HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT YOUR DOSHA IS?
Ayurveda- the Science of Life from India- is rapidly becoming an integral part of Yoga practice round the world. Ayurveda complements Yoga by providing us with a natural holistic method to keep our inner body and mind functioning in a healthy balance.
In this article, let us start with an introduction to the Doshas and Prakriti- personality type according to Ayurveda, and how to balance them.
How does Ayurveda work?
Ayurveda views each individual as a microcosm of nature, constantly interacting with the environment. Ayurveda categorises us into three personality types according to the three Dosha energies: Vata, Pitta or Kapha which are present in every living being and in nature. Individuals are a combination of the doshas. The dosha represent the 5 elements (Air, Fire, Earth, Water, Ether) of Nature in different proportions. Each element has special physical characteristics which relate to our attributes.
Vata is composed of Air and Ether, Pitta is Fire and moisture, Kapha is Water and Earth. So you can see that Vata is dry, lighter, mobile, subtle and gives us oxygen as a life force. Pitta is sharp, more dense, fiery and somewhat mobile. Kapha is heavy, solid, dense and steady.
Can you relate your own attributes to these basic features? An understanding of our Doshas and our own body type - Prakriti can help us make healthy and productive lifestyle decisions so that we can be stronger and more peaceful versions of ourselves.
As each Dosha controls specific functions in the body, well-balanced Doshas promote good mind-body health and wellbeing. Doshas in a state of imbalance, called Vikruti, cause a weakened immune system and potential disease.
What body type are you?
You can do the full body type quiz by clicking the link-Whats your Dosha?
Is composed of Space and Air, governs our life force-Prana, and all movement - breathing, blinking, Muscular-skeletal movement, pulsation of the heart, circulation. Vata is also the Stress Factor causing agitation of the mind and body. That is why it is important for everyone to keep their Vata in check!
Vata people tend to be ‘airy’ – variable in movement and speech. They are creative, sociable, artistic, talkative, but uncertain and prone to switching interests and pursuits, light sleepers, fast walkers, with irregular digestion and prone to nervousness and anxiety. They enjoy activities, however, can get tired easily. They make great motivators with their enthusiasm but can lack confidence.
Vata imbalance: When your Vata is out of balance you are all over the place- stressed out, shaky, fatigued, anxious and depressed. As anyone can get stressed, Vata imbalance applies to all body types.
How to re-balance Vata: Keep calm by doing meditation, yoga and pranayama. Relax! Pace yourself, get plenty of rest. Daily head massage, body massage with warming oils, eating nourishing warm foods with spices. Avoid cold, dry, frozen or raw foods, drink plenty of water and fruit juice. Keep a regular routine, be with cheerful friends. Avoid extreme cold.
Ayurvedic herbs that help restore Vata balance are Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Tulsi holy basil.
Vata balancing tea is made from herbs like chamomile, brahmi, basil, lemon balm, ginger, cardamom, mint.
Ayurvedic massage oils that help are Mahanarayan oil, camphorated sesame seed oil,
bala-Ashwagandha oil, and aroma therapy oils like basil, patchouli, lavender, neroli, frankincense.
Made up of Fire and Water, governs all metabolism, hormones, digestion, and body temperature. Pitta Dosha People are ‘fiery’, highly passionate, competitive, and sharp-minded. They make great leaders.
When you are out of balance: You get burnt out! You can become intolerant, angry, jealous,. You have aversion to heat, excessive perspiration, are prone to sunburn, skin irritability, rashes, acidity and heartburn, dehydration, burning in the eyes, migraines.
How to rebalance your pitta: Remember to keep cool by avoiding exposure to sun and heat. Avoid hot, spicy foods. Keep a cool head by practicing yoga, meditation and massage, and good sleep. Once in balance, you will have a cool, calm sustained mental and physical energy. Cool your body regularly with cold drinks and milkshakes, coconut water, watermelon and tangerines, cucumber and leafy salads.
Ayurvedic herbs for pitta balance are Brahmi, amla Indian gooseberry, Shatavari, liquorice, coriander, fennel.
Ayurvedic teas for pitta balance consist of mint, cinnamon, cardamom, marigold flower, rose, hibiscus, liquorice, fennel, sweet orange, amla.
Pitta balance massage oils are cooling coconut oil, shatavari oil, brahmi oil, essential oils of sandalwood, cedar wood, rose, jasmine and sweet floral and woody oils.
Composed of Earth and Water, Kapha forms the body’s structure and growth- bones, muscles, tendons and reproduction. Kapha supplies the binding factors to hold the cells together. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity and growth.
Kapha people are the calmest of the three, grounded, slow, steady and laid-back with good endurance and stamina, prone to weight-gain, obesity, diabetes and polycystic ovary in women.
When you are out of balance: You can suffer from a slower metabolism and the symptoms of depression, lethargy, excessive sleeping, sluggish digestion and sinus and respiratory trouble. You can be over-sensitive and suffer from fatigue, low energy and lack of motivation.
When you are feeling balanced you feel calm, reflective, compassionate, spiritual, nourishing, and have long sustained stamina.
How to rebalance Kapha: Have a vigorous massage with warming oils, regular vigorous exercise, keeping active with a variable routine, eat light, dry nourishing food low in fat and calories. Avoid heavy fatty, oily and cold foods, iced drinks and dairy. No daytime naps!
Ayurvedic herbs for Kapha balance: Ashwagandha, Trifala guggul, Turmeric, Trifala, Trikatu- ginger, black pepper and long pepper, asafoetida (Hingwashtak) powder.
Kapha balance teas comprise Ginger, basil, lemongrass, black pepper, long pepper, cinnamon, sage.
Ayurvedic oils for Kapha balance are warming and help lymphatic drainage-Mahanarayan oil, camphorated sesame seed oil essential oils eucalyptus, clary sage, frankincense.
In order to achieve a healthy inner body, follow regular daily rituals according to your body type and healthy habits click here to see the 10 Ayurvedic Rituals to Start Practicing Now – Pavilion Ayurveda).
In summary, Ayurvedic way of dosha-balance, detox and massage rituals enhance wellbeing with our Yoga, pranayama and meditation practice. To find out more about Ayurveda please visit www.pavilionayurveda.com.
Tell us: Whats your favourite ritual? comment below.