitution and the constitution of the other.  Some think that certain doshic types thrive when bonded in relationship and that others are doomed to fail.  The truth of the matter is that anyone, when in a state of balance and consciousness, may succeed in a relationship with anyone else.  The doshic types are simply one way that we may determine what challenges are likely to arise over the course of time. Once one recognizes and understands the basic nature of the partner, opportunities arise to respond to any situation with compassion.  To further this understanding, it is helpful to gain the Ayurvedic perspective on the potential challenges of the different doshic types.

People of Vata nature, when balanced, are playful, innovative, adaptable, gregarious and fun.  They are lively and, often bring a sense of enthusiasm and vitality to the relationship.  When imbalanced, these people become anxious, fearful, overwhelmed, scattered and undependable.  Overdoing disturbs Vata nature; unfortunately, this is what Vatas often love best.  Irregularity in sleeping, eating and activities create the scenario for Vata overload and the Vata nature will soon begin to show the signs of imbalance.  As the partner of a person with Vata nature, when one sees the patterns and warning signs, one may assist with putting into place any calming and grounding practices to slow the person down and encourage finding the peaceful center where Vata can rest.  Physical and mental rest, time in nature, yoga asana practice and meditation are all highly beneficial in revitalizing people of Vata nature.  Taking a look at trimming down the activity overload is another important component.  Then they can resume their joyful zest for life.

People of Pitta nature, when balanced, are articulate, brilliant, insightful, organized and compassionate.  They are efficient and often see the best way to approach and right any situation.  When imbalanced, these people may become critical, judgmental, angry, controlling and hurtful.  Heat, intensity, competition and excessive drive both attract and disturb Pitta nature.  As these behaviors heat up, the partner will often become the target of this Pitta’s wrath.  As fires need fuel, one of the best things to do is to provide cooling food for the overwrought Pitta, such as raw vegetables or juices.  It is often best to leave the food within Pitta’s reach and step away until they have tempered the fire a bit.   Mental rest, meditation and practicing compassion are key to calming the active Pitta mind. Cooling aromas, such as peppermint or rose and walks in the cool evening air will also help to regain the Pitta composure.

People of Kapha nature, when balanced, are loving, supportive, methodical, thorough and friendly.  They are the nurturers of the world and maintain strong ties to family and long time friends.  When imbalanced, these people may become immobile, stubborn, overly sentimental and melancholy.  Attachment to routine and lack of activity or sensory stimulation will set the stage for Kapha imbalance.  When one notices the inertia settle into one’s partner, it is imperative to take action.  Stimulating conversation, physical activity, diversity in diet and daily activity will offset the heaviness that weighs the Kapha down.   Sleeping less and exercising more, such as with an active yoga practice, help to move that earthy quality of Kapha allowing the cloud of melancholy to lift and the individual to resume their nurturance of others and the relationship.

The key factor is balance.  For each partner, there will be inherent challenges to maintaining balance when in relationship.  We are often compelled early in relationship to set aside what is balancing to us in order to bond more closely with the other.  Believing that by losing a little of myself, I can gain a little more of you, we act in ways that are out of accordance with our nature and set the stage for future imbalance.  The best gift one can bring to a partner in relationship is a whole and present self to share the adventure of life.  By identifying what activities are likely to create imbalance and limiting these in our lives, we take strides towards healing ourselves.  By recognizing the qualities of imbalance in our partner, we can be compassionate to their struggles and supportive of how they can create balance in their lives.