You and your ayurvedic constitution – friends for life

It’s time to find out how you can benefit from the concept of the ayurvedic constitution! Now that you know the basics of the Doshas, let’s take a look at how to implement them into your everyday life. Again, the qualities and energies of the Doshas play an important role.

Develop a sense of the energies

Learn how to notice certain energies in your daily routine as Vata, Pitta or Kapha energy and how to sense if they might have gotten out of balance.
How? By observing! Let’s remember:
Vata has the qualities airy, light, dry, rough, cold.
Pitta has the qualities hot, passionate, transformative, sharp.
Kapha has the qualities heavy, stable, nourishing, calm, steady.

Vata types are full of ideas, creative, flighty and often freezing. In case of a Vata imbalance, they tend to be constipated. On the mental level, they overthink and worry a lot when imbalanced.
Pitta types are organized, determined and passionate. When they’re imbalanced, they get aggressive and get inflammations easily.
Kapha types are solid, down-to-earth and loving. When there is a Kapha excess, they tend to put on weight too quickly and to get lethargic.

All that is only a rough overview and not a detailed characterization of the Doshas. Nonetheless, it gives you a great starting point to pay more attention to the qualities of the three bio energies – in your body, your mind, your interactions, the weather… it doesn’t matter where, you can find them anywhere!

Windy, unstable weather? Vata energy!
Dry, cracked skin? Vata excess!
Highly concentrated work? Pitta energy!
Grimness? Pitta excess!
An intimate conversation among friends, where both pour out their hearts? Kapha energy!
Lethargy and weariness? Kapha excess!

Of course, there can be more than one energy present. If, for example, you are working totally focused and all of a sudden so many new ideas spring to your mind that you don’t even know which one to pursue first, then Vata energy has joined Pitta. Make a habit of seeing yourself and your surroundings through an “ayurvedic lens” and try to notice the Doshas in your daily life.

Find out what your constitution is

You can do that either by doing a consultation with an ayurvedic counselor or by taking a Dosha test by yourself. When you have the result, spend some time engaging in your constitution. Start with the predominant Dosha. Which of your physical and mental traits fit to it? Note the attributes that correspond to your main Dosha and check which ones may relate to the other two Doshas. Maybe two Doshas are present in almost the same amount – that’s not unusual, it’s the case with most people.

Observe yourself

Your mood, your emotions, your ailments, your digestion – all of that is related to the Doshas or possible imbalances. Several times a day, ask yourself which energies you can notice in and on you. Also, see if you can notice imbalances. Maybe you’re unusually irritable, which might point to increased Pitta, or you feel listless, which might be due to a Kapha excess.

Pay attention to your current state

You were born with a unique constitution, a unique mixture of the Doshas. If you have a predominant Pitta, for example, it can still happen that you feel tired and lazy due to outer circumstances, unfavorable nutrition, or the situation at home or at work. On the other hand, Kapha-persons, who are usually very patient and tough to trigger, might be influenced by those factors in a way that makes them irritable and likely to snap. Even though we are more prone to imbalances of our predominant Dosha, the two others might get out of control as well.

Opposites balance

This principle helps when one of the Doshas has gotten out of control. In Ayurveda, we always assume that there’s an excess, not a lack. Therefore, we wouldn’t say „I’m not active enough“, or „I have too little Pitta in me”, but rather “I am too lazy” or “I have too much Kapha in me”. Again, the qualities are important. When there is one that is especially high, its counterpart will balance it. As mentioned in the introduction, there are 10 pairs of counterparts, and three of them are important for daily use. Here’s a reminder:

Heavy – light
Hot – cold
Oily/moist – dry

“Heavy” enhances Kapha and reduces Vata, “light” enhances Vata and reduces Kapha.
“Hot” enhances Pitta and reduces Kapha, “cold” enhances Vata and Kapha and reduces Pitta.
“Oily” enhances Kapha and Pitta and reduces Vata, “dry” enhances Vata and reduces Kapha and Pitta.

Let’s imagine it’s a cool, windy fall season. You’re working for an advertising agency and have come up with numerous creative ideas for a new campaign. Due to the heating in your office, the air is very dry. Your significant other at home is in the middle of exam preparations, which is why he or she is very excited and nervous. If you notice that you’re not exactly sure which one of your ideas you should work on first and then discard some of them, or if you have cracked skin or constipations, you can assume that your Vata Dosha is higher than usual. Therefore, the qualities cold/dry should be reduced and heavy/oily should be increased. We can achieve that with a grounding yoga practice, yummy oil massages and warm, easily digestible food.

Give it a try!

Experiment with the opposites and find out what suits you. Observe how you feel after a meal and how food influences your digestion and your energy level. Come to your own conclusions about which foods to eliminate from your plate and which you would like to add. Do the same with relationships, activities and habits. Ask yourself: What’s good for me, what makes me sluggish, what makes me nervous, what gives me energy, what nourishes me?

How you will benefit from this friendship

You will get more mindful. When was the last time you observed how food and certain interactions or situations influence your body? Being more mindful about this will help you see what makes you feel good and what you should stay away from.

You will understand yourself better. When you react to a situation in a certain way, you might be less strict with yourself or more likely to accept that as a Kapha-type you will never lose weight as fast as friends with a predominant Vata-Dosha.

You can live healthier. When you know your constitution and the corresponding needs, you can walk through life with more energy and better health.

You can help yourself. When you realize that there is something wrong, you can try to feel better by implementing little changes. If you get sick, though, it is better to see a doctor.

Have fun establishing this special friendship! I’d love to hear your experiences with it.

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