Ayurveda and Your Dosha

Ayurveda means “the science of life” and is one of the great ancient tools to help you discover your physical and emotional tendencies. It is categorized into three Doshas or mind-body types: Vatta, Pitta and Kapha.
Each dosha is characterized by two of the 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air and space or ether. By identifying your dosha, you can create a yoga practice and lifestyle to support the nature of your mind-body type. The idea of following your dosha type is to add or balance out the missing or opposite elements to stay balanced.

 

The 3 Types of Dosha

Vata: Air and Ether or Space

A person with this dosha is usually of thin or light frame or slender features. They are creative, have active minds and high energy. Vatas loves excitement, embraces change and new experiences, they also have impulsive and moody personalities. When imbalanced, Vatas suffer from anxiety, fatigue and insomnia. When they feel overwhelmed or stressed, their thoughts and questions are: “What did I do wrong?”

How Vatas can stay balanced:

  • Follow the correct diet
  • Maintain a daily routine
  • Find time to exercise, and also find time to rest and relax
  • Stay warm and get enough sleep 
  • Have regular massages that are soothing and grounding
  • Avoid very cold and dry environments
  • Avoiding noisy and crowded places and environments with too much movement and talking.

Recommended food:

  • Protein: eggs
  • Dairy:  ghee, milk, butter
  • Grains: white & brown rice, wheat, corn, millet, barley and oats
  • Legumes:all except for lentils
  • Vegetables:sweet and bitter vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, green beans, lettuce, peas, parsley, potatoes, zucchini, sprouts, cress, chicory, and mushrooms.
  • Nuts and seeds:  flaxseeds , pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Fruits:  sweet fruits such as apples, figs, oranges, mangoes, plums, melons, pears; coconut and avocados
  • Herbs and spices: No spices except for turmeric, cardamom, fennel, cilantro, cinnamon and small amounts of black pepper.

Foods to reduce:

  • Best to avoid animal products and meat
  • Dried fruits
  • Food that is too spicy, salty or sour


Pitta: Fire & Water

A person with this dosha is usually of medium size & weight. They are intellectual, outspoken and have a strong focus & ability to concentrate. They can also be short-tempered and opinionated. When imbalanced, they suffer from ulcer and gastric problems, and excessive body heat.
Spending time in nature and near bodies of water will help nurture this dosha. A more cooling and heart-centred practice will also improve and balance this dosha.

How Pittas can stay balanced:

  • Follow the correct diet
  • Get in touch with nature and get plenty of fresh air
  • Stay physically and mentally cool, and do things in moderation
  • Staying patient and being considerate to other people
  • Avoid hot and humid spaces
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoiding conflicting situations and arguments

Recommended food:

  • Protein: eggs
  • Dairy: ghee, milk, butter
  • Grains: white & brown rice, wheat, corn, millet, barley and oats
  • Legumes: all except for lentils
  • Vegetables: sweet and bitter vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, green beans, lettuce, peas, parsley, potatoes, zucchini, sprouts, cress, chicory, and mushrooms.
  • Nuts and seeds: flaxseeds , pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Fruits: sweet fruits such as apples, figs, oranges, mangoes, plums, melons, pears; coconut and avocados
  • Herbs and spices: No spices except for turmeric, cardamom, fennel, cilantro, cinnamon and small amounts of black pepper.

Foods to reduce:

  • Best to avoid animal products and meat
  • Dried fruits
  • Food that is too spicy, salty or sour


Kapha: Earth & Water

A person with this dosha has a heavier and earthier body type compared to the other doshas. Kaphas are naturally calm and grounded, patient and understanding. Their speech is slow and melodic, they enjoy routine and regularity and have a positive attitude. When imbalanced, Kaphas tend to get attached and hold on to things, jobs and relationships even after moving on. They become stubborn and resist change, tend to overeat and avoid exercising.

How Kaphas can stay balanced:

  • Follow the correct diet
  • Waking up early
  • Exercise the body & mind regularly
  • Stay warm and dry
  • Break from routine and allow new challenges and excitements in your life
  • Don’t stay stagnant and learn new things
  • Avoid taking long naps and sleeping during the day

Recommended food:

  • Protein: eggs and white meat
  • Dairy: Low fat or reduced-fat milk, soy milk, cheeses with less fat content
  • Grains: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, couscous, barley and oats in small quantities
  • Legumes: all except for white beans and lentils
  • Vegetables: spicy and bitter vegetables such as celery, red beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peas, radish, spinach, sprouts, fennel, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Nuts and seeds: flaxseeds , pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Fruits: berries, cherries, mangos, peaches, pears, and raisins , Dried figs and plum.
  • Herbs and spices: all spices


Foods to reduce:

  • Hot cereals and steamed grains
  • Cheese with high fat content
  • Very salty foods
  • Sugary sweet foods of with refined sugar content
  • Sour foods


If you are not sure what your dosha is, there are a lot of quizzes online to discover your dosha! I have shared some links below to explore your dosha type. Some people may have a mix of the 2 doshas equally depending on the percentage they get. The dominant dosha is the reason why a person may not be able to tolerate heat or humidity or spicy and oily foods while another person may have no reaction to them.
I personally tried out all of them, and I my results came out as predominantly Vata.

Try them out and see which type you are! 🙂

 

Tests: What’s your Dosha?


https://kripalu.org/content/whats-your-dosha
https://www.euroved.com/en/ayurveda/test/
https://yogainternational.com/article/view/dosha-quiz

 

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