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Yoga for balancing Vata Dosha includes grounding forward folds such as Balasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Halasana and Prasarita Padottanasana. It also includes Apana Encouragers such as Malasana and Apanasana and Restorative Style Postures such as Supported Backbend Inversion: Instant Maui, Salamba Savasana and Salamba Virasana.
Dosha imbalances, especially of pitta, lead to retinal malfunction or dryness of the eyes. Go easy on spicy food and eat veggies and fruits rich in vits A and C, like bitter gourd, mangoes, and amla, and dairy products like milk and ghee. Wash your eyes with plain cold water or by mixing triphala powder in it. Try procedures like tarpana and nasya after consulting an Ayurvedic doctor. Don't stay up late or sleep during the day.
1. Oil every orifice: oil-pulling, nasya, basti. 2. Do daily oil self massage. 3. Cook with ghee to reduce dryness and improve tissue quality. 4. Get into routine. 5. Spend quality time with supportive people. 6. Stay at home more. 7. Sleep before 9pm. 8. Spend less time with electronics. 9. Get a massage. 10. Flame-gaze: Stare at the flickering flame and get immersed.
An imbalanced vata will have rough, dry and peeling skin. Consume radish juice and apply butter on the face. Pitta imbalance causes acne, pigmentation and rosacea, so avoid sun and heat and wear loose cotton clothes. Kapha imbalance can cause large pores and black heads so apply a mix of neem leaves, turmeric, rose water on the face.
Vatas should wake by 6 am, have breakfast by 8 am, lunch at 11 am–12 pm, and supper by 6 pm, and sleep at 10 pm, lying on their back. Pittas should wake up by 5.30 am, have breakfast at 7.30 am, lunch at 12 pm, and supper by 7 pm. They should sleep by 11 pm on the right. Kaphas should wake up by 4.30 am and sleep by 12 am on their left. They should have breakfast by 7 am, lunch by 1 pm, and supper by 8 pm.
According to Ayurveda, ‘dosha’ is one of the 3 bodily humors that make up our physical and emotional constitution. Vatta controls and manages the bodily functions pertaining to motion like blood circulation and heartbeat. Pitta regulates metabolic functions like digestion and nutrition. Kapha controls the growth of the body and streamlines your immune system.
Indulge in your cravings but eat a sattvic diet with milk, rice, wheat, ghee, fresh vegetables, fruits and grains. Avoid hot, spicy food and uncooked lentils, uncooked leafy green vegetables as they cause gas. Eat sweet, sour, and salty food as they balance vata. Practice abhyanga with sesame oil. Wake befor 6 am to 10 am and sleep between 6 pm to 10 pm.
Consuming ginger, hot water, spiceballs (digestive aid spices), nutmeg with steamed milk and Triphala can help keep your doshas balanced. Practice Am and Pm rituals, it lets your body cope better with a new time zone. Include a bit of Brahmari Pranayam and Jaal Neti into your daily routine and make sure you take sufficient breaks between destinations.
For Breakfast have a fruit salad, egg white or oatmeal with milk, ghee, maple syrup. Lunch is the main meal of the day. Eat seasoned tofu and steamed collard greens over wild rice, or pasta. Chywanprash is an ideal snack to have at 4 p.m. Dinner should be lighter than lunch. Try veggie or turkey burgers with goat cheese, lettuce and avocado or Kitchari.
The sweet taste is cooling and heavy but also anti-inflammatory. Include sweet fruits, most grains and squashes. Bitter taste foods are cooling and drying which is beneficial for Pitta. Include kale, collard, and dandelion greens. Astringent taste is heavy, cold, and dry. Include herbs like basil, dill, and parsley. Avoid pungent, salty and sour tasting foods.
Coffee has rajasic qualities. For people who follow a rajasic diet, coffee will lead to overactivity and exhaustion. Coffee has pungent, bitter, astringent, stimulating and drying qualities. Vatas are easily stimulated by coffee and should avoid it. Coffee can heat pitta body types. Kapha are best suited to drink coffee. However both vata and pitta can drink decaf coffee.
Depleted kapha, poor immunity, low sex drive, sleep problems, mood swings, digestive issues, depression, changes in the menstrual cycle are signs that the adrenal glands are unable to cope up with stress. Practice Yoga, Nadi Shodhana, and Yoga Nidra, calm vata and rely on herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shilajit and Triphala for a stronger, healthier gut.
Herbs like turmeric, guggul, ashwagandha, ginger and boswellia can be used. Mix 1tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp garlic, ¼ tsp ajwain, ½ tsp coriander seed powder, ½ tsp fenugreek with half glass of water and take twice a day. Fasting is very beneficial to reduce arthritis pain. Body massage with sesame or mustard oil helps reduce vata that causes arthritis.
Raw foods are naturally cooling. Most grains, milk, root vegetables, seeds and cooling oils such as coconut and sunflower oil are great. Drying or astringent foods like potatoes, corn, millet, pasta, oats, popcorn, beans are recommended. Eat foods that are dry, mild, cooling, grounding, stabilizing and dense. Use moderate vs abundant amount ghee when cooking.
Juice cleanses are not recommended for Vata types because they tend to have a weak digestive system and raw juices will make them bloat and cause tiredness. Juice fasting with cooling and blood purifying vegetables is a good option for Pitta types. Kapha types can go on a juice diet for 2- 5 days, and they will immediately feel the positive effects on their body.