A Kapha pacifying diet requires a balance of cooling, dry and light foods. People with a predominant Kapha dosha usually have a slow and sluggish digestion. This is because the Kapha elements of water and earth make Kapha predominantly heavy, steady, moist, sluggish and slow. It takes them longer to digest food and they tend to put on weight very quickly, but also find it very hard to lose it. Kaphas don’t really have a big appetite and they can go without food for long periods of time. But it’s important to keep consistency of having 3 meals a day, however keep these light and small.
Start the day by sipping hot water with ginger. It is a great way to kick start the digestive system and boost metabolism. Ginger is also heating, as well as considered sattvic, therefore all three doshas can benefit from it. A cup of green tea is also a good idea because green tea is an energy booster and has great benefits for digestion.
Kaphas are not big fans of breakfast due to their slow digestion, so they usually wake up feeling quite full. But it is an important meal of the day and by having the correct foods which pacify this dosha, the digestion will become more balanced. Try a small portion of stewed apples with a little drizzled turmeric on top.
The most suited tastes for Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent. The least favourable are sweet, salty and sour. Kaphas love sweets but it’s important to try not to indulge in too many sweet quality foods because they tend to add heaviness to digestion, something Kaphas naturally have. As a lunch option, a bowl of creamy soup made with broccoli or potato would work great. Soups are also easier to digest and provide Kapha with a lovely warming feel.
It would be ideal for people with predominant Kapha dosha to have an early dinner, in order to give their body enough time to digest the food for the next day. Dinner meals should be kept light and fresh. A great option is dal or rice with steamed veges or a light vegetable stew (check here the Kapha pacifying veges).
People with predominant Kapha dosha don’t have a big appetite so they very rarely feel like a snack. But should they do, a glass of freshly squeezed green juice or boiled carrots or celery would be good snacks.
A Pitta pacifying diet needs to provide the Pitta dosha a refreshing, cooling feeling. The Pitta agni/digestive fire is strong therefore people with predominant Pitta dosha usually have good digestion and a strong appetite. You know you’ve got Pitta in you because breakfast is a must. Those with predominant Pitta dosha cannot skip their meals because they get very hungry and if they don’t eat, they get frustrated, agitated and “hangry”.
Due to its elements of fire and water, the Pitta dosha qualities are hot, sharp, acidic, light and intense therefore eating foods which balance out those qualities is ideal. The tastes that pacify Pitta are sweet, bitter and astringent.
Start your day with a glass of water at room temperature. This is to cool off the internal heat and hydrate the body after a night’s sleep which Pitta’s are very good at. As a best practice, try to avoid ice in your water. The excess cold will not be good for the Pitta dosha heat. This can affect the digestion negatively, so it’s always indicated to drink water at room temperature so that the body is aligned with the external conditions.
Breakfast is a very important meal for Pitta predominant dosha people. As they have a strong digestion, most Pittas will wake up thinking about food and feeling very hungry. So much so that sometimes they plan their breakfast the night before, because food is always a priority for the Pittas. A granola smoothie bowl (choose a low sugar granola) will provide the Pitta digestion with a cooling quality and a consistent nutritious option to last them until lunch time. Another option is a fruit smoothie and a bowl of rice porridge made with coconut milk or hot water. Should the smoothie not be an option, a glass of cold pressed green juice will be good to feed that strong Pitta appetite and provide it with great energy for the day ahead.
As Pittas are usually very productive individuals, they definitely need to have their lunch to fuel their body. Generally speaking, Pittas have a pretty consistent daily meal schedule, and when in balance, they tend to eat their meals at around the same time daily. As a lunch option, a balance between vegetables and grains will nourish the Pitta agni and provide enough nutrients and fuel for the remaining of the day. Some options would be stuffed bell peppers with quinoa, or brown rice with steamed broccoli and mushrooms, or a bowl of dal which is a great alternative. Click here to see which vegetables are best suited for Pitta dosha.
