The physical body is considered to be a combination of two kinds of substances, Dhatus & Malas.
Prakurthi literally means “The first creation”. It is determined at the point of conception and refers to the innermost nature of an individual. It is the unique blend of qualities that makes each of us, from the point of conception, completely unique. We are individually formed yet are still an integrated part of the universe from which we were born. Discovering your Prakurthi is the beginning of understanding the qualities of your uniqueness. Becoming familiar with these qualities is your guide to knowing how best to take care of yourself and bring forth your own unique, natural beauty.
For a better understanding of Prakurthi, you must first understand how Ayurveda views the body. Individuals are considered to take form as a result of three life-giving forces. These forces are called Doshas, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
They are considered simply as the inherent intelligence of the body: they are the invisible forces that orchestrate all the functions of the body, thus shaping how we look, how our metabolic processes function, how we respond to different surroundings and even how we think and feel.
For example, it is the influence of Kapha that makes us salivate when we are hungry and see something that we want to eat. It is Vata that facilitates swallowing the food and Pitta that makes the digestion process possible. In this way, we can see that it is vital that Doshas work together in harmony for the body to work to its maximum potential. Likewise, the imbalance of the Doshas is viewed in Ayurveda as the underlying cause of all physical, mental and spiritual problems.
- Retainable substances or substances that stay as part of the body are known as Dhatus. These are commonly known as plasma (Rasa), blood (Raka), muscle (Mamsa), fat (Meda), bone (Asthi), bone marrow (Majja) and nerve and reproductive tissues (Shukra).
- Un-retainable substances; that is substances that leave the body, known as Malas. These are the waste products of the body; fecal matter, urine, and sweat.
- Then we have Agni, the ruler of all the metabolic processes. Agni is the transformer of what is outside to which we take in and becomes part of our body or recorded experience. For example, while it is Agni that digests food in the stomach so that tissues can be built, it is also, less obviously, Agni in the mind that digests experiences to form impressions and memories.
- Bringing balance and health to the whole system (Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni) is the fundamental principle of Ayurveda healing. It is also how Ayurveda engages the body to bring forth its own inherent individual beauty.