Ayurveda is an old medicinal art native to India. Ayurveda is comprised of two words – Ayur meaning nature and Veda meaning the science or medicine. The philosophy of Ayurveda focuses on the holistic health of the being including the mind, body and soul. The healing and prevention of any diseases or issues related to the overall health of the being is done by natural means. As per Ayurveda, every living being is comprised of five universal elements – air, water, earth, fire and space. The balance of all these elements in our body is referred to as a dosha. Vata, Pitta and kapha are the three main and fundamental doshas in Ayurveda. The consistent balance between all these three doshas in ayurveda is considered essential for perfect health. When you are not feeling well or are suffering from any disease or deficiency, one of these doshas is out of balance. Read on to discover more about what your doshic prakriti is and how to balance doshas in ayurveda to stay healthy.
The Vata dosha is constituted of air and space and symbolizes the energy of movement. The Pitta dosha is comprised of fire and water and forms the principle behind digestion and your metabolism. The Kapha dosha is comprised of water and earth and is associated with mobility and lubrication in the body. From stress to unhealthy diet, from repressed emotions to inactive lifestyle, anything can put these doshas out of balance. Thus, to maintain a good health, it is essential that you juggle to keep all the doshas in balance.
The Three Doshas: An Overview
Vata: This is considered to be the leader of all the doshas in the alignment of health in your body. Since vata is the principle that controls mobility, it regulates all the activities in your body – both mental and psychological. From blinking of your eyes to beating of your heart, everything is controlled by Vata. Dry hair, skin and persistent cough are the symptoms when vata dosha is out of balance. To bring it back to balance, rest and relaxation is required.
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Pitta: This dosha governs the fire element in your body and regulates your temperature through various thermal and chemical transformations like digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition and metabolism. It promotes appetite and vitality in the body. When your pitta dosha is out of balance, you may feel anger and frustration. To bring it back to balance, stay in cool places and relax your mind by inhaling scented oils and eating cold foods like ice-cream.
Kapha: This dosha controls the lubrication and resistance in your body. The Kapha regulates anabolic processes of your body that includes creation of new cells and repair of the body leading to growth. Proper rest and intake of lots of liquid is required to bring this dosha back to balance.
What’s your ayurvedic body type or Prakriti?
As per Ayurveda, your body is comprised of five elements. When in harmony, these elements help you attain perfect health without any sufferings, diseases and deficiencies. The combination and domination of these elements define your prakriti or your body type. Depending on your genetic inheritance, these three doshas in Ayurveda can be present in varying forms and combinations in your body. Ayurveda has defined seven body types accordingly – vata, pitta, kapha, vata-pitta, vata-kapha, pitta-kapha and tri-dosha. Following are the characteristics that can help you define your prakriti.
|Body Frame||Thin frame (taller than average, lean frame, flat chest and prominent veins)||Medium frame (moderate muscle development, slender frame)||Large Frame (Broad chest and shoulders, not prominent bones, thick skin)|
|Body Type||Thin/Slender||Moderate Weight||Obese or tendency for excess weight|
|Skin type||Cold, dry, cracked||Soft, warm, moist||Thick, oily, pale|
|Eyes||Small and dry||Medium with penetrating gaze||Large and dense|
|Hair||Dry, scanty, curly||Soft, silky, thin||Dense, thick, wavy|
|Disease tendency||Nerve diseases||Inflammation and heat||Mucus and congestion|
|Personality Strengths||Creative, understanding, imaginative||Sharp, orators, ambitious||Loyal, calm, steady, forgiving|
|Personality Weaknesses||Nervous, lack of willpower, anxious||Anger, frustration||Greed, selfishness, possessiveness|
|Psychological Traits||Craves sweet, sour and salty foods. Have disturbed sleep and have cold hands most of the time.||Good digestion, strong metabolism, moderate temperature||Slow digestion, good stamina, craves bitter foods|
Balancing Vata, Pitta, Kapha Dosha
Stress, disturbed sleeping and eating pattern, inactive lifestyle can all cause an imbalance of the doshas. But balancing vata pitta dosha can easily be done by following dosha pacifying diet, massages, essential oils and herbal remedies. Here’s an overview of what causes an imbalance and how to balance three doshas in Ayurveda.
Vata: This dosha can gout of balance if you over-eat spicy foods. All you have to do to bring it back to balance is to avoid salty and spicy food. Pacify the dry qualities of Vata dosha with foods and beverages that hydrate your body. Include green leafy vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, wheat, soup and pasta, and add spices like cumin and cinnamon. You should also include cool and hydrating fruits like melons and berries. Including foods that have high-fat content can also help. Avocado, coconut oil, butter, nuts and seeds are good and healthy options for the same.
Pitta: Consuming fried, hot, spicy food can cause pitta dosha out of balance. To bring it back to balance, stay away from hot and spicy food. Avoid anything fried or processed. Add cool dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese and cream to your diet. Sweet fruits, mint, oats and barley can also help.
Kapha: A simple act as excessive consumption of food can cause Kapha dosha to go out of balance. To bring it back to balance, eat hot and spicy food in moderation. Grains like rye, oats, millets or eating raw and steamed vegetables can bring it back to balance. Include strong spices like turmeric, pepper, cloves and honey in your meals.
Eating everything in moderation, staying active and consuming organic and sustainable food items will keep your doshas in balance.