Having been active throughout the day, the Pitta fire can be higher in the evening, needing a nice balanced meal. A fresh and refreshing green salad with sunflower oil, or a bowl of creamy vegetable soup are both great options for a Pitta pacifying dinner meal.
Pittas have a strong digestion and they must have their 3main meals daily. Sometimes they do want a small snack, so a handful of sunflower seeds can provide the body with iron, calcium and B vitamins. For fruit snacks, grapes are a good choice for Pitta as they have antioxidants and provide the Pitta digestion with a cooling feel.
After dinner and before bed time, it’s a great idea to have a cup of chamomile tea which helps relax the mind but it is also good for digestion, bloating and stomach discomfort. As Pittas have a reactive digestion and they are quite sensitive, chamomile tea is a great way to ease any tummy discomfort.
A Vata pacifying diet must provide this Ayurvedic body type nourishment and warmth. As its qualities are dry, cold, light, rough and changeable due to its elements air and space Vata needs a daily meal lifestyle which balances out these qualities. Adding the appropriate Vata pacifying spices will also help with a balanced digestion, but it’s always important to follow a consistent, nourishing meal plan.
Ideally people with a Vata predominant body type should have three meals a day which are slightly heavier in quality (not processed or fatty). These would-be foods that give the body a nurturing feel, like well cooked, hearty meals. As Vata also represents movement and change, providing the body with a consistent daily meal routine is vital for its digestion and grounding.
Start your day with a glass of hot water with ginger and lemon. Ginger has a lovely warming effect on the body which will help for the Vata digestion as it is often dry and cold, leading towards constipation. Another great benefit of ginger is that it is a carminative, meaning that it helps relieve gas from the stomach and intestines. It’s also a good idea to sip hot water with ginger throughout the day.
The Vata appetite is unpredictable and changeable. Because of this, those with a predominant Vata body type can sometimes feel like breakfast, whilst other times not. This is of course also greatly influenced by their slow and dry digestion. If the food is not digested properly from the body, it’s evident that the appetite will be influenced. For breakfast, it’s always important to nourish your Vata dosha. Think of meals that are warming and slightly heavy in quality, but always it is preferred quite fresh. Some good options are: avocado on toast (wholegrain bread is indicated), eggs on toast or a bowl of porridge with berries
As their appetite is quite sporadic, even if you don’t feel like having lunch or you have a busy day, it’s important to stick to having your lunch at an appropriate hour daily. This is needed to create a balanced digestion. For lunch, a delicious bowl of soup would be a great idea. Such a dish would continue to add more warmth to the Vata digestion and some moisture to its dry quality. A liquid lunch is also much easier to digest than solid foods and can cause less bloating or gas, something that Vatas often do experience. Some options for the soup could be a mix of vegetables that are Vata pacifying, or a creamy soup with lentils, butternut squash, or sweet potato.
A warming, hearty meal would work wonders for Vatas, but it’s important not to eat too late. It takes the body some time to digest the meals, depending on what the food is. So eating before 7pm is indicated and this will give your body enough time to digest it. Stir fry or steamed vegetables with brown rice or quinoa would be a good option. Because the Vata digestion is quite weak, always try to cook your vegetables like a stir fry or steaming them. They will become easier to digest. Using sesame oil or ghee for cooking your food will also help with your Vata type digestion.
Very rarely Vatas require a snack during the day, but should you do, soaked almonds are a great source of vitamin E which are essential for a healthy immune system and protect the cells from damage. Strawberries are a good choice of fruit for Vatas, as they are sweet which is a taste Vatas favour. They are also a good source of iron and Vitamin C.
After dinner, it’s a good idea to drink some chamomile or lavender tea. Both of these teas help calm the nervous system which can help Vatas get a better night sleep. They are also good for digestion and release any discomfort in the stomach.
Physical exercise help us to keep moving, maintain a healthy weight and feel great in general. If we take in consideration the three Ayurvedic body constitutions, we will see that each one is represent by different elements therefore their qualities vary. Each one has different needs to keep the body healthy and balanced. So which exercise is best suited for your Ayurvedic body constitution?
