Ayurveda

How Ayurveda Helps Relationships

Mature couple walking outside in the fall
Mature couple walking outside in the fall

Ayurveda is a complete wellness approach that extends much farther than a healthy body. Once you understand your dosha, or mind-body type, and the constitutions of your loved one, Ayurveda can improve your relationship in unique ways.

Compatibility in Relationships

In any relationship the first issue that Ayurveda can help with is compatibility. The doshas give you a good idea about the predispositions you bring to the relationship, and from there you can consciously decide where you are most compatible with the other person and how much you will need to accept and adapt to their predispositions.

For example, a strongly Vata person will be quick, changeable, and unpredictable. When Vata is balanced, these qualities will be part of an eager, enthusiastic, charming, and creative personality.

If the other person is strongly Pitta, however, there is an expectation of discipline and order, which the Vata partner is unlikely to supply.

If the partner is strongly Kapha, there is a natural steadiness and stability, which is also contrary to what a Vata person can contribute.

What often happens is a kind of missing-piece relationship where what Vata lacks, the Pitta or Kapha person supplies. The relationship then feels more balanced. Missing-piece relationships are probably the most common type, and Ayurveda can help you look objectively at what is natural for you and the other person.

This is a good alternative to an attitude of, “My way is the right way. Why can’t you see that?” Dosha types are equal in value. By accepting this reality, you can avoid blaming or judging someone else because they are different from you.

Compatibility also means not asking the other person to change, particularly to change in order to resemble your way of doing things. Many relationships reach an impasse because an expected change isn’t happening in the other person. Both people stubbornly cling to their own ways, habits, and style of living.

But there is no impasse if you realize that the person who isn’t changing has their own dosha nature. They aren’t doing anything to you deliberately to oppose or offer resistance. They are living out their traits of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Communication in Relationships

However, doshas aren’t destiny. This brings up the second requirement that Ayurveda can help with, which is communication. Each dosha type has its own habit of thinking, feeling, and talking.

Just to generalize, Vata brings a tendency to think quickly and spontaneously, to change moods rapidly and unpredictably, and to talk quickly, often in disconnected bursts.

You will not share these traits if you are strongly Pitta or Kapha. Pitta brings a tendency to think decisively, to set feelings aside in favor of intellect, and to talk in a direct, forceful way. Kept in balance, these traits don’t have to conflict with a Vata partner. The Pitta type has to resist the urge to be in charge and to listen to and be receptive to what Vata wants to express.

A Kapha type thinks deliberately and methodically, feels caring and patient, and speaks in support of other people. It is no surprise that in many relationships it is the partner strong in Kapha who provides stability and grounding.

But there is a tendency for Kapha types to carry this too far. They can start to overlook their own needs in an effort to always be there for the other person. If taken too far, the Kapha person loses interest in the relationship, stops communicating, and feels indifferent or depressed.

Consciousness in Relationships

You can gain enormously in your relationships by working on the two areas of compatibility and communication. But Ayurveda aims at something higher, which is a relationship based on awareness.

Of course, you have to be aware in order to address the issues of compatibility and communication. I am thinking of awareness in the evolutionary sense. An awareness in relationships focuses on how to evolve together.

Consciousness is the source of the highest values in life: love, compassion, truth, beauty, creativity, inspiration, empathy, kindness, peace, and inner growth. These values don’t exist until they are experienced personally.

Therefore, the ideal relationship is one in which both people do everything to allow the other person to share in the experience of love, compassion, beauty, empathy, and the other values I’ve just mentioned.

This is the core of a relationship that has a strong spiritual dimension. It is evolutionary for both people. Also, when you are focused on how to evolve together, there is less temptation to be selfish.

Lurking in every ego-personality is the voice that says, “What about me?” The ego constantly looks out for its needs and desires, and two egos with competing ego agendas can’t be a truly harmonious relationship.

After the phase of romance wears off, one choice is to fall back on your separate egos, which people do unconsciously as a kind of default setting. Then the relationship becomes a kind of negotiation, a give and take between two different agendas, each driven by individual selfishness.

The other choice is to find areas to mutually support each other to evolve together so that love, which began as romance, deepens and matures. Carrying out this choice doesn’t happen automatically or by default. It requires conscious intent that two people share. Recognizing how your doshas work with another person’s doshas can make a huge difference in the success of the relationship.

A relationship based on mutual awareness is the highest, most evolutionary, and most deeply spiritual choice. Ayurveda exists to show you how to make this choice.


Join Deepak Chopra to explore relationships and the three doshas, or mind-body types, in Ayurveda and Relationships, a new four-part education program, available now in the Chopra App.