Is your relationship too fiery? Is there too much “go with the flow” and not enough stability? Does one partner constantly have their head in the clouds, forgetting important events, while the other rigidly adheres to calendars and schedules? If so, you may have a relationship in need of Ayurvedic rebalancing.
Ayurveda is an ancient science of medicine, often considered yoga’s sister science. The word Ayurveda means “Knowledge of life,” and its principles are designed to guide us to our best life.
Know who you (and your partner) are
Ayurveda’s core philosophy centers around the three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. These doshas are combinations of the five great elements (Pancha Maha-Bhuta): Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.
Earth + Water = Kapha
Fire = Pitta
Air + Ether = Vata
In Ayurvedic philosophy, the elements live within, around, and between everything that exists. This includes our bodies, our minds, and, of course, our relationships.
The first step in using Ayurvedic wisdom to balance your relationship is to know your dosha and that of your partner. There are many simple online tests you can take to find out.
Know the elements present in your relationship
Next, note the elements the two of you bring to the relationship. Consider how these elements relate to each other in real life (i.e., how fire and air interact). Do you see any similarities in your relationship? Can you see through the eyes of the elements where the imbalances might lie, and what might be needed to help balance it?
To get you thinking, here are examples of the doshas in relationship play-action:
- Kapha and vata can support each other in powerful ways. The kapha brings stability and support, while vata helps keep things light and spontaneous. But sometimes, these two life philosophies can become combative — the kapha wanting the vata to settle down, and the vata wishing the kapha could try something new for a change.
- When pitta (fire) is involved in any relationship, there is bound to be heat and friction. This can manifest as passion and enthusiasm, or as jealousy or anger.
- A kapha (earth) person can stabilize a relationship, but can also be stubborn, which can drive a vata (air) person — generally a mover and shaker — crazy. In turn, the lightness of mind of a vata can feel like indecisiveness to a routine-loving kapha.
Balancing dual doshas
Are you both the same dosha? A relationship becomes more challenging when both people are the same dosha, as they easily push each other into imbalance. Here’s how to balance these relationships.
There’s often a lot of spontaneity and detachment when both people are vata, which can be fun for a while. But, if you wish to ground this relationship, bring the element of earth into your relationship by creating boundaries, schedules, and expectations. Also, use the element of fire — through the décor, your meals, or even the color of the walls — to keep you both focused and engaged.
You’ll need to keep your environment cool and light. Try to avoid spicy foods and alcohol both of which aggravate pitta, and choose classical or jazz music over loud or intense music. Keep the temperature in the home on the cool side, and wear cool colors and light fabrics to balance the heat pitta naturally generates.
Your relationship needs an environment with movement, stimulation, and heat to keep the relationship balanced and inspired. Sit by the fire, engage in lively debates, or start an exercise program together to keep kapha from getting stagnant or stuck.
When and how to pull in outside elements
In many relationships, there is at least one “missing” element. This can lead to an imbalance or disharmony, as every element has a place in a healthy relationship ecosystem. Here are some ways to bring in the qualities of that missing element(s).
If neither of you has vata, you’re missing the movement, lightness, and creativity that air and ether bring to a relationship. Try to lighten things up by spending a day together without any plans or agenda. Go to an art museum or a movie that can “lift you up” or “take you away” from your ambitions and routines for a while.
If neither of you has pitta, you’re missing the intensity, passion, commitment, and drive of fire. Set some goals for your future and work toward them together. “Spice up” your sex life. And go ahead — talk politics and religion for a while; it’s good to create some heat and friction once in a while!
If neither of you has kapha, the relationship is lacking the routines and stability of earth. Keep in mind that it’s okay to have some regular, comfortable patterns. Try meeting up for a coffee at the same time, same place, and let yourself settle in to the comfort that a container provides.
While some relationship matches are naturally more balancing and harmonious, it’s possible to make any combination of doshas work in a relationship. It all starts with knowing your dosha.