People with predominant Vata dosha are usually very energetic. They are often known for walking very fast and having trouble standing still. When in balance, Vatas are creative, quick thinkers and very active. They can struggle with keeping a routine, because Vatas are represented by the elements of air and space, air being associated with constant change and movement. Therefore, they are good at starting a routine, but they do need to have a way in which they will stick to a daily exercise regime. Group activities are ideal for them because it brings them in social contact with others but this also helps them keep committed.
Walking in nature
Done at a moderate pace, walking can help bring in balance the excess energy Vatas usually have. Due to the space element, Vatas represent the mind therefore they are constantly thinking. Being outdoors and in nature helps to clear their head, making space for their wonderful creative ideas to come to fruition.
Slow or Yin Yoga
Yoga is ideal for Vatas. This will help them slow down and connect with their physical, mental and emotional self. As Vatas tend to experience fragile or cold feeling joints and bones, a slower type of yoga practice will provide their physical bodies with a great stretch for their muscles and nurturing their whole body, balancing out the cold, dry qualities with a warm feeling.
Getting on the bike is also a great way for Vatas to keep physically active without going to fast. The cycling movement on their joints, particularly their knees and ankles is great as it does not put too much pressure on them.
Meditation with mantras
As Vatas think way too much, they can create unnecessary worry and anxiety for themselves. This is often shown in their inability to have a good night’s sleep, often waking up throughout the night. Meditation will help liberate their mind and release excess worry and stress. Repetition of mantras is a wonderful way for Vatas to relax their nervous system. Vatas also represent communication and mantras help to activate and balance vishudi, the throat chakra which governs communication. They are very creative individuals by nature, so working on their throat chakra will aid them to express themselves freely and openly share their unique ideas to the world.
People with predominant Pitta body constitution tend to be quite active in general. When in balance, they have good energy levels and are consistent with their exercise regime. As Pitta’s tend to be quite focused and disciplined, they have no problem sticking to a daily routine of physical activity. They are great at getting things done and are usually intrinsically motivated, meaning they can motivate themselves quite easily without needing a push from external factors. Due to their fire element, they can often be quite competitive and fiery by nature, so exercise that is too vigorous will increase their fire and bring them into a state of imbalance. So they are best to focus on moderate activities, which gets their body moving at medium pace.
Whilst competitive or fast runs are not very well suited for Pittas, jogging is a great way for them to keep healthy and in shape. They like activity and this will feed their need to move, without creating too much fire internally.
Pittas are great doers/executors and they usually make things happen and can manifest whatever they set their mind to. They constantly have a plan or a strategy about how to structure their ideas which is one of their best qualities. But this means they also tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves, so meditation will help quiet their mind and create some mental space, releasing any nervous system tension.
Pittas represent agni/the digestive system and when in balance, they have a good digestion. Pilates will help them maintain a strong core and bring the attention to the abdominal area.
A moderate yoga flow is well suited for people with Pitta predominant dosha. This will help them relax, stretch their muscles and get the prana moving, without creating too much heat.
People with predominant Kapha dosha are tend to have a slower pace than the other two doshas. Kapha represents the elements of water and earth, which have the qualities of heavy, slow, steady and solid. This is great because this means Kaphas can be slow starters, but once they get in a rhythm, they are steady and consistent. They do need a push sometimes due to their more relaxed and slower nature. Kaphas are known as the nurturers and they love being around people so being part of group physical activities is a great way for them to commit to a healthy daily exercise regime.
Going for daily runs at a faster pace will help Kaphas feel more energised and balance out their slow nature. Signing up for fun runs or mini marathon style events is a great way for them to be social and exercise at the same time. This also requires discipline and daily training, which is a great motivation for Kaphas to keep active.
Kaphas greatly benefits from aerobic exercises and skipping is a good way for them to get moving. As they tend to have a heavier body composition (not necessarily in weight, but their bone structure is heavier than the other doshas), exercises such as skipping will strengthen their physical body and release those happy endorphins.
