Hey Community :)
Hope all is well with you this week. Sending love and light to you.
This is going to be an always updating post, so if you want to save it as a bookmark, I highly recommend.. It’s a long one! But good info to look back to when you need to regroup.
I just finished the Chopra Center course on Doshas and Ayurveda, wow.
It’s useful knowledge! I truly believe Knowledge is Power! To listen to our Bodies. Observe the symptoms you are having! “Am I crackly or feeling oily or feeling anxious?” What do these mean? What can I do?
This has been a topic that I have been curious about for a long time, and I thought it was time that I wrote what I have learned over the years and the notes I have taken over time.
(I will try my best to reference all of the articles I read throughout the post so that you can follow, if not they will be linked below. )
The question I kept asking myself throughout it all…. “How can I love and care for my body and give it the treatment it deserves?”
What are “Doshas”?
As legend, science calls it, we are born with dominant dosha or traits/ personalities, and they stem from the three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Sometimes we are may be just one dosha, but most of the time we are a mix of two.
This test can help you figure out yours. It’s from the Chopra Center, which I trust out of all the ones I have tried. Click Here
If you are not interested (since this is an age of data protection) here is a screenshot of the questions they ask… It will give you some insight. Remember to answer these as honest as possible. Our doshas shift so it’s important to look at how your feeling at this moment.
Qualities of Vata:
Cold, Light, Dry, Irregular, Rough, Moving, Quick, Changeable
“If Vata dosha predominates, movement and change are characteristic of your nature. You tend to always be on the go, with an energetic and creative mind. As long as Vata is in balance, you will be lively and enthusiastic, with a lean body.”
Thin. Excellent agility. Bursts of Energy. Likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Dry skin, hair and cold hands and feet. Light sleepers. Sensitive digestion.
Out of Balance: Digestive challenges, Restlessness, Weight loss, Constipation, Hypertension, Arthritis, and Weakness.
Excitement, Love for New experiences. Quick.
Balanced: Energetic, Creative, and Flexible. Initiative. Lively conversationalists.
Out of Balance: Prone to worry. Anxious. Often suffer from insomnia. Feel overwhelmed or stressed.
Typical response is, “What did I do wrong?”
How to Balance Vata
If excessive stress in your life leads to your Vata force becoming imbalanced, your activity will start to feel out of control. Your mind may race, contributing to anxiety and insomnia. You may start skipping meals, resulting in unintended weight loss, and your digestion may become irregular. If you notice these early symptoms of a Vata imbalance, slow down, take time to meditate, don’t skip meals, and get to bed earlier. A regular lifestyle routine helps ground Vata so you’re not carried away into the ethers.
Vata is cold, light, irregular, dry, and always changing. To balance Vata, make choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency to your life. Try to get to bed before 10 p.m., wake up by 6 a.m., and eat your meals at regular times.
Avoid becoming chilled. Wear adequate clothing appropriate for the season and keep your head covered when the weather is cold.
Perform a daily self-Abhy massage using warmer, heavier oils like sesame and almond.
Stick with light exercise that enhances balance and flexibility. Take care not to push yourself too far and exceed the limits of your energy. Beneficial activities for Vatas include: Yoga, Walking/Hiking, Dance, Moderate workouts, Bodyweight, Slow, Steady
Drink ginger tea. Fresh ginger root is beneficial and can be used frequently. During the cool weather, sip ginger tea throughout the day.
Be certain that your bowels move regularly on a daily basis.
Play soothing, chill music. (Check out my Playlist, you know I wouldn’t leave you guys without a link!)
Touch and be touched regularly by the people you love, and schedule regular massage treatments.
Try Aromatherapy: Some of my favorites are Lavender, Camomile, Cloves, Frankincense, Pine, and Vanilla.
According to Ayurveda, it’s important to eat foods that have a balancing effect or that will stabilize a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, you should focus on foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. The best tastes for Vata are sweet, salty, and sour. Minimize foods that are bitter, or astringent.
