Ayurveda is a holistic, complimentary health-care system designed to restore and maintain balance in the mind and body. Known as yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda is considered the world’s oldest healing modality—providing a path of health and wellness that continues to help people stay vibrant and thriving. At its core is the principle of balance across three elemental mind-body states called doshas. The doshas each are associated with elements: Vata is associated with air and ether, pitta is associated with fire and water, and kapha is associated with earth and water.
Despite Ayurveda’s ancient roots, there are plenty of people who are unfamiliar with Ayurvedic principles. So 24Life asked Erin Casperson, dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and an Ayurveda health counselor, to answer some burning questions.
24Life: How does someone begin to learn about Ayurveda? Are online quizzes and tests a good place to start so that you can begin to understand what your mind-body (or dosha) type is?
Erin Casperson: The tests present a very Americanized version of Ayurveda, which is fine because that’s where we are and I think all of us love little tests. They ask about someone’s constitution or current state of being, or usually a mix of both. … So I don’t think the tests themselves are a problem. My issue with them is that there is never a step two. What do you do with that information?
[When a prospective client comes to me having taken a test], it shows me that somebody is interested, they’ve done a little research, they found some things out [and now they want to know] what to do with that information.