Yoga is no doubt great for everybody, but for Kaphas a faster pace style is more suitable. Therefore vinyasa yoga offer them the ability to be involved in a more dynamic type of yoga and sweat it out too. Due to their water element, Kaphas are often prone to water retention, so exercise in which they sweat are great for them.
As Kaphas tend to have a strong, healthy bones structure, signing up to some cross-fit classes is a great way for them to get off the couch and move. Crossfit involves different types of movement done at high intensity, which means Kaphas will get moving and get their blood pumping.
Vegetables are an important part of our diet but having the right ones for your predominant dosha type body is even more important. If you don't know your dosha, click here to take the test. Ayurveda looks at each individual based on the body constitution of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, all represented by the universal elements of water, fire, earth, air and ether/space. Each of these elements has their own qualities such as fire being hot, earth being solid, air being changeable etc. Every food also has its own qualities and how these affect the body are dependant on your predominant dosha. In Ayurveda, the principle of like increases like, meaning that if the qualities of a predominant dosha are increased by having foods with the same qualities, the body will therefore become imbalanced. So looking at the Ayurvedic nutrition for each body constitution, learning the qualities of the foods you eat will determine how your body will feel once you eat these foods. Let’s look at some vegetables that balance each dosha, and some that can aggravate each one.
Pitta predominant people require foods that have a cooling quality, because Pitta’s represent the elements of fire and water. Adding more heat would create an imbalance to the digestion and the body overall. Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes balance Pitta, whilst salty, sour and pungent aggravate it.
Some vegetables to consider:
Peas,cucumber, mushrooms, celery, cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, green beans.
Carrots, tomatoes, onions, beetroot, sweet potatoes, avocado, radishes, turnips.
The qualities of foods that the Vata predominant people require are warm and nourishing foods, that are cooked preferably meaning they are easier to digest. The Vata dosha is represented by the elements of air and space, therefore there is a lot of cold and dry in Vata. When Vata is too dry (out of balance) it can be expressed through dry skin, fragile or weaker joints and bones, thin dry hair, constipation etc. Therefore Vatas requires nourishing, warming foods that nurture their body, nurtures their creative minds and brings heat to their digestion. The tastes that balance Vata dosha are sweet, sour and salty, whilst pungent, astringent and bitter tastes increase its natural state.
Some vegetables to consider:
sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot, chillies, avocado, radishes, bell peppers, eggplant, green beans.
Peas, cucumber, white potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, cabbage, lettuce, green olives.
The qualities of foods that the Kapha predominant people require are light, warm and freshly cooked. The Kapha dosha is represented by the Earth and water elements. Reflecting this, its qualities are heavy, solid, cold, soft and slow. The tastes that balance Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent, whilst sweet, sour and salty increase it, therefore bringing it out of balance. Some vegetables to consider:
brussel sprouts, garlic, radishes, onions, mushrooms, celery, carrots, turnips, watercress, green beans.
Avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, zucchini.
Do you love drinking tea? Knowing your Ayurveda constitution can definitely help you understand your body more and what it needs to maintain healthy and in balance. As herbs and spices are always important in following an Ayurvedic lifestyle, knowing which tea suits your dosha will help create a balanced internal state, be kind on your digestive system and give your body, mind and soul what they need. Below are some teas best suited for each dosha.
*If you don't know your predominant Ayurveda dosha or constitution, click here to take the test.
TEAS FOR VATA DOSHA
Vata is the creative thinker, with never-ending ideas but many worries. When out of balance, people with their predominant dosha as Vata, tend to have poor blood circulation, dry skin and anxiety. They don’t do very well in cold climates, so during winter they could really struggle. As they love warmth, hot drinks are a great idea for Vatas. Ginger tea is a lovely warming tea that promotes blood circulation and it's comforting for people with this dominant dosha. It also strengthens immunity and relieves fatigue and nausea. As the Vata digestion tends to be quite sporadic, ginger tea is great for increasing appetite, therefore helping them create a healthier type eating routine. Vatas tend to think and overthink a lot and because of this, they can often experience insomnia and poor sleep. For this reason valerian or lavender tea are great to calm the nervous system and promote a restful state, helping vatas get a better night’s sleep.
