What are body types and why is important to get to know them ?
Knowing your body types helps you to tailor a personal diet and lifestyle that can prevent disease and physical disorders, and obtain peace of mind. It provides you with an understanding of your basic physical and psychological nature, and how to keep it in balance with your surroundings. This is the key to maintaining health.
Every human usually has varying degrees of vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas (body type) are usually not present in equal proportions. In most people there is a natural uneven distribution. Very rarely, a person may have a completely even distribution of doshas.
Pitta body type
People with a pitta dosha display an inherent fire/agni elemental character. They are of medium build, with greater muscular development than that displayed by vata. Their skin is soft and warm, and they have a lot of body heat and often perspire excessively. Their hair is thin and often reddish or blond, and they may experience premature graying, baldness or excessive hair loss. Their skin flushes easily and they often have many freckles and moles. Their skin develops acne, rashes, bruises or sunburn easily.
Their desires (appetite, sex) are strong in nature. Sleep is moderate and not easily disturbed. The pulse is strong and stable. Individuals with pitta dosha predominant speak loudly and passionately, and often dominate the conversation. They have an aversion to hot weather, sunlight and heat, and their eyes are sensitive.
In temperament, they are extroverted and love to be the focus of attention. Although they can usually control their emotions, they may become irritable, angry and judgmental under stress. Money is prudently managed. They are decisive, aggressive, ambitious and determined, often aspiring to positions of leadership. They enjoy competitive sports and games, either as spectators or participants. Their intelligence is high, and they have good insight and a keen sense of discrimination.
You can check out a list of recommended food types for a pitta body from http://www.jiva.com/ayurveda/about-ayurveda/30.html, which is also where I have referenced the above information from.
Should you eat according to your body type ?
The answer is obviously a yes, the real question should be “Can you follow the food recommendations by your body type diligently?”
I would like to share a bit of the personal experience on dieting as a pitta body type.
I am a 100 % pitta body type, generally I do not follow the dietary recommendations guidelines in the reference link strictly even though I am made aware of it recently through my yoga training course. During a day to day busy work schedule, I barely have time to assess and look for food meant for our own body type, I merely settle for food which are conveniently available.
However, this does not meant that I forgo any bit of discipline towards food intake, I would like to share with you what I am doing which successfully results in better weight control and better health.
I generally follow a few guidelines,
a. Avoid processed and deep fried food, eat food in their natural form
b. No sugar in beverages (coffee, tea)
c. If you cannot avoid meat like me, look for a meal with at least 70% non-meat (such as tofu, vegatables)
Most people struggle to upkeep a strict diet, I believe in sustainablity especially when it comes to dietary control. Start with something simple and easy to follow like having no sugar in your daily kopi(coffee) or teh(tea), make it a habit first then progress to the next item.
Once you take your first step to improve your food intake, you are taking your first step to better health.
Hope this article is helpful for you, for better health.
By : Ronald Tan (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)