Ayurveda and Relationships


By Emily Fotis.  

Relationships can be challenging — there’s no arguing that one. From minor disagreements to seemingly insurmountable differences, keeping a partnership happy, healthy and mutually fulfilling takes commitment and work, but it’s certainly possible.

To the rescue: Know your and your partner’s Dosha/s!

Knowing your and your partner’s predominant dosha/s and tendencies can help take much of the mystery (and dare I say frustration?) out of relationship woes. Knowledge allows for insight, and insight for patience and compassion.

  • Vata-dominant types are quick, creative, and expressive. They are quick to learn, quick to forget, and may get cold easily. When in balance, they are stimulating company — they have amazing intellects. Out of balance, they can become stressed out, nervous, worried — almost manic.
  • Pitta-dominant types are fiery, loving, and passionate. They need and want to accomplish. In balance, they love a good challenge; they can be unsurpassed in creativity and fun. Out of balance, however, they can be combative, controlling and competitive, and may try to out-perform their partner. Pittas can be quick to anger, but with patience, compassion, and a little space, they can easily cool down.
  • Kapha-dominant types are soft, sweet, and nurturing when in balance. Their laid-back demeanor makes others around them feel comfortable and at ease. Out of balance, they tend towards lethargy, weight gain, and feelings of sadness or apathy. They need gentle motivation and reminders to stay on track in their desires and goals.

Learn more about doshas at www.mapi.com

Here are some tips from an ayurvedic perspective on keeping relationships healthy and balanced for both partners:

Take Care of Yourself First     

As is the case in all areas of life, when things are in balance, they tend to harmonize better. Therefore, the first tip for maintaining healthy, happy relationships will always be to take care of oneself first. I can personally attest that when we fail to take care of ourselves first, everything suffers: friendships, partnerships, domestic life, our health, self-confidence, happiness and general quality of life. Be sure to prioritize your well-being above all else — in fact, schedule it in, just as you would plan meals or activities for the week. Regular sleep, exercise, and yoga; making sure you have time to meditate, and have down time to relax; perhaps even going to the spa, or getting a massage when you can… pamper yourself.

Practice Presence

There’s nothing like earnestly being in the moment to clear one’s head and heart. Put away all distractions (here’s lookin’ at you, smartphone-o-philes) when you and your partner are in the midst of a conversation, or even an argument. The simple act of presence can have a hugely positive effect on relationships. Practice active listening — listen to and empathize with what the other is saying without planning a response ahead of time. That way each party knows that they’re being heard, and that they’re respected enough to have the other’s full and unbiased attention.

This next tip is not contrary to the tip above…

Practice Reminiscence

Consider this: one could reasonably make the argument that life and relationships pass through stages much like doshas themselves.

The early stages perhaps could represent Pitta: full of fire, desire, intensity, chemistry and vitality. The Pitta stage of life is when we’re most likely to meet someone, start a family, and/or create a career for ourselves — we’re ambitious. Likewise, the early stages of relationships are full of hope, goals and ambitions as well.

Look forward several years: Now that same relationship could be compared to Kapha dosha: routine, predictable — possibly a little lazy, but pleasant and comfortable.

Later on that same relationship might take on the qualities of Vata: “dry,” “cracked” and “brittle” are ways to describe it; all can be accurate, depending on the nature of the relationship.

So how do you keep your relationship from “drying out?” Here, we come to the title of this tip: reminisce! Go on a date night; spend time together and enjoy each other’s company; go out for a meal and talk about wonderful/funny memories of times you had together. There’s nothing like laughter to boost positivity and love.

Cook Together

Cooking a meal with a loved one (no pressure — Pittas: relax, relax, relax) can be enormously beneficial. Everything from meal planning, to washing and preparing ingredients, to adding the perfect spice… it’s no coincidence that the advice of “Spice it up!” has been doled out for generations!

Pamper Each Other

There is little that compares to the heartwarming thrill of coming home from a long day of work (or driving the kids a million places and doing a trillion errands on top of that) only to find that your partner has lovingly prepared a meal for you; or has offered to give you a massage; or has run you a warm bath resplendent with bubbles, essential oils and an atmosphere of candlelight — all to express their genuine appreciation for you and all you do. Enough really cannot be said about how powerful such simple but thoughtful gestures can be for boosting affection, along with feelings of being loved and appreciated, and increasing overall happiness and optimism.

Find out what makes your partner feel loved and appreciated. If it isn’t something that comes naturally to you, but means a lot to them, it may be worth exploring. You could both be surprised by the effect this has!

At the end of the day, a balanced and loving relationship is entirely achievable. It requires self-love first and foremost, and a willingness to continually improve communication skills. Gently remind yourself (especially in times of frustration or stress) of the really good qualities your partner possesses — those qualities that made them so lovable and desirable in the first place.

Here’s to love.

Emily Fotis is a writer, artist, and jewelry designer currently working on her third book. Her websites are: emilyfotis.com  emmycat.etsy.com  color-ins.com


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