Holistic Health Tips (HHT) 
Compassionate ConsultingMay 21, 2014

Once I understood my basic 'constitution' in Ayurvedic Medicine I felt empowered to take good care of myself. In this Health Tip I took more material from Candice May to describe the different doshas. I hope it helps you get a better grasp of your physical, mental and emotional tendencies. Remember that each dosha has specific roles to cultivate within us and we need a good balance of each to be healthy. I use Ayurveda as a foundation in my consultations with clients so call for an appointment if you need help!

With love,

"We're all in this together."
Understanding the Doshas Part II
Once we understand our Prakruti - our unique constitution -  it is quite simple to relax into a diet and lifestyle that will support us naturally. It is believed that everything we ingest will have either a balancing, neutral, or upsetting affect on us. This includes all foods, drinks, sounds, smells, tastes, visions, and thoughts. Everything leaves an impression upon us in some way, and depending on one's constitution, each of us will react to our environments and experiences in very different ways. Truly, one man's medicine is another's poison.

Once we know our general makeup according to Ayurvedic medicine, we can begin to learn which impressions and substances we take in will leave which kind of effects upon us. Knowing whether we are primarily Vata, Pitta, Kapha, or a combination of two or three, is very important if we are truly aiming to restore balance and achieve perfect health.
Vata Constitution
Vata people are highly changeable. They adore movement and travel, and change their minds and locations easily. They are usually of thin build, with thin hair and skin, and have prominent joints and uneven features. They have a tendency to become anxious, fearful, and confused when under pressure. They can be at the same time very introverted and extroverted, and tend to exert so much physical and mental energy that they can find themselves exhausted at the end of the day. They may suffer from insomnia, constipation, dry skin, anxiety, addictions, and arthritis.

Vata people should seek to balance their constitution by applying the opposite qualities that are of their general makeup. They should eat warm, mushy, soft foods, never drink cold beverages, include mostly sweet, sour and salty tastes into their diet, and always sit down to eat and at regular times. They should try not to snack or eat on the run, but to actually prepare a quality meal and enjoy it, at least once a day. People who are primarily Vata will benefit from establishing some kind of regular routine into their daily lives. This doesn't have to be rigid or strict, as Vata's usually abhor any kind of routine (even the word!), but something that is self nurturing and pleasant. For example, a Vata person might discipline themselves to go for a brisk walk in the morning (because Vata loves movement), and then grounding themselves by applying warm sesame oil all over their body and having a soak in a hot bath before they start their day. This simple routine could do a wonder of good to bring and keep Vata dosha into balance with Nature. 

Pita Constitution

People of Pitta dosha are characterized by their intensity. They adore all physical and mental challenges, and usually seize any opportunity to compete or express their highly developed intellect. They are usually of firm and fair build, with good muscle development and tone, sharp features, and are often graceful and controlled in their movements. They may tend towards light, pale, or reddish skin tone, often with light hair and eyes, sometimes with streaks of red or freckles on their face. They can often become irritated, angry, judgmental and critical, although inside they are highly sensitive beings with fragile emotions and a lot of self-doubt. They tend towards ailments such as inflammation, rashes, acidity, fever, stress, anger/rage, and burnout. They have strong appetites and feel best when they are digesting something, whether food or information. Pitta people are highly functional and organized, and value the intellect and challenging opportunities more than anything else. They are highly driven, focused, passionate, and seek success, recognition or fame in their careers.

Pitta people need to seek balance in all things that antidote their intense and serious nature. They will find support in foods that are cooling and sweet, such as green vegetables and spices such as cumin, parsley, coriander, and cilantro. The Pitta gut can usually digest just about food, however they should still be conscious to avoid tastes that are overly sour, pungent (spicy) and salty. The bitter taste is especially helpful to calm inflammations and itchiness (physical and emotionally based). A Pitta appetite will do well to avoid overeating and eating after dark. Usually Pitta people will become hungry around 10pm, and often find themselves enjoying a midnight meal as they continue working on whatever project or occupation currently has them under wraps. However, it is best for Pitta people to try and be in bed by 10pm, to ensure a good night's rest and rejuvenation for their constantly active minds and bodies.

Kapha Constitution                   

People of Kapha dosha are known for their stability. They are usually the calmest and most gentle people, who have a love for life's luxuries. They enjoy sleeping, eating, and being relaxed. They prefer not to move too quickly, and can often be prone to laziness and stagnation. A Kapha person delights in sensual pleasures and nurturing, and they make wonderful parents, healers, and homemakers. They usually have a larger body frame, beautiful skin, a strong immune system, as well as flawless memories and a general attitude of harmony and compassion. They can be prone to ailments such as overweight/obesity, congestion, allergies, and seasonal colds/flu. Kapha people tend to be very emotional and may suffer from depression. They can find themselves stuck in habitual patterns and thought processes, and require change and stimulation to help them grow and evolve. They often find it extremely difficult to initiate change, though once they begin they are the most likely to follow through. They should avoid overly sweet, sour and salty tastes, and indulge in foods that are stimulating and awakening to their systems. This would include the bitter, astringent, and pungent spices, such as raw vegetables, spicy, light soups, and spices such as ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and bay leaf. Kapha people should especially avoid overeating and eating for emotional reasons. Fasting or light meals will help to keep their digestive fires strong and break the routine of habitually eating for pleasure.

Kapha people must find activities that balance their tendency towards stagnation and routine. They should try and vary their days so that they experience a variety of situations and experiences. They do best with regular, vigorous exercise, such as aerobics, jogging, biking, or flow/power yoga routines. They should make sure to try new things that push them beyond their comfort levels, and challenge themselves to adventures they wouldn't normally do. A Kapha person would benefit from making friends with a Pitta person, who naturally indulges in excitement and stimulation, as well as a Vata person, who would inspire them to change and break their established routines. Emotionally, Kapha people are usually very kind and docile, and are sometimes quite shy. Making a point to be socially active will benefit Kapha, and taking on an activity such as social dancing, group exercising, or competitive sports would benefit both their body and soul.
In general, Kapha dosha finds balance and better health when adopting a more "get up and go" attitude. They must seek out change and stimulation, and move their bodies everyday in order to avoid congestion and lethargy.


In This Issue
Vata Constitution
Pita Constitution
Kapha Constitution
Increasing Awareness
Jean Oswald RN

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