Ayurveda's 10 Pair Of Opposites – The Delicate Dance Of Balance

Authored By: 
Prani Lifestyle Consulting

Everything you see around you, and everything you don’t, can be described by 10 pair of opposites. In Sanskrit they are called gunas (qualities, or attributes).

  1. Heavy/Light
  2. Dull/Sharp
  3. Cold/Hot
  4. Oily/Dry
  5. Smooth/Rough
  6. Dense/Porous (or liquid)
  7. Soft/Hard
  8. Still/Moving
  9. Gross/Subtle
  10. Cloudy/Clear

Look around you to find examples. No recall how these qualities have been present in you, across the majority of your lifetime.

1. Historically and for the most part, has your body frame been light, or heavy throughout your life? What about your mind; mood, thoughts, actions.

2.Consider your wit, speech and perception – are your words dull & slow or sharp and efficient?

3.Do you run cold, even in the summer? Hot head or do you have a cool temper?

4.Is your skin historically oily or dry?

5. Are your cuticles and nails smooth, or rough? Your voice? Feet and elbows?

6. Does it take a long time for an idea to sink in, but when it does you never forget? Or do you learn things fairly easily, then forget things fairly easily?

7. It’s not just about a soft or hard body, consider your emotions, your reactions, your facial features. Do your friends seek you for your soft heart and shoulder to cry on?

8. Are you constantly on the go, or do you prefer to sit still. Some people like to run, some like to meditate.

9. When you walk across the floor, are your steps loud, or subtle? Consider the tone of your voice?

10. When you wake in the morning, do you feel foggy and need coffee to begin your day, or do you like to get out of bed with a clear head?

Take note of your qualities – be grateful for who you are – these are the attributes you embody – this is your unique nature and it’s perfect!

Sometimes our qualities go out of balance and your normally smooth, oily skin gets rough and dry. Your thoughts and speech get too fast, your temper too hot, you’re just not seeing clearly. Check your daily balance and incorporate activities and foods into your life to balance your qualities. Every day is a new day for health.

The basic rule of the science of life, is like increases like, opposites balance. If you are hot, drink a bit of coconut water or limeaid to cool off. If you feel heavy, hang out with light hearted people and laugh - you'll feel lighter.  If your skin (or poop) is dry, you add more fluids and healthy organic oils to your diet. If your personality seems too hard, consider more softness in fabrics, scents and activities. Today, observe how you feel and when appropriate, apply the principles of the opposites to find balance.

Experience a daily opportunity to reverse age-old imbalance caused by ingrained habits - develop a new patterns of health by first understanding who you are, recognizing when the food, people, and lifestyle exacerbates our innate qualities (like increases like), and seek the opposites to reduce accumulation.

Find balance by the power of your choice.

About the Author: 

Prana is a Sanskrit word that means the smallest unit of life - it is the breath that moves in us and animates us.

A Prani is a being who is animated by this breath of life.

We are all Pranis. And there are written guidelines in Ayurveda that teach us how to live our best and healthiest life.

Prani Lifestyle Consulting uses the science and philosophy of Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra and Vedanta to navigate more skillfully in the world, and promote material, physical and spiritual wealth and wellbeing.

Kirsten Joy Burch is the founder and lead consultant for Prani Lifestyle Consulting, located in Oak Cliff / Dallas, and is available for private consultations, workshops and corporate events. contact: Kirsten_J_Burch [at] yahoo [dot] com

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