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What is your Dosha? Ayurveda put simply

Sarah is a lifestyle writer and travel blogger who can often be found loitering in a cafe with a pot of tea and a good book. Over the last eight years Sarah has lived and worked abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain and Colombia and has tr...

Ayurveda Simplified

From SheKnows Australia
Is your head constantly in the clouds? Do you have a bad memory? Do you find it hard to lose weight or have you got a fiery temper? It sounds like one of your Doshas could be out of balance.

And what the heck is a Dosha, I hear year ask?

Well, they’re the energies that circulate through the body according to ancient Indian medical practice called Ayurveda.

Ayurveda teaches that health is maintained by the balancing of three subtle energies known as Doshas which are called Vatha, Pitta and Kapha. We’re all made up of a combination of the three Doshas and the three Doshas are made up of the five elements: space, air, earth, fire and water.

Vata is a combination of air and space.
Pitta is mostly fire with some water.
Kapha is mostly water with some earth.

According to Ayurveda, we should strive to keep our Doshas in balance so we can live long and healthy lives. If our Doshas are not in balance that is when health issues and diseases occur.

How can we balance our Doshas?

We should consider diet, exercise, digestion and eliminating toxins.

Description of Doshas

Vata

This energy governs the movement and distribution of everything in the body. It regulates blood pressure and breathings and also regulates the nervous system as well as our mind. An active Vata mind moves fast but if you calm the Vata it is possible to have a calm mind. A Vata mind, while quick to learn is also quick to forget. They have a very short-term memory. Physical characteristics of Vata people include thin bones and skinny physique. It is difficult for a Vata person to put on weight. They usually have darkish and dry skin. Their hands and feet are usually cold and their hair is thin and dry. They are also usually characterised by small and dark eyes and small, thin lips.

Pitta

This is the metabolism energy which governs appetite and digestion. It is the fire energy. Pitta minds are sharp and concentrate with purpose. They have a great memory and can focus easily. Pitta people usually have a medium build and can lose or gain weight easily. They can be muscular and have reddish or pinkish skin which can be easily irritated. They have thin to medium thickness hair and can go grey prematurely.

Kapha

This is the nourishing energy which is stable and well planted. Physically, this Dosha is responsible for constructing body tissue. The body is firm and strong and elastic. Mentally, Kaphas are characterised by a stable mind which is kind and forgiving. Kaphas retain information slowly but once retained it will be a memory forever. They have a great long-term memory and have a great eye for fine detail. Kaphas are usually overweight and have trouble dropping kilos. Physically, they have a round and strong build with thick and oily skin which is often pale and smooth. They have thick hair, large attractive eyes and thick eyelashes.

According to Aryuveda, health problems arise when our Doshas are out of balance. Balance does not mean all Doshas have an equal presence in the body. It depends on our own personal constitution and the make up of our bodies.

Balancing your Dosha

Signs of Vata imbalance:

Constipation

Dehydration

Anxious

Craving warmth

Frequent viral infection

Weight loss

Lack of sleep

Consuming too much bitter, astringent and spicy food can add to Vata's imbalance. Instead, increase your intake of sweet, sour and salty tastes and warm, easy to digest foods like boiled or steamed starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and leafy vegetables, ripe fruits, warm milk, soups, rice and white and mild spices like cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, coriander, salt, cloves, mustard and black pepper. Drink lots of tea like camomile, fennel, ginger, liquorice and lemon.

Signs of Pitta imbalance:

Diarrhoea

Overheating, profuse sweating

Colourful, violent dreams

Excessive hunger

Frequent bacterial infections

Heartburn

Balance your Pitta by eating sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and cool, heavy foods including boiled, steamed or raw vegetables, sweet fruits, moderate amounts of dairy, grains like rice, wheat, barley and oat, cooling spices like coriander, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, cumin, curry leaves and mint and teas including fennel, camomile, peppermint, spearmint, liquorice and red clover.

Signs of imbalanced Kapha:

Sluggish bowels

Procrastination

Craving warmth, spicy foods

Water retention

Weight gain

Excessive sleep

Balance your Kapha by eating boiled, steamed or raw vegetables, ripe fruits except bananas, fat-free buttermilk, grains like corn, millet, rye, oats, barley and wheatbran and strong spices like pepper, paprika, salt, garlic, basil, cloves, allspice, fennel, mustard, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander and black pepper. Also use honey instead of sugar and drink cinnamon, fenugreek, peppermint and raspberry teas.

More health tips

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The hottest fitness trends for 2013

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