According to Ayurveda, your basic constitution is determined at the time of conception. This constitution is called Prakruti. The term Prakruti is a Sanskrit word that means, "nature, " "creativity, " or "the first creation." One of the very important concept of Ayurveda is that one's basic constitution is fixed throughout his lifetime. The combination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that was present in the individual at the time of conception is maintained throughout his lifetime. This is your base point. Notice that different persons can have different combination of Vata, Pitta and kapha as their basic constitution or Prakruti. This is how Ayurveda can explain the subtle differences between individuals and explains why everyone is unique and that two persons can react very differently when exposed to the same environment or stimuli. Your Prakruti is unique to you just as your fingerprint and DNA. Thus, in order to understand a person, it is necessary to determine his or her Prakruti. HolisticOnLine has developed a computerized diagnostic system that enables you to determine your Prakruti.
Ideally, your constitution remain fixed throughout your life. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Every person is subjected to the constant interaction with his or her environment which will affect the person's constitution at any time. The body will try to maintain a dynamic equilibrium or balance with the environment. Your current condition is called your vikruti. Although it reflects your ability to adjust to life's influences and is always changing, it should match your prakruti, or inborn constitution, as closely as possible. If the current proportion of your doshas differs significantly from your constitutional proportion, it indicates imbalances, which in turn can lead to illness. Farther your Vikruti is from your Prakruti, more ill you are. Ayurveda teaches that your Vikruti can be changed by means of diet and meditation so as to approach your Prakruti or the state where you have perfect health.
The concept of Prakruti and Vikruti can be illustrated by reference to our body temperature. When healthy, we maintain an average body temperature of about 98 degrees. Although, different persons can have different base temperatures, it does not change much so long as the person is healthy. When we go outside on a winter day, our body temperature may go down slightly; but will pick right back up to the normal if we are healthy. Similarly, jogging on a hot day can temporarily raise our body temperature. When we are sick, or catch a cold, our body temperature will go up. This indicates that we are sick or outside our normal base condition. We may take medicine to bring the body temperature back to the normal range. In analogy to Ayurveda, our present temperature may be considered as Vikruti and the difference between the Prakruti (our normal temperature) and Vikruti (our present temperature) can determine whether any medical intervention is required. Just like an allopathic doctor will take your temperature and blood pressure routinely as the first step in diagnosing your condition, Ayurvedic practitioners will determine your Prakruti and Vikruti as the first step in diagnosing your condition.
Hence prior to embarking on a journey to perfect health and longevity, it is important that you understand your Prakruti and Vikruti and determine how far separated these are. Armed with this knowledge, we can map a treatment strategy. This is the basic premise of Ayurveda. The diagnostic system developed by HolisticOnline can be utilized to determine both your Prakruti and Vikruti.