Ayurveda is Sanskrit for the science of health or medicine. It is a holistic medicine practice that incorporates lifestyle and dosha diet dating back thousands of years in Indian history. Nicknamed “yoga’s sister science”, Ayurveda believes that no individual is the same as another.
Everyone has their unique combination of qualities and energies or doshas. These doshas present themselves differently in each person. The three doshas include Pitta(fire and water), Vata(air and ether/space), and Kapha(water and earth).
IRL, you can seek out an Ayurvedic doctor who will take your pulse, check your tongue, and assess your appearance (among other factors), and then ask you a series of questions about how you handle and respond to various scenarios. If you want to start exploring your Dosha diet online, you can take this Ayurveda quiz to see your Vata, Pitta, and Kapha constitution.
+Dosha Qualities and Characteristics
If you are predominantly a…
You tend to be on the go at all times. Your mind is energetic, active, and creative but can deviate to anxiety. your body has a light frame and excellent adaptability. People might tell you to slow down when you speak because you’re going a mile a minute. When in balance you’re considered lively and enthusiastic but out of balance you might be constipated, an insomniac, or nervous. If you’re cold all the time and you can hear your joints crack, it’s a surefire sign you are heavy in the Vata category.
You might be a hothead. A naturally aggressive, outspoken, and intelligent type. That’s because you have more fire in you than other types. This fire gives you excellent digestion and a warmer than average body temperature. In general, you sleep soundly, have tons of energy, and are always hungry. When out of balance, you might get rashes or have digestive issues like peptic ulcers, heartburn, or indigestion. If it’s easy for you to make decisions and you love adventure, it’s a surefire sign you are heavy in the Pitta category.
You have a heavier frame or a round shape and gain weight easily. Your temperament is naturally calm and loving. Excellent stamina as well as smooth, radiant skin. You sleep like a bear – soundly and for long periods. Rarely do you miss a poop. When out of balance, Kaphas become overweight, lethargic, and can suffer from diabetes. If you prefer relaxing activities like curling up with a book and feel most comfortable in a routine, it’s a surefire sign you are heavy in the Kapha category.
It’s highly likely that you are dominant in one and have a little bit of the other two. This natural balance is what is responsible for the unique differences among people – physically, mentally, and emotionally. By identifying and maintaining the balance of your individual Prakruti (or nature), Ayurveda can help you create your state of ideal health.
+Balance Your Doshas through Diet
An imbalance can affect the health of an individual over time. There are ways to balance your Ayurveda doshas and help yourself feel more peaceful and joyous. Foods that decrease a dosha are said to pacify that dosha, and foods that increase it aggravate it. Sweet, sour, and salty foods pacify Vata. Sweet, pungent, and bitter foods decrease pitta. Pungent, bitter, and astringent foods pacify Kapha.
How Vatas Stay Balanced
According to Ayurveda physicians, the first dosha diet you should balance is your Vata. It is the powerhouse of your doshas and an imbalance in this area is usually the root cause of all your doshas being imbalanced. Restoring your Vata includes doing things that calm your mind. Meditation and yoga are essential as is a daily routine. Your diet should include warm, nourishing foods like a nice hearty soup, a cup of tea, or a hot home-cooked curry chicken meal. Add in more oils and fats and decrease salads and iced drinks. Get regular massages as part of your self-care.
How Pittas Stay Balanced
Pitta is a hot dosha, so you should focus on cooling down. This means eating cooler foods and spending time outside when it’s cool. This also goes for “keeping your cool” mentally. I suggest salads, smoothies, or even a cold sandwich from the deli. These meals should also be timely, so you can eat around the same times every day. I say around because usually, people with an imbalanced pitta stress their schedule a little too much, so you should be a little lenient with your schedule to balance your Pitta. Avoid anything oily or fermented. Watching a night of stand up comedy shows on Netflix is the ultimate form of self-care for Pitta.
How Kaphas Stay Balances
Kaphas are a more earthy dosha, so a Kapha-imbalance person should get moving and get outside. Wake early (before dawn), sleepless, and avoid sleeping during the day. An imbalance in Ayurveda Kapha should incorporate a diet in the reduction of sweet, heavy foods, and dairy products. Cooked vegetables, nuts, and berries are good side dishes and snacks to include in your diet. Maybe incorporate a pescatarian or vegan diet to get yourself more in balance. Learning something new in a fun class is a great form of self-care for Kapha.
Making sure your doshas and dosha diet are in balance is very important in Ayurveda. When your health is affected, Ayurveda will look at the root causes of your illness rather than your symptoms to determine what may have built up in your body over time to make you sick. If you feel like your symptoms are serious, talk to a professional physician and you can also contact a professional Ayurveda physician.
Recovering fashion blogger and Founder of NYC-based creative consultancy, Hashtag Lifestyle.