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What Ayurveda taught me about sex

by Marlies Dekkers
According to this Indian science of life, your energy type says a lot about what is good for your health and well-being. So how about your sex life?

Ayurveda is an ancient philosphy of healing from India. It teaches
that every person is a blend of three doshas, in Sanskrit known as Vata: Wind, Pitta: Fire, and Kapha: Earth. (To think that they came up with this 5000 years before Earth, Wind & Fire ever scored a hit!) While each person is a mix of these energies, one usually dominates.

Deepak Chopra, the New Age guru who played a big part in bringing Ayurveda to the West, explains the doshas like this: if Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing.

When I did my dosha test*, I wasn’t surprised to find out I was mostly Pitta, or the ‘fiery’ type, but when I read more about the physical, emotional and mental characteristics attributed to me, I was simply amazed that a 5000 year old science could be that accurate!

One of the things I find so interesting about Ayurveda, is that it acknowledges sex as one of the three ‘pillars of life’, the first two being diet and sleep. Unlike in the West, where the study of sex is a recent phenomenon –any ‘Masters of Sex’-fan knows exactly what I’m talking about-, in India it has been practiced since ancient times. Not surprisingly, each dosa has been attributed its own sexual characteristics:

-The Vata lover is described as erratic and romantic. Mental foreplay is important, as are touch and sensuality (sounds like a stimulating discussion followed by a sexy oil massage should do the trick). Of all the doshas, they seem most open to get creative in bed but they also tend to get bored more easily. They might need to change partners regularly to find satisfaction.

-Pitta people are reputed to be hot Latin lovers of Ayurveda. They love attention and their skin is very sensitive. They are passionate and adventurous but they might get a little jealous. Pitta lovers have to consciously tune into the needs of their partner and avoid dominating or rushing them.

-People with a Kapha dosha are made for love. Kaphas crave feeling connected to other people, and have an earthy sensuality. As lovers they are calm, gentle and romantic but can become boring and lazy if unmotivated. Kaphas are also the most likely type to become co-dependant and clingy.

I am, of course, only skimming the surface here with these generalizations. Ayurveda goes much deeper, and more importantly, it does something we’ve shied away from in Western sexual studies: it uses the L-word. According to Ayurveda, only when we really make love can we turn sex into a transformative experience. I believe that now we’ve embraced yoga and meditation, we’re more open than ever to the idea that sex creates not only a physical, but also an emotional and spiritual bond between people. We might even be ready for Ayurveda’s most important message: all you need is love!

*This is a quick, easy dosha test

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