Fats and oils are beneficial in the digestive system and help reduce Vata. Use up to three teaspoons daily of ghee or extra virgin olive oil.
Favor sweet, heavy fruits such as bananas, avocados, mangoes, apricots, plums, berries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, melons, papaya, peaches, pineapples, rhubarb, kiwi, dates, nectarines, and dried fruits. Eat fewer dry or light fruits such as apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates. To ease digestion, fruits are best eaten lightly cooked or sautéed, or eaten alone.
Cooked meals and vegetables are best. Raw vegetables should be minimized. Favor Asparagus, beets, and carrots. Other vegetables may be taken in moderation if cooked in ghee or extra virgin olive oil, including peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potatoes. Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized. (
Use spices that pacify Vata including cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper.
Beans can aggravate Vata. Minimize your consumption of beans, with the exception of tofu and mung bean dahl.
Qualities of Pitta:
Hot, Intense, Penetrating, Pungent, Sharp, Acidic
Medium size and weight. Bright hair, but baldness or thinning hair is also common in a Pitta. Excellent digestion, which sometimes leads them to believe they can eat anything. Warm body temperature. Sleep soundly for short periods of time. Strong sex drive.
Balanced: Clear complexion, perfect digestion, abundant energy, and a strong appetite.
Out of balance: Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, peptic ulcers, excessive body heat, heartburn, and indigestion.
Powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate.
Balanced: Good decision makers, teachers, and speakers. Precise, Direct.
Out of Balance: Short-tempered, Argumentative.
When pittas are overstressed their typical response is, “What did you do wrong?”
To balance pitta, make choices that are cooling, sweet, and stabilizing.
Balance rest and activity, allowing some free time everyday. Be careful not to create unnecessary time pressures for yourself.
Do not skip meals and do not wait until you are famished to eat.
Favor foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent. Also eat more cooling foods such as cucumbers, sweet fruits, and melons.
Regularly spend time in nature. Take walks in the woods and along natural bodies of water. Keep plants and fresh flowers in your home and office. Walk in the moonlight.
Perform a daily massage using cooler oils such as coconut or olive.
Favor cooler colors in your clothing and environment such as blues, greens, and silver.
Laugh a lot, every day.
Favor aromas that are cooling and sweet. Sandalwood, rose, jasmine, mint, lavender, fennel, and chamomile are recommended.
Since an excess of Pitta dosha overheats the mind and body, favor cool foods and liquids. Foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are best. Reduce foods that are pungent, salty, and sour.
The best oils to pacify Pitta are olive, sunflower, and coconut. Use less sesame, almond, and corn oil, which are more heating.
Wheat, rice, barley, and oats are the best grains to reduce Pitta. Eat less corn, rye, millet, and brown rice.
Stick to sweeter fruits such as grapes, melons, cherries, coconuts, avocados, mangoes, pomegranates, fully ripe pineapples, oranges, and plums.
Reduce sour fruits such as grapefruits, apricots, and berries.
The vegetables to favor are asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini. The vegetables to avoid include tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.
Pitta types should use seasonings that are soothing and cooling. These include coriander, cilantro, cardamom, saffron, and fennel. Hotter spices such as ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, salt, and mustard seed should be used sparingly. Very hot seasonings such as chili peppers, and cayenne are best avoided. Chew on fennel seeds after meals to cool down acid in the stomach.
Qualities of Kapha:
Heavy, Slow, Steady, Solid, Cold, Soft, Oily
Strong build. Excellent focus. Large, soft eyes. Smooth. Radiant skin. Thick hair. Sleep soundly. Regular digestion.
Out of Balance: Weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies manifest in the body. Kapha types may become overweight, sleep excessively, and suffer from asthma, diabetes, and depression.
Naturally calm, thoughtful, and loving. Enjoy life and are comfortable with routine.