TEAS FOR PITTA DOSHA
People with a predominant Pitta constitution are the doers, those who take action confidently and usually lead quite active lifestyles. When Pitta is out of balance though, they can become a little bit sensitive to everything and this manifests through their behaviour but also physiology. Their skin starts to react, experiencing rashes or breakouts. Their digestion becomes affected and can have diarrhoea or burning pains in the stomach area. They can get easily angry or frustrated which impedes their great ability of executing and doing. As Pittas are hot by nature, representing the fire element, the teas best suited are those with cooling qualities and sweet or bitter in taste. Therefore, peppermint tea is a great option because it has a cooling effect, meaning you can drink it in summer also. It is a great digestive aid and it relieves an upset stomach. Peppermint tea is also a good anti-stress tea, and since Pittas tend to be workaholic types, this is a great way to bring balance to those long days at the office. Another tea to help balance Pitta is chamomile tea, great for relaxing the mind and the body. Pittas have great sharp minds and they need to nourish their nervous system with relaxing effects so that they don’t experience mental burnouts. Chamomile tea can help with this and it is also bitter in taste, which Pittas love.
TEAS FOR KAPHA DOSHA
Known as the nurturer of the three, the Kapha dosha tends to be slow and heavy. As people with predominant Kapha dosha can experience poor appetite and can feel sluggish when out of balance, they need a tea which stimulates their nervous system but also their digestion. Green tea is a great option for Kapha predominant people because it has warming quality but it is also a great stimulant and increases energy and productivity. It has antioxidant properties detoxifying and cleansing the internal organs. As Kaphas can easily put on weight, green tea also helps burn fat the healthy way and improves digestion.
White tea is another top pick for Kaphas. It is known as the purest form of green tea, a high natural anti-oxidant and great energy booster. As most predominant Kaphas can have a sweet tooth, white tea lowers the risk of insulin resistance and helps fight bacteria in the body. It is a great detoxifier of the body and this can help Kaphas improve and maintain their digestion and stool movement.
There are also teas that are known as tri-doshic, meaning that they are well received by all three doshas and can help create balance in the body. Cardamon tea suits all three doshas, being a great antioxidant and assisting in improving complete digestion, helping get rid of all the excess ama (food that has not been digested properly). It increases blood circulation and it’s also good for the skin. Fennel tea is also a tridoshic type, helping with digestion as the fennel seeds are known to relax the muscles and improve the flow of digestion. It maintains overall good health in the body and it boosts the immune system. Tulsi tea also known as basil tea is rich in antioxidants and it’s a great natural remedy to stress, anxiety, and colds. Also known as holy basil, or the queen of all herbs, basil tea is great for maintaining an overall balanced mental, physical and emotional self.
Ayurveda is known as the sister science of yoga and a holistic lifestyle. I have been studying different holistic practices throughout my academic life and I can honestly say Ayurveda for me is the best. I say this because it is based on bringing balance in your body by actually learning about and completely understanding your body. I never really understood why I struggle so much in hot weather, or why my stomach reacts to certain foods, or why my skin is so reactive until I began my Ayurveda studies. Each body has a dominant dosha and body constitution and this gives you an idea about your body type. The three Ayurveda doshas relate to the universal elements of fire, water, earth, space/ether and air. Vata is the dosha represented air and space. Pitta is the dosha represented by fire and water and Kapha is the dosha represented by earth and water. Understanding your constitution will give you an insight into your body type, foods to eat more or less of, type of physical activity suited for your body, and many other ways to get to know yourself. Ayurveda focuses a lot on digestion and the stool movement. Often these two will provide us with a very clear idea of what is happening within our body. Based on these and other observations of your own dominant dosha, you can get an idea of how to reach a more balanced physical, emotional, mental and energetic state. Whilst each one has different qualities and has specific ways to achieving and maintaining balance, there are some Ayurvedic principles which everyone can do to restore a sense of equilibrium in the body.
