Our daily life consists of relationships, both the relationships we have with others and the relationship we have with ourselves. To improve your relationships with others, we first need to start with how we treat ourselves. It can often be easier to give love, compassion, and respect to others, while we can be negative, harsh and mean to ourselves. As in all areas of our life, when things are in balance, they tend to harmonize better. The way to maintain healthy, happy relationships is to start with caring for your self. Relationships act as a mirror for self-growth, self-learning, and enquiry and yet they can also make us reactive and triggered to past traumas if we don’t work on our inner selves. If we don’t take care of ourselves everything begins to suffer from friendships, partnerships, domestic life, our health, self-confidence to overall quality of life. Having time to take care of yourself whether that is through exercise, yoga, mediation, massage, or going to the spa, it doesn’t matter. Working on yourself first can give you the time to delve into what you may be feeling and to relax.
Emotions often arise from reactions to our daily relationships or past traumas. Often these reactions are due to inattention to your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions and to those of the person you are with. You cannot control how others are feeling or acting, but we can gain compassion and understanding for where they might be in their lives. Ayurveda teaches us that everyone is unique and has a different make up of a variety of shapes, behaviors, emotions, and appearances. Ayurveda identifies three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up an individuals body and mental constitutions. The Doshas can give you an insight into different reasons why someone might act a certain way. Instead of blaming, we look at tendencies as a way to increase compassion and support for yourself and your partner.
Different Dosha Types:
Vata people, when balanced, have high creativity and can be playful, innovative, gregarious, and adaptable. They are lively and fun and often bring vitality and enthusiasm to relationships. Out of balance, they can be anxious, fearful, overwhelmed, and undependable. They often can be extremely undecided, spacy, and forgetful. It can appear like they aren’t listening or that they don’t care. These qualities can tend to bother people if you don’t have compassion for why they might be out of balance. Overdoing disturbs Vata people and yet they often have a tendency for it. Irregularity in eating, sleeping, and activities create Vata imbalances. As a partner of a predominately Vata person, one can assist their partner or friend by helping them find calming and grounding practices to slow down and calm the mind. Physical and mental rest, spending time in nature, slow yoga asana practice, and mediation can all be high revitalizing to people with a Vata nature.
Pitta people, when balanced, are insightful balanced, articulate, brilliant, and organized. They are efficient and often find the best way to take on any situation. Out of balance, they can be too driven and can tend to want to control everything. They can be critical, judgmental, angry, and hurtful. For some this hot headedness can become road rage or reactionary anger. Heat, competition, intensity, and excessive driven behavior both attract and unbalance Pitta people. As these increase, the partner of a Pitta person can often be the blunt of their imbalances. Cooling foods are best for the pitta, such as juices, fruits (like melons and berries), and coconut oil. Mental rest, mediation, and practicing compassion are the best ways for a Pitta person to calm their active mind. Cooling aromas in the house like peppermint and rose can help regulate the Pitta in the household.
Kapha individuals, when balanced, are supportive, loving, thorough, and friendly. They are true nurturers and maintain family and long-term friends. Out of balance, they can tend to be unmotivated, immobile, stubborn, and suffer from melancholy. Out of balance they can also tend to have attachment issues to their partner or money. If they get too attached to their routine and have a lack of activity, it can lead to Kapha imbalances. As a partner of a Kapha individual, if you see the inertia settle in try stimulating more conversation, physical activities, diversity in diet and daily routines. For Kaphas, sleeping less and moving more help them feel balanced and active.
The key part in relationships is balance. By recognizing the tendencies of your partner you can have compassion and help facilitate bringing them into balance. Yet, don’t forget that balance must start with your self. There is often a tendency in relationships to set aside what balances you in order to get closer to another. The best gift you can give a partner or friend is working on becoming your whole and healthy self. From your wholeness you can meet others in theirs, and create long lasting relationships.
Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda Volume I: Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda. Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic Press, 2002. Print. 283-284.