How to realign Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas
Ayurveda creates a more profound comprehension of our metaphysical wellbeing, which in turn can provide a deeper consciousness to how we act in regard to self-healing of our mind and body. It is an ever-improving lifestyle helping to determine our identity to our disposition to illness and maintain our physical and mental traits. And unlike “fad diets” that only seem to last for a moment, Ayurveda has been around for over 5,000 years and is a sophisticated approach to a total wellbeing. In the Hindu culture that cultivates for nature, body and matter, it creates a form of prevention in our individuality. It is a constitution that health is dependent on one’s balance- Prakrti. When we move away from what keeps us balanced, it constitutes as- Vikruti.
Imbalance can manifest in many different ways. We will look into the understanding and comprehension of each “natural state” of the Ayurvedic individual self’s identity, better known as Dosha- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Most of us will represent one of each Dosha predominantly, or a mix of two equally (more or less). Offering ways for prevention through Ayurveda can be vital for its treatment modalities, and in practice for understanding that not any two humans are the same, and what might bring one human to balance can be completely different for another.
Your Internal Dosha
The first part in understanding your internal Dosha(s) is recognizing that each Dosha contains certain qualities. Ayurvedic treatment relies upon recognizing what is excessive and deficient (it can be found on a number of different websites where you can take tests or quizzes online, finding out your Dosha and imbalance(s)). In this article, we will discuss the different Doshas, discovering their elements, addressing their imbalance and how one can increase their overall wellbeing using a holistic approach.
The Vata Dosha is made up of air and space elements. It is the energy of movement. It governs the feelings of thought and expression and is associated with motion, breathing, circulation and heart function. Vata characteristics are tall or short, slender, protruding joints, delicate skin, hair, nails, and is prone to dryness for their skin type. They are creative, quick learning, and fluctuate in energy – fast paced, easily to overexertion. Vata Doshas are light sleepers, but can fall asleep quickly. They have cold hands/feet, and digestion tends to be constipated with abdominal pains due to their digestive tract. When out of balance, Vata can feel fearful, worrisome, lonely, act out of impulse, have very dry skin, chapped lips, dry cuticles and intolerable feelings and thoughts.
To balance and maintain the Vata Dosha is to find routine and calmness. Find foods that are naturally savory, sweet and salty in taste and eat at routine times. Find space and peace for your meals. To help with skin dryness, use Ayurvedic oils that are nourishing and grounding that contain Valerian root, Hemp, Patchouli, CBD and Sesame oil. Herbs such as Triphala and Ashwagandha can assist in relieving constipation, which can be very beneficial for reducing stress in Vata, too.
Pitta constitutes as fire and water elements, translating to transformation. These elements promote intelligence and understanding. They are hyper-focused and super intellects. Their characteristics are athletic build, moderate weight, and oily and soft skin. The hair has a tendency to be balding- especially for men. They have rosy complexions, warm or hot body temperature, and sweat profusely. Pitta experiencing an imbalance will feel angry, jealous, frustrated, and can be judgmental or critical. They will have insomnia, fevers, rashes, eye problems and loose stool, loss of appetite or excessive eating while stressed, concluding in indigestion.
A lifestyle strategy to aid in balancing the Pitta Dosha is surrendering. Irritability can be attained through tantric practice, a pathway of yoga and meditation. Herbs that can contribute to reducing the body temperature and overall mental clarity, soothing the mind for a more balanced temperament and homeostasis are fennel, mint and cardamom to name just a few. Avoid hot spices, such as cayenne and black pepper. Aloe Vera and cucumber are very healthful in supporting the skin and digestion for the Pitta type. When Pitta wants to keep a clear complexion and needs to soothe the skin, it begins from within, internal to external. Drinking coconut water or applying it directly to the skin will help with cooling and hydration. Since Pitta is prone to inflammation and redness in the skin and eyes, it is best to use restorative oils for the body, like sunflower oil; and for the eyes, simply splashing and massaging cool water onto them in the LNEonline.com June2019 67
morning and night. Minimizing over-use of products and chemicals is very effective for overall encouragement for refreshing and calming Pitta.
Kapha equals Earth. Its elements are water and earth. Kapha is our most dominant Dosha. Kapha is strong, large framed, steady in the mind, stable, loving, passionate, gentle, deliberate in action and speech. They have softness in hair, skin, and tone of voice. We gravitate towards our Kapha Dosha, as harmony and peace surround it. But, when imbalanced, Kapha are prone to depression, lethargy, weight gain, insecurities, low immunity, and poor circulation. Kapha digestive system is slow and creates excess mucus. Eating moderately, limiting sweets (as Kapha is an emotional eater and finds comfort in sugary foods), and eating leafy greens help speed up the elimination and support their metabolism in the intestinal tract. Green apples are a wonderful source for Kapha. They are high in fiber and slow to digest, aiding in feeling fuller and an excellent source of vitamin C to boost Kapha energy as well as immunity.
To support Kapha’s mental clarity, find ways to keep the energy level high by taking dance lessons or engaging in physical activity that invigorates the cardiovascular pumping, and vigorous massages. Kapha skin care regimens should be daily cleansing with gel or foam cleansers, enzyme masques, and light moisturizers in the am/pm. Jojoba oil is closest to our own natural sebum, so as to not create extra oil production for Kapha, it’s a perfect match to keep their natural oil at balance and soften the skin. Almond oil and vanilla oil can be uplifting and create joy for Kapha.
In Ayurveda, it is essential to understand how to eat properly, become familiar with what we may be predisposed to, and be aware of the stressors of our every day life and emotional trauma. Ayurvedic rejuvenation it is an optimal way to kindle a healthy life-body balance and it’s a personalized approach to promoting wellbeing. Finding your Dosha will create a unique relationship with your body, therefore constructing a wellness plan. Ayurveda will allow for a shift in consciousness that deep down reflects a beauty of reshaping your inner self, while being present with the natural rhythms of nature.
As humans, we try to find the “right” way and have strong expectations of ourselves, just to feel dissatisfied. Relating to your Dosha will lead you on the journey of wellbeing. The path should allow you to be gentle with yourself and seek the three of “M’s” of trusting your healing- mantras, massage and meditation.