Prakruti And Vikruti: What They Are And What They Mean For Your Health
The treatment of any condition or symptoms in Ayurveda is based on the specific underlying Dosha responsible for the same. And the Dosha, in turn, is determined by the person’s Prakruti and Vikruti.
Depending on your Prakruti and Vikruti, your ayurvedic practitioner is able to understand the fundamental aspect of your health and the imbalances created due to Doshas.
The nature of your constitution (Prakruti) and the nature of imbalances in your mind, body, and soul (Vikruti) influences the type of ayurvedic treatments, specific herbs recommended, and the lifestyle choices needed to restore balance.
Hence, there is a need to understand the concept of Prakruti and Vikruti to be able to provide a holistic solutions and help him or her overcome imbalances.
Read on to learn more about Prakruti and Vikruti and why these 2 concepts are critical in the ayurvedic system of medicine.
What is Prakruti: The Constitution
The Prakruti of a person has been given the utmost importance in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. In Sanskrit, the prefix “pra” refers to “original” and the word “kruti” means “creation”.
So, Prakruti can be translated as the person’s constitution or the “original creation”.
This means the Prakruti of any person is the inherent balance of the three Doshas of their mind, body, and soul at the moment of their creation.
It is at this moment when our psychological and physiological tendencies are created and become fixed. It is these undisturbed and ever-lasting basic tendencies of a person that remain with them throughout their life and do not change even after exposure to and influence from various internal and external factors.
For example, each of us has certain tendencies that influence and determine the thickness of our skin, the shape of the face, the length of our fingers, and the strength and efficiencies of our circulatory system and digestion.
Tendencies related to all bodily features and physiological functions are determined when we are born or created. These tendencies do not change during our lifetime and form the foundation of our Doshas.
Prakruti can influence your health in both positive and negative ways. It can determine whether you would be more prone to develop issues that are digestive, or respiratory, or immunological in nature and thus, influence your physical health.
In addition to these, there are also some tendencies related to the specific personality type or how a person would react emotionally to any situation of stress.
For example; every person has a tendency to be extroverted or introverted, calm or restless, laid back or intense, and so on.
These tendencies influence the mental health of a person and play a key role in determining his actions and behaviors under different circumstances.
For instance; a person who has a calm Prakruti would be able to face a stressful situation with more ease and patience compared to a person who is restless and anxious by nature.
All of this remains coded in our constitution. The Prakruti of a person - both physical and emotional - usually does not change throughout his or her lifetime. This means that your basic nature and tendencies to develop certain health issues would remain the same and determine your ability to stay healthy and active or be successful or satisfied in the personal, academic, and professional spheres.
What is Vikruti: The Nature of Imbalances
Vikruti is what happens AFTER the creation. This Sanskrit word is driven for the term “vi” which means “after” and the word “kruti” which means “creation”.
The Vikruti of a person is the state of the 3 doshas after the moment of creation or conception.
Once a baby has been conceived, the embryo is exposed to various factors. The embryo may be altered due to the surrounding environment.
When in a healthy environment, the embryo would be formed in an optimal manner. Following birth, if the environment continues to remain optimal, the child grows up being healthy, physically as well as emotionally.
However, if the environment is not healthy or is less than optimal, the 3 Doshas may become disturbed due to which the normal physiological functions would be affected resulting in the development of diseases.
In Ayurveda, when we talk of Vikruti, it refers to the current state of 3 Doshas and how they have changed over a period of time after your creation due to the influence of the environment.
Due to the unhealthy or the less than optimal environment we often find ourselves in, different forms of Vikruti may arise that we call symptoms or a diseased state. It indicates that the mind and body have moved away from the state of health.
However, as far as you are surrounded by an optimal environment, your Prakruti and Vikruti would be the same. In this state, the tendencies still exist in your mind and body though they do not express themselves in a manner that causes any disturbance and symptoms.
The Importance of Prakruti and Vikruti
Ayurvedic physicians strongly recommend correcting the imbalances in your internal and external environment to ensure your Prakruti and Vikruti remain the same. It is this state that can protect you against the development of serious disorders by keeping you in harmony with your true inner self as was created at the time of your creation.
Any imbalance in your environment can disrupt this harmony and initiate the development of diseases.
Ayurvedic practitioners and physicians aim to understand your Vikruti and the different aspects of your environment that could have contributed to these disturbances. Once the Vikruti has been identified, the physician can recommend appropriate strategies to correct the internal and external environment.
The strategies may include changing your diet and adopting healthy habits like regular exercises, yoga, and meditation to restore the balance between the 3 Doshas.
The ayurvedic treatment may also include the use of herbs, spices, and essential oils that can correct the imbalances in the Doshas and eliminate Vikruti that is not in harmony with your Prakruti formed at the time of your creation.