There are blond jokes, Jewish jokes, racist jokes, regional jokes, political jokes…all poking fun at someone based on apparent differences and stereotypical caricatures. It can be your hair, your nose, your skin, your accent, your incomprehensible morals, whatever it is – it becomes the punchline.
You might think that at a health center where people spend a considerable amount of time trying to become aware of themselves and their actions, trying to engage in “right speech,” where they spend hours in yoga postures, on meditation cushions and chanting along with their favorite MC, that these people would be far from the profane humor that entertains most everyone else. Well, you’d think wrong.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing system developed over 5,000 years ago and growing in popularity faster than you can say Shiva Rea, has its own brand of comical insult. Disclaimer: I’m about to grossly overgeneralize…forgive me.
Vata is the constitution made up of air and ether. Infrequent eaters, when out of balance due to any number of common excesses (read: lots of travel aka commuting, media overload, dry cold environments) they become your average space cadet. Generally tall, thin, and lanky they stand out as the constitution most resembling an airhead. “You’re so vata!” is usually used when someone is either lost in a daydream, skipping meals, or zipping around from thing to thing without clear direction or purpose.
Pitta is the constitution of fire and water. This is your hot-headed overachiever. Burning the midnight oil? Pitta is probably outta balance. Recently making the ’rounds is the pitta mudra:
Kapha. Ahh Kapha. It’s often assumed you know a kapha when you see one. Kapha bodies are generally recognizable almost immediately – they are the huggers and nuzzlers; their soft soft and round bodies providing a sense of safety and comfort in any embrace. Out of balance kaphas can easily become overweight. Rubenesque was so 17th century. Nowadays its, “Ya, she has a pretty face, but she’s kinda kapha.”
So, my friends, before you try to dazzle us with your new-age knowledge or your “Insight“, please be mindful that you may be perpetuating the stereotypical expression of human diversity. However, I’m not against a little humor for the sake of (en)lightening up – if we can’t laugh at ourselves, well, then I think we’ve all missed the boat. When in balance each dosha offers important gifts. It’s when we’re out of balance that we need those gentle reminders to come home to ourselves.