Understanding Myself Through Yoga

This week, I learned that my dosha is pitta-vata with a pitta predominance. However, I have more vata than pitta mental and emotional attributes.

I have almost always had perceptions of a perfect person and what the ideal personality or character traits are supposed to be. However, the standards I hold myself against are difficult to live up to, likely also because they are vastly different from what my dosha inclines me to be. For example, even-temperedness is an ideal trait, but I am naturally hot-tempered (pita dosha). Therefore, when stressors in life get to me, or when I don’t live up to the standards I set. myself, it leads to feelings of anger at myself (from my pitta dosha) as well anxiety that I will never be good enough (from my vata dosha). To make things worse, I also fault myself for my short temper and anxiety, which perpetuates these emotions further. I guess that self-destructiveness is another quality of my vata self.

As I strive for self-growth and am quite hard on myself for my imperfections, I really liked finding out my doshas/life forces for a few reasons:

1. It helped me understand that attributes of myself which I deemed to be unideal or abnormal are in fact, normal and explainable, therefore helping me to accept myself as I am.

2. It helps me to manage myself through knowledge of my inherent strengths and weaknesses.

Understanding that such negative emotions could have been contributed by imbalances of my dosha has been helpful in easing off some of the pressure I put on myself, as well as provided me with some strategies on how I can manage it through my diet and lifestyle.

Master Sree/Max also said something which was very comforting to me. He explained that there are no right or wrong types of dosha, and while it is possible to change our dosha types through diet and lifestyle, he did not encourage it as he believed that we were born with specific life forces for a reason, mainly in keeping the balance of the world. His words serve as a reminder to forgive and accept myself for my inherent shortcomings, while I continue striving to be the best version of myself.

3. It helped me make sense of internal conflicts I experience.

For example, the pitta in me loves order, which means I enjoy making thorough plans for the day or week. However, the vata in me can also be impulsive, which results in last minute changes when the time comes for that plan to be carried out. This contradiction between vata and pitta qualities tends to create internal conflicts, where I’d admonish myself for being unable to stick to my set plans or routine (pitta), while also disliking my ‘uptight’ self and wanting to be free to change (vata).

Here is another example of internal conflict I experience. My pitta self is ambitious and competitive, which is expressed in my desire to be best in a specific field. However, I also have many different interests and am enthusiastic to experience it all, therefore my focus changes constantly (vata). This is frustrating because it means that even though I want to be a master in all things, I know it is literally impossible.

While the journey through life is always going to be challenging, I’m glad I found yoga as it has been proving to help make life a little more manageable. Initially, it was purely an outlet for exercise through which I can manage my stress but delving deeper into the theory of yoga has been so insightful and has shown that it can be helpful to my self-discovery and self-management. I know that I have barely only begun to scratch the surface of it all and am very excited about everything else there is to learn.