Body

How Understanding Doshas Can Help You Reclaim Your Balance

by Nicole Lesmeister

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Body

How Understanding Doshas Can Help You Reclaim Your Balance

It’s all about trusting your intuition.

Ayurveda isn’t new. By now we’ve all heard of this fully integrative method of taking care of ourselves through nutrition and daily practices that hinge on our own personal dispositions and biological energies, aka our doshas. It’s an Indian ancient method of healing, based on the idea that to live well is to perpetually heal and to be in tune with our bodies changing needs.

There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Because Ayurveda stems from the elements, Vata is represented by a combination of air and space, Pitta is both water and fire, and Kapha is water and earth. We may embody one of these doshas, or a mix of two dominantly. But life throws us many daily curveballs that can cause us to lean in any one of these directions, sometimes regardless of our dominant dosha.

Perhaps you know your general dosha, or have taken an online quiz to determine which dosha resonates with you most. However, because of uncontrollable life factors, the biggest thing to consider when reflecting on your dosha is that it is never completely set in stone. The pillars of Ayurveda are about finding balance. Everything—mind, body, personality, thoughts, stress, etc.— is all connected, and not static. While your online disha quiz may be pretty accurate in determining your most prevalent or common dosha denominator, things change. That’s the beauty of reclaiming your balance.

“Take time to check in with yourself and make intuitive choices.”

Vata, the light and airy dosha, Pitta, the fiery and feisty, and Kapha, the sweet, soft, and slow, are the archetypal depictions of our personalities, and in some small (or large) ways, they all exist in all of us simultaneously. If you’re constantly trying to balance your dosha by eating opposite foods, (like a fired-up Pitta dosha only eating cooling foods) you can overdo it in the wrong direction.

Other elements of your life can become out of balance as well. If you’ve been eating too many cooling, sweet, heavy foods, you may have a Kapha imbalance, even if you consider yourself a Pitta or Vata. If the weather is dry and cool, you’re feeling anxious, or your skin feels rough or itchy, your Vata may be too high. 

All this means is that you can be intuitive. If you are a Pitta and are feeling irritated, overwhelmed, or perhaps suffering a little heartburn or indigestion, by all means, eat some cucumber soup, cut back on the salsa and nightshades, and take the yin yoga class. But it doesn’t mean you need to do that all the time, forever. Your overall dosha is not the reigning factor in your ever-changing disposition, so take time to check in with yourself and make intuitive choices. Fine-tuning what you need is a practice of consistent self-awareness. After all, this self-care stuff? It’s a life-long journey.

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