The Spiritual Nutrition live-food diet is qualitatively different from the classic Ayurvedic diet, which aims primarily at balancing the doshas to prevent or heal disease. Although classical Ayurveda does not usually recommend a 100-percent live-food diet, we can certainly employ its principles to create an optimal, individualized, Spiritual Nutrition diet for ourselves.
There are many perspectives we can use to help guide our choice of diet. The tridosha system of the science of Ayurveda is particularly useful in helping us maintain our awareness of nutrition as the interaction between the forces of food and our own dynamic forces. According to Ayurveda, the five basic elements of creation – air, water, fire, earth, and ether–manifest in the human psychosomatic complex as three dosha essences: vata, kapha, and pitta. We are all born as a constitutional combination of the three. They govern all our biological and psychological aspects. When they are in balance, they maintain the body in a healthy physiological state. If the doshas become unbalanced, the result can range from a feeling of subtle disharmony in the body-mind complex to the development of disease.
When one dosha predominates as a constitutional force or is the most easily imbalanced, a person is said to have a constitution of that dosha. The word dosha means that which is thrown out of balance. When a person is described as being a particular constitutional dosha, it means that is the dosha most easily thrown out of balance for that person. There are seven basic constitutional types: kapha, vata, pitta, vata-pitta, pittakapha, kapha-vata, and kapha-pitta-vata. There are subtle variations of the different constitutional types. Having a feeling for our constitutional type helps us make choices about what foods we eat, when we eat, and how to change our diet with the seasons. The purpose of this chapter is to give enough of a sense of the tridosha system that we can begin to identify our particular constitution as a key in organizing our diet.