Ayurveda teaches us to get to know ourselves better through maintaining a healthy lifestyle which best supports our predominant dosha. Whilst some can sound “healthy”, they might not be congruent with our Ayurvedic body constitution. Learn about some the do’s and don’ts of each dosha.
Represented by the elements of water and earth, Kapha predominant individuals usually have a healthy and heavy type bone structure. As its qualities are moist and cold, Kapha individuals can benefit from warmer, dry climate and the same applies to the qualities of the foods they consume. They tend to have a slow digestion due to its quality of heavy (earth and water) and they can usually go without food for most of the day. They can put on weight very easily and find it hard to lose weight. Due to their nurturing and kind nature (everybody wants to have a Kapha friend), they are quite sensitive and feel a need to be around others.
Kaphas would benefit from a lifestyle in which they are both active and social. Due to their slow nature, they will benefit from more vigorous exercise such as running, vinyasa yoga, skipping etc in order to become more energised. Although a Kapha predominant individual generally does not have a big appetite, it’s important to have regular meals. They would benefit from small and light meals throughout the day, including smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. Kaphas should try and avoid getting stuck in a lazy, sleepy state as this will create more imbalance. Eating less sweet, sour and salty type foods will also benefit their digestion as these can often feel heavy and can slow down the metabolism.
Represented by the elements of air and space, Vata predominant individuals tend to have a naturally thin body and find it hard to gain weight. Their bones are usually more fragile and tend to feel cold often. The Vata digestion has the qualities of dry and changeable, and this also applies to the Vata appetite. When out of balance, Vata’s can feel anxious and even paranoia, due to their overthinking nature. For these reasons, Vatas tend to experience problems with their sleep, usually having insomnia and night terrors.
To keep Vata in balance, it is important to pay extra attention to your diet. Eating food that have a nourishing and warming quality as well as using spices which provide these qualities to their meals. Highly creative Vatas experience a lot of mental activity, sometimes feeling overwhelmed. To balance this, drinking calming herbal teas and practicing meditation are good ways to bring more stillness to the physical and mental self. As Vatas tend to feel cold often, regular hot baths and showers are great for their body and daily sesame oil massage helps to detox their skin and provide warmth to their body.
It is best to avoid drinking too much coffee, cold drinks or consuming any other stimulants.
Represented by the elements of fire and water, Pitta predominant people are usually of moderate weight. The can put on weight easily but also lose it just as quick. As Pitta represents the digestion due to its fire element, Pitta individuals usually have a healthy digestion, however this can be aggravated from consuming hot or heating qualities foods or spices. As they experience a lot of heat in their body, they benefit from cooler, refreshing type weather and climate. Pittas are very organised and make great leaders, however when out of balance they can become manipulative and aggressive/angry and frustrated. To keep this in balance, Pittas can benefit from creating a healthy work/life balance as they are known as the workaholics of the three doshas. Yoga and pilates are great physical practices for them and meditation as well to cultivate patience (when Pittas want something, they want it now). Due to their healthy appetite, Pittas are best advised not to miss meals throughout the day as this can cause them to become hangry and frustrated.