It’s important to start your day right. And this means being nurturing towards yourself so that you can feel at your best. Giving yourself a 10 minute oil massage is the perfect way to create some tranquillity and balance for yourself from the get go. Some of you may already do this by moisturising daily, but this focuses on more than just giving your skin some nurturing. Having a 10 minute self-care routine is key to connecting with your physical body, but also your emotional and mental self. This will provide your skin with moisture, but also allow you to energise your mental self. Emotionally you will feel more connected with all parts of the self, meaning that you will feel good. By being kind with your body and taking some time for yourself, especially in the morning, this will set the tone for the day. You can use any natural oil, however if you want to use one best for your dosha you can use the following: For Vata, sesame oil is great as it is heating and also detoxifying. For Pitta, coconut oil is great as it is cooling and restorative and for Kapha you can use either sesame oil or almond oil as they are heating and nurturing.
I first learnt about the practice of tongue scrapping during my Ayurveda studies many years ago and it is amazing. Just as our body doesn’t digest everything and we need to detox the body internally, the tongue functions just the same. Brushing your teeth every morning and night is obviously a no brainer, but scrapping the tongue will also get rid of all foods and drinks tastes which have been acquired on your tongue throughout the day. For this you can use an actual coper tongue scraper, such as this one from Ayuwave.com or you can simply use a sterling silver or stainless steel spoon (make sure you clean this thoroughly before and after each use). You will see the difference almost instantly. Start scrapping from the back of the tongue forward.
DRINK ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER
In order to bring the body in balance, we cannot give it any excess qualities from foods or beverages. For example, if we drink very cold water, this can bring the digestive system out of balance. If you drink hot drinks all day but have a Pitta type dosha (fire) this will aggravate it. So having a glass of water at room temperature is just what the body needs. You can have a glass jar next to you on your desk or if you are on the go, a glass water bottle will be great. Always keep hydrated and remember not to overdo it. Too much of anything creates an imbalance.
SOAK YOUR FEET IN HOT WATER
How often do you pay attention to your feet? Knowing that they work so hard throughout the day to take us places and keep us balanced, we must give some more importance to the feet. You can do this every night, or even once or twice a week and it’s best to do so at night just before you go to sleep. You can also use some essential oils in the water or Epsom salts, to relax the muscles and revitalise the feet. Soaking your feet in hot or warm water is also beneficial for the overall wellbeing of the skin on your feet, softening cracked and tired feet. But ultimately it helps relax the whole body, mind and soul. As the feet are connected with all channels of the body, nurturing your feet completely also does so for your entire self. Put some relaxing music in the background, close your eyes and just enjoy the process. Afterwards dry your feet with a towel, give them a little oil massage and put a pair of clean socks on. It just ads to the whole experience and it will leave your feet looking and feeling great and you will feel more relaxed overall.
ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT SLEEPING ROUTINE
This will be different for everybody. Some people need their 8 hours sleep to feel refreshed the next day, whilst others feel great after 6 hours. It’s important to understand what works for you and follow that. Learning more about your Ayurveda constiution can give you an insight into your sleeping patterns. The best time to sleep according to the Ayurveda science is just before or around 10pm, but even if you go an hour later, just be sure that you are prioritising this. Imagine how amazing your life would be if you felt revitalised and ready for your day every morning.
These are just some of the many daily wellness rituals which you can enjoy to create more balance for yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. There are so many others and you can learn more about your dosha and specific ones suited just for that. Sometimes even small habits can have such a big impact in our wellness and overall zest for life.
