The Blog

One Size Does Not Fit All

The Eastern philosophy makes perfect sense for anyone who has ever noticed that no matter what you may do or ingest in your physical body, what works for one person may not work equally for another.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Next to the notions that one can achieve a body without cellulite and a life without suffering, the greatest mistaken belief is that there is one diet, one type of oil, one form of exercise, one hormone supplement, one mantra or prayer, one rigid organizational life structure or one medication that will work for everyone. Most of us grew up with the "magic bullet" concept that science was going to invent this one universal panacea that would solve our problems throughout all of time. And if you operate from the Western mechanistic paradigm, which dictates that every person is basically no different from any machine, like your car, then this idea makes sense. Everybody has a heart, two lungs, kidneys, a brain and a digestive system; therefore all bodies are the same. However, the Eastern systems of self-healing -- Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine -- see human life as a completely different construct. They operate from an energy paradigm and view every person as a Universe unto themselves; each one completely different.

The Eastern philosophy makes perfect sense for anyone who has ever noticed that no matter what you may do or ingest in your physical body, what works for one person may not work equally for another. (That's why a three-minute commercial for a prescription drug has two and a half minutes describing the side effects -- because not everyone has the same reaction.) Most heavyset people have noticed that their thin friends can eat the same thing, or even a greater portion, and still not gain an ounce. Skinny people may have witnessed that no matter how many weights they lift, they still never get the muscular definition their larger-boned counterparts get after putting in half the effort and workout time. Others still may have become aware of the fact that an herb or medication that eliminated a family member's illness had no impact on their own health dilemma. There are groups of people who feel healthier following a vegan diet. Some societies eat high fat diets including meat and live long lives with no adverse effects. This is not a conundrum; there is a good reason for all of the above.

The Eastern system perceives everything through the filter of energy. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, every individual is a manifestation of the unique signature energy frequency that holds their body together. These Eastern time-honored systems, which by the way have been around for thousands and thousands of years, take into consideration the wide differences in energetic characteristics. Some people have a bigger and heavier bone structure than their slimmer, less dense counterparts. Others have faster neurological responses and respiration. Some people can eat virtually anything, while others have an extremely delicate digestive system. Certain people are aggressive, hyper, motivated and competitive; some are calm, easy going and carefree.

These energetic differences are broken down into "body types" or "doshic constitutions." For the sake of simplicity we are going to separate these bodies types into three different Indian Ayurveda defined categories: Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (Earth and water). Everything that is living has its own organizational makeup and balance of each of these distinct energies. So, although one living being may have more Vata than Pitta, or more Kapha than Vata, everyone still has all three energy elements, or they would not be alive.

Each dosha has positive and negative aspects. Each provides an element needed to sustain overall life. Understanding your energetic body type and determining your proclivity for imbalance are absolutely essential for organizing a hands-on personal health management routine. This is the first step in knowing what will or will not work for you.

To learn more about a Ayruveda lifestyle or to book a session with Vaishali (she will be in Southern California Jan. 23 to Jan. 26) call 818-848-3213 or go to