Improve Your Health, Follow Your Dosha

Ayurveda (the “science or knowledge of life”) began some 5,000 years ago by Indian monks who sought a holistic approach to health, one that balances one’s physical and emotional states. According to Ayurveda, we each possess a unique mix of three mind/body principles called Doshas that reflect our specific mental and physical characteristics.

Which Dosha Type Are You?

While we all have three Doshas, one or two tend to dominate. How these Dosha are proportioned in you will affect your physiological and personality traits, as well as your likes and dislikes. The three Doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha — are briefly described as follows:

Vata: Thin with scant energy reserve, you tire easily and are quickly thrown out of balance. You require ample rest, body warmth, and a regular routine. When your Vata is out of balance, you may be prone to anxiety, nervous disorders, digestive problems, constipation, cramps, and premenstrual pain.

Pitta: Medium to well proportioned, you possess an average level of energy and stamina. You’re smart, witty, and can concentrate well. You are ambitious, even demanding at times, with a strong digestion. A warm body temperature makes you thirsty, but you should avoid drinking too much during meals. Toxins and toxic emotions can imbalance your Pitta.

Kapha: Heavy framed, with ample physical strength and stamina, you need stimulation to draw out your vitality. You’re naturally resistant to disease and hold a positive outlook about life. You’re a slow eater with slow digestion. Calm and affectionate, you speak slowly. Out of balance, you can be stubborn and sometimes lazy, and you’ll suffer cold, allergies, or asthma.

Confused? Holistic Online provides a comprehensive set of questions that will help you determine which Dosha type you fall into.

Health Tips for Your Dosha

Wellness coach and yoga instructor Nadya Andreeva offers some general health tips for each dosha:

Vata: Eat and sleep at the same time every night. Consume warm, cooked, nourishing foods that are easy to digest.  Include sweet berries, fruits, small beans, rice, nuts, and dairy products. Chose moderate exercises like meditative yoga, Tai chi, walking, and swimming.

Pitta: Avoid overexposure to direct sunlight, fried and spicy foods, alcohol and tobacco, overworking, and overheating. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits that are watery and sweet, especially cherries, mangoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and avocado. Enjoy salads with dark greens, such as arugula, dandelions, and kale.

Kapha: Stay active everyday to overcome sluggishness, depression, and being overweight. Eat light, warm, and spicy foods. Include tea with dried ginger and lemon. Avoid heavy oily and processed sugars. Use lots of spices, such as black pepper, ginger, cumin, chili, and lots of bitter dark greens.

Some Aspects of Ayurveda Accepted by Western Medicine

Studies have found that Ayurveda may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, slow the aging process, and help accelerate recovery from illness. Dr. Weil believes that some Ayurvedic practices, such as dietary changes, steam bathing, and massage seem sensible and safe. That said, you should always seek the advice of your doctor before engaging in any Ayurvedic practices or seeking any herbal remedies for any medical condition.