How Ayurveda Can Help Us Have Stronger, Healthier Relationships
The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda offers many potent health, wellness, and beauty solutions that have persisted throughout the ages. Many know about the benefits of yoga on our physical and mental health, for example, or about the transformative potential of Ayurvedic self-massage. But Ayurvedic wisdom extends even further than these benefits, and to places even more profound than the realms of health and wellness. As a philosophy that promotes balance and holistic unity, Ayurveda also offers a powerful mindset and framework for experiencing romantic love. In Ayurveda, not only is it important to attain balance within oneself between mind, body, and soul—it’s also crucial to achieving harmony with our environment and with those around us.
There are few areas where the ideas of balance and unity take on a more important role than in the realm of romantic relationships. In Ayurvedic tradition, the concept of doshas offers one lens through which we can learn how to achieve greater balance in our romantic relationships. According to Ayurveda, while most of us contain a combination of all three doshas within us, one dosha typically acts as a dominant force making up our constitution. It’s crucial that we maintain balance within and among our doshas, because if we don’t, both physical and emotional ailments can arise.
Just as we need to find the right balance for our dosha within our own bodies, it’s also important to find balance between the doshas of people who are in a relationship with each other. Each dosha gravitates toward a different way of experiencing love and relationships. Understanding one’s dosha can therefore help partners understand each others’ relationship styles and encourage partners to work together to find doshic balance rather than let arguments or disagreements push them farther apart. Here’s a brief breakdown of each dosha’s relationship style, along with advice on how to achieve relationship balance through the lens of the Ayurvedic doshas.
How Each Dosha Loves
Vatas are dominated by ether and air. As a result, they are like the wind—fast-moving, creative, and full of ideas. They are social and spontaneous. They bring adventure and energy to their relationships. However, due to their more ethereal and light constitution, imbalances can cause them to have a weak digestive system, sleep lightly, and run cold. Emotionally, vatas can easily feel ungrounded, leading them to become at times insecure and anxious within their relationships. However, this anxiety can be alleviated by words of reassurance and affirmation from their partner. So if your vata partner seems stressed or insecure, don’t leave them to battle it out on their own—tell them how much you appreciate and value them.
Pittas, ruled by the fire element, are very driven, motivated, and passionate. They are meticulous, organized, and great at envisioning and executing their goals. In short, pittas get things done. However, this strong fiery energy can lead them to experience “digestive fires” like acid reflux and inflammation when imbalanced. They may become irritable and impatient, and, as they speak their minds with frankness and ease, they may end up saying things their partner doesn’t want to hear. Having patience with a pitta when they enter these modes is key—when they’re feeling better, they respond with deep passion, commitment, and a love fueled by fire.
Dominated by earth and water, kaphas are grounded, stable, and loving presences. They are consistent and calm, committed and sweet. However, when imbalanced, they tend to become lethargic, sad, and unwilling to make changes. They might gain weight or experience more severe allergic reactions. When a kapha is in a rut, their partner should help them get off the couch and insert some exciting changes into their routine. Go to a movie or a concert together, or go on a short trip somewhere new—you’ll be sure to experience an exciting reinvigoration of your relationship, too.
How to Achieve Relationship Balance—Regardless of Your Doshic Combination
While there are some doshic combinations that, on the surface, are more compatible than others, one of the most important things in any relationship is to pay close attention to your partner’s needs, wants, and feelings. It’s also extremely important to recognize your own tendencies and flaws, and to prevent them from causing unnecessary trouble or conflict in your relationship. Regardless of dosha, if you have an awareness of the compositional tendencies of both yourself and your partner, you can work together toward achieving a healthy, nurturing balance.
In Ayurveda, the concept of sattva refers to self-acceptance, awareness, and compassion. By cultivating our sattva, we can learn to understand the disposition of both ourselves and our partners. In achieving this higher realm of awareness, we can subsequently better understand how to respond productively when conflicts arise, rather than letting them create harmful feelings of anger or resentment. By understanding our and our partners’ doshas, we can ultimately become more conscientious, loving, and compassionate in our relationships—traits that are certain to encourage greater feelings of connection and togetherness.