Ayurveda is holistic medical system and life science dating from 7000 years ago. The basis of Ayurveda looks at bringing balance between all aspects of the self: the physical, mental, emotional and energetic body. One important component of Ayurveda is the body constitution, represented by one of the three Ayurvedic Doshas. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Most people will have one dominant dosha, however some may have two equally dominating or sometimes all three. The doshas are governed by the universal elements, fire, water, air, ether and earth. Learning about your Ayurveda dosha or constitution can help you understand yourself better and create harmony and balance in your lifestyle by making lifestyle choices to suit your body’s overall state. Take the test below and then click here to find out more information about each dosha.
Click below to download the FREE Ayurveda dosha test and find out yours.
Ayurveda is a life science and a beautiful lifestyle that anybody can follow. It is said to be the oldest medical system in the world, dating 7000 years ago and starting from the Vedas. The Ayurvedic lifestyle focuses on bringing the body in complete balance, this includes the physical, mental, emotional and energetic self. Its primary focus starts with the 3 doshas, or body constitutions based on the universal elements of fire, water, earth, ether/space and air. These are apparent outside and within ourselves. Finding out your Ayurveda constitution is one of the key areas to focus on when wanting to start practicing this beautiful life science. Note that in Ayurveda like increases like, therefore finding out your dominant dosha will enable you to understand how you can restore your balance by following this principle.
So what are the three doshas? (Download the FREE Ayurveda dosha test at the end of this blog and find out yours)
VATA - THE CREATIVES
Time of the day: 2pm – 6am; 2am – 6am.
The Vata constitution is represented by the elements of air and space. The season representing the Vata qualities is the period between late autumn to mid-winter, a time when the wind is strong and the weather is cold and humid/wet. This is what the body qualities of Vata are also. A person with a predominant Vata constitution is usually sensitive to cold climate (like increases like principle). Their skin tends to be quite pale and dry. Physically, they tend to be naturally quite tall and thin and they find it hard to put on weight. A Vata person has the qualities of air and space, meaning they can be very creative and are generally quite active. Think about the elements: air moves freely and sporadically and space is limitless. Vata’s primary functions are movement which comes from air and communication. When in balance, they can express their ideas freely such as those with a balanced Vishudi chakra. As they tend to be quite creative, they usually bring their ideas to life through art such as writing, painting, creative marketing campaigns, dancing etc. They are the thinkers of the three so a lot goes on in their mind. They have many ideas thanks to their creative streak and when in balance, this can bring out their talents, but when out of balance they can become anxious and paranoid and can isolate themselves when faced with a problem. When out of balance, they can also become very resistant to cold, have dry skin, dry lips and bite their nails; their appetite is also reflective of the air element, sometimes they wake up and feel like eating breakfast, other times they can just have a coffee and last without food until the later hours of the day. The Vata digestion is often sporadic and they can experience constipation often. The Vata stools are usually described as small blobs, sometimes hard to pass. To balance your Vata dosha, it’s important to slow down by taking a nice stroll in the park sometimes instead of intense power walking or running; to nourish your skin and physical body with a daily self-massage using sesame oil or any other heating oil; to eat more heating foods that are cooked meaning they are easier to digest such as soups and cooked vegetables; to meditate so that you give your mind a break and to create a sleep pattern which provides you with enough resting time. Because Vatas can be very much in their head, thinking a lot, they can experience insomnia and other sleep disturbances. So, it’s important to set a healthy sleeping ritual to which you stick to so that you can feel more in balance. Soaking your feet in hot water and doing some meditation before bed time are both wonderful ways of nourishing yourself and get ready for a deep, relaxing sleep.
