Five thousand years ago, when Indian gurus were studying human physiology, they began to believe that each individual is made up of various energies which contribute to the distinctiveness of each one’s personalities. They called these energies ‘doshas’ and concluded that there were three in all which determined physiological properties within people. While all three doshas were present in everyone, each one had a specific predominance of one dosha over the others. This concentration determined an individual’s body type, food preferences, moods, and so on. Read on to know more about the qualities of each dosha.
In Ayurvedic knowledge, vata governs movement in your body. It controls the flow of blood, the elimination of waste and your respiratory process. Those who have a predominance of vata, tend to be very thin (usually underweight), very flexible and prone to dryness. Vatas are usually the most creative people in the room. They’re well-read and extremely easy to hold a conversation with. Vatas are however, much more prone to indigestion. As vata controls all movement, an imbalance in your vata energy will manifest as constipation, bloatedness or loss of appetite altogether. If you identify with these symptoms, here’s how you can balance your vata again. Stay away from cold foods as this will disrupt your dosha. Vatas prefer warm, lightly spiced food that are rich in good fat. Hydrating yourself is extremely important as vatas are prone to dryness, but make sure you drink only warm fluids. Include plenty of good fats in your diet like avocados, cheese and Ayurveda’s favorite ingredient, ghee. A dash of sourness, like lemon juice over your meals, will also help your digestive process and calm your vata.
Pittas are natural born leaders. They’re usually well-built and strong, aggressive and tend to dominate the others. The pitta dosha controls your metabolism and your energy reservoir. Those with a predominance of pitta love public speaking, are very driven and entrepreneurial. There’s not much that can beat down a pitta personality, but heat does the trick. Pitta personalities usually wilt under the heat and are very prone to sunburn. When they don’t get their way, they tend to throw tantrums and become petulant. If there’s one quality that pittas do not have, it’s patience. Most of the problems associated with an unbalanced pitta are to do with heat. Pittas tend to suffer from heartburn, acidity, ulcers and skin inflammations. To balance your pitta, choose foods that will have a cooling effect on your body. Cucumbers, melons and yogurt will help put out the pitta flame and put you at ease again. Pittas fare a lot better when they increase their consumption of green vegetables rather than nightshades. It could also benefit you if you cooked your food in coconut oil and gave yourself a weekly massage with this oil to cool your body from the outside.
The Kapha dosha controls the structure of the body. It holds every cell together and ensures that the body is always protected. Kapha personalities are usually the people you turn to when you need to be comforted. The complete opposite of the other two doshas, kaphas are generally more easy-going and placid. Unlike vatas, they’re slow speakers and move at their own leisurely pace. Unlike kaphas, they rarely like to take charge and are more comfortable in roles as facilitators. While they might not have a very large appetite, they have a genetic predisposition to be overweight. Kaphas can find it extremely challenging to lose a few stubborn pounds even with all the exercise they force themselves into. From a health perspective, however, kaphas tend to be the most healthy of all doshas. They’re resistant to most diseases and are usually the ones to escape a bout of chickenpox or the flu. Because of their excessive weight, however, kaphas could be more at risk for diabetes and fatigue. To balance your kapha, make sure you keep yourself stimulated throughout the day. Always take the stairs and join a fitness club if possible. You could also try dry brushing your body before every shower to improve your circulation. Kaphas tend to be excessively oily, so avoid foods which have a high oil or fat content. Any sweetener apart from honey will aggravate a kapha personality and they have trouble digesting dairy products. Instead, stick to plenty of fresh, colorful vegetables and reduce your intake of red meat.