Ayurveda, stemming from the Vedic culture, is an ancient science of healing that dates back 5000 years. Recently, the practice has been finding global recognition amongst health enthusiasts and yogis. The word ayurveda, derived from Sanskrit, translates to “The Science of Life”.
In ayurveda, they believe that every person’s life force consists of the five elements – fire, water, air, earth and space. The varying balance of these elements is called a Dosha. The goal of Ayurveda is to promote the balance of mind, body and soul by understanding one’s personal constitution (your dosha).
Ayurveda understands that every person has a distinct energy signature, which can be grouped into the three doshas. Each person has all three doshas, but usually one is primary, another secondary, and the third is less prominent. By recognizing what is out of balance, we can attempt to increase or decrease certain factors to bring about a balance in our doshas.
The Three Doshas
Vata is the dosha associated with movement in the body and is associated with air and space. This dosha regulates all the functions of the body – breathing, blinking, the beating of the heart, etc. One can balance the vata dosha with proper rest and relaxation. When in balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility. When imbalanced, vata creates fear and anxiety. Some indications of imbalance are dry skin, dry hair, and a cough.
Lots of spicy food throws Vata off balance. Vata people should try to eat sweet, salty, sour, warm and easily digestible foods. A pitta diet might include foods like broccoli, leafy greens, wheat, rice, mild spices, berries, yoghurt, eggs, cheese and nuts.
Pitta is ruled by the element of fire and is responsible for temperature regulation in the body. It governs our digestion and assimilation of food. Pitta people are strong willed, dominant, and make talented leaders. When pitta is out of balance, it leads to anger and agitation and can even cause inflammatory conditions like ulcers. Massages and aromatherapy can help to bring pitta into balance. When pitta is balance, it promotes understanding and intelligence.
Pitta is thrown off balance by excessive alcohol, oily and fried foods, and foods that are salty or fermented. Persons with a prominent pitta dosha should avoid hot, spicy and acidic foods, in favor of sweet, bitter and astringent tasting foods. This can include sweet fruits (not sour), dairy, barley or oats that you can eat while you signup right here. Pitta dominant people should avoid red meat and vegetables of the nightshade family.
Kapha is the dosha of water, and forms the body’s structure – muscles, tendons, bones. It provides the body with water with which to function and helps maintain the immune system. Balanced kapha leads to love, calmness and forgiveness. When out of balance, kapha expresses attachment, greed and envy. Kapha requires exercise and a regular intake of water to maintain balance.
To balance kapha, one should eat bitter, pungent and astringent foods. A kapha diet can include raw veggies, fruits, grains, honey, and spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, mustard and turmeric. Avoid fats, milk and rice.
Take this test to find out what your dosha is and start working towards a healthier you!