PITTA - THE DOERS
Time of the day: 10am-2pm; 10pm-2am
The Pitta dosha has the primary elements of fire and water. The season representing pitta is summer, during the hottest times of the year usually from late spring until early autumn. A Pitta person is hot by nature, therefore they tend to have olive, rosey or tanned skin. Their physical body is usually medium size, in proportion and they find it easy to put on weight but also to lose weight. Due to the like increases like principle, they can be aggravated by heat due to their natural state, and they show this physically, mentally and emotionally. Pittas are quite reactive on all accounts, behaviourally and also physically. Their skin can break out in rashes or pimples when aggravated; they can easily get flustered or react in an angry or excited way, depending on the situation. This goes the same for their digestion. When balanced, a Pitta person can have healthy, medium to soft stools, however when aggravated (usually by hot foods) their stomach also reacts to it very quickly resulting mostly in lose frequent stools. The Pitta person has a very string appetite and usually become aggravated, frustrated or “hangry” if they skip a meal. The primary functions of Pitta are digestion and transformation. Think about the two elements representing Pitta – fire which has a strong, hot powerful presence and water which is strong, heavy and can be loud. A Pitta person is usually quite organised, well-spoken and confident in their abilities. They are usually the doers, they can plan and execute very well, making them great leaders. Due to their reactive nature, they can also allow stress to affect their state by taking a tough approach, meaning they keep going until they collapse of exhaustion or deplete their energy. Therefore, balancing Pitta with cooling foods and spices, a nice cool climate and a routine focused day is a great way to bring some equilibrium to your lifestyle. Pittas tend to be less sensitive when it comes to their emotional state, however when a Pitta is aggravated, watch out because the lion is out of the cage. They will express this without any means of holding back. In the opposite sense, they can hold emotions in by keeping busy with other activities, until one day when they let it all out. Maintaining a balanced exercise regime such as a consistent dynamic between running and yoga will bring your Pitta body in a more balanced state, allowing you to continue with your driven nature. To balance your physical body and nourish your skin, create a daily ritual of a 10-minute self-massage with a cooling oil, such as coconut oil.
KAPHA - THE NURTURERS
Time of the day: 6am – 10 am; 6pm – 10pm.
The Kapha dosha has the primary elements of earth and water. The season representing Kapha is the cold winter period usually lasting until early spring. Kaphas are known as the nurturers of the three doshas. They are empathetic, kind and compassionate to others needs and also great listeners. The Kapha elements of earth and water provide them with a heavy type energy and physical body (heavy bone structure). This does not mean they are fat, this refers more to the body structure, the joints, the bones, the body frame. Although out of the three, Kaphas are usually the ones who put on weight very easily and find it difficult to lose weight. When in balance, Kaphas have a lovely energy about them, the type that makes everybody want to be around them. Being connected to the elements of earth and water, Kaphas are quite slow in their approach and actions. This also represents their digestion and mental state. A Kapha person can go without food for many hours, particularly if they feel out of balance, usually bringing qualities of feeling bloated and heavy. On a mental level, they tend to be slow learners, but once they grasp to something, they have the best memory and can retain the information quite easily. Kaphas definitely need their long sleep ins and early nights. Because of this, they can easily fall out of balance feeling sluggish and lazy. To keep your Kapha dosha in balance, it’s important to create and stick to a consistent daily exercise routine. This can involve, walking, running, dancing, a faster yoga flow; anything that moves the body, but particularly something that keeps you quite active and motivated. Kaphas need stimulation, so often they will drink coffee first thing in the morning, otherwise they feel like they cannot wake up. Always remember the qualities of their elements, slow and heavy. Foods to balance the Kapha digestion are usually ones that are light and easy to digest, nothing heavy. When out of balance, a Kapha person can have dry skin, be overweight, feel lazy and sluggish, depressed and unmotivated. A daily self-massage with sesame oil is wonderful for the Kapha skin, and try to make the massage strokes a little bit faster as this will create an active energy in the body.
There is so much information you can go into in order to understand your predominant Ayurvedic dosha. Please note that whilst most people will have one dosha as their predominant state, most of us tend to have all three doshas in some percentage. Sometimes, some people have two doshas that are equally dominant, rarely but possible all three, and some just one. The stages we go through in life also bring out specific predominant doshas. But to begin with, it’s always a good idea to become familiar with your constitution and start living a healthier, balanced state not by depriving yourself from foods, things and general life pleasures that you enjoy, but to understand and enhance your overall wellbeing at a physical, emotional and mental level.