Balanced: Kaphas are strong, loyal, patient, steady, and supportive.
Out of Balance: Tend to hold on to things, jobs, and relationships long after they are no longer nourishing or necessary. Resistance to change. Stubbornness. Typical response is, “I don’t want to deal with it.”
Seek stimulation. Since Kapha is inherently cold, heavy, and dense, the key to balancing Kapha is stimulation. Kaphas tend to cling to the status quo and routine, so they need the stimulation of new sights, sounds, and experiences.
Follow a regular daily routine, ideally awakening before 6 a.m. each morning. Avoid taking naps during the day.
Stay warm and avoid dampness. Kaphas are particularly sensitive to cold, damp conditions and benefit from heat. Use dry heat if you are congested—a common Kapha complaint. Using a heating pad under your back or a sunlamp at your chest is often helpful. Avoid exposing your nose, throat, and lungs to cold winter air if you aren’t feeling well.
Perform a daily Garshana (dry massage) on your body to stimulate circulation.
Use an Ayurvedic neti pot to help prevent congestion. The neti pot is powerful tool for nasal cleansing.
Clear your space. To avoid clutter from accumulating in your home, office, car, and other physical spaces, regularly clean out and give away things that you know you’ll never use.
Get regular exercise. This is the best way to avoid stagnation and the accumulation of toxins in the body. Focus on building endurance. Favor running, bicycling, swimming, aerobics, and competitive sports. You can also dance to energizing rhythmic music.
Use warm, stimulating aromas including cloves, camphor, cinnamon, eucalyptus, juniper, and marjoram.
Favor colors that are warm and bright, including yellow, orange, and red.
According to Ayurveda, it’s important to eat foods that have a balancing effect on the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. Because Kapha is heavy, oily, and cold, favor foods that are light, dry, or warm. Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying Kapha. Reduce foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
Try a liquid fast one day per week, ingesting only fresh vegetable and fruit juices, and pureed vegetable soup.
Reduce the intake of dairy, which tends to increase Kapha. You can use small amounts of ghee, low-fat milk, and low-fat yogurt.
Avoid most sweeteners. Honey is one sweetener that can best pacify Kapha. Other sweeteners, however, should be avoided because they increase the Kapha dosha, contributing to problems such as blocked sinuses, allergies, colds, and lethargy. Take a tablespoon or two (but no more) of raw honey every day can help release excess Kapha. Do not cook with honey though.
Drink hot ginger tea with meals to help stimulate slow digestion and sharpen dull taste buds. Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily.
Eat beans. All beans are good for Kapha types except for soybeans and soybean-based foods such as tofu, which should be eaten in moderation.
Favor lighter fruits such as apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, and apricots. Reduce heavier fruits like bananas, avocados, pineapples, oranges, peaches, coconuts, melons, dates, and figs.
Eat lots of vegetables. In general, all vegetables are recommended but you should reduce consumption of sweet and juicy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.
All spices except salt are pacifying to Kapha. Use pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seed, and ginger freely in your diet.
Reduce intake of all nuts and seeds. Favor pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Limit consumption of red meat. For non-vegetarians, fresh, organic white meat chicken, turkey, eggs, and seafood are acceptable.
Use small amounts of fats and oils. Try extra virgin olive oil, ghee, almond oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, or safflower oil.
For grains, favor barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye. Reduce intake of oats, rice, and wheat.
Here are a few images, lists, and ideas for further trying this in your life! If you need anything Please do not Hesitate even one second to ask more! I am here to support You!
The Quiz showed that I am 70% Vata and 30% Pitta… (Not surprised to be honest!)
Mind: Creative, quick, imaginative
Appetite: Delicate, spontaneous, often miss meals
Routine: Variable, spontaneous
Temperament: Welcomes new experiences, excitable, friendly, energetic
Conversation Style: Loves to talk
Stress Response: What did I do wrong? Tendency to blame oneself.
Curious to know yours, here’s the link to try it out.