Learning Your Dosha

July 28, 2020

Ayurveda

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I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & seasonal living mama. I'm all about embracing stillness, slowing down,  and connecting to your inner wisdom.

I'm Andrea - your Seasonal living guide

Today I'm going to do an overview of each of the doshas and teach you how they apply to your life both in nutrition, fitness & emotionally.

 

First a review there are 3 dosha types

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha

We each have a primary dosha and a secondary dosha. Very few of us are tri-doshic meaning we are all three equally. To find your dosha check out the free quiz here.

Vata Characteristics

Associated with movement & the air and ether elements.

 

Positive Qualities             

  • Positive Emotions                                  
  • Brightness                                              
  • Fast Metabolism                                         
  • Driven                                                      

 

 Downside qualities 

  • Lack of confidence /grounding
  • Lack of ease   
  • Lack of direction           
  • Worry, overwhelm, stress & anxiety   

 

Digestion

  • Vatas tend to eat erratically & skip meals
  • Vatas tend to bloat 
  • Feel malnourished/always hungry
  • Vatas tend towards dehydration & constipation 
  • In Fall/early winter choose foods that have warmth & moisturize the body
  • One pot meals good for digestion
  • Spices- cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, black pepper, cumin, basil, & mustard seeds pacify vata
  • Favor- Marinated salads, Fermented foods, 1 pot meals

 

Tendencies

  • Sleep issues
  • Feeling of exhaustion 
  • Cracking Joints 

Remedies 

  • Thrive on routine
  • Nourish the body 3x a day at the same time creates grounding in body & mental direction.
  • Need more nuts, seeds, oils to balance the lightness of body & more spices due to cold nature of their system 
  • In general food should be taken warm, oily, spiced 
  • Daily hot baths or external oil massage help them feel nourished in the depth of their soul. 
  • Early to bed
  • Yoga practice focus on breath work to ground down

 

How to find if vata is off? 

Look into routines- What is unstable in your life? Ex.-Bedtime inconsistent, meditation practice inconsistent, sporadic meals

Workouts

  • Light cardio & yoga over high intensity activities

 

General Practices

    • Dress in layers- vatas tend to get cold
    • 5 Minutes of sitting in quiet in morning & evening
    • Eat on a schedule
    • Routines, routines, routines
    • Favor warming spices to aid in digestion & keep you warm all day long

Pitta Characteristics

Associated with transformation and the earth and water elements.

 

Positive Qualities                                              

  • Put their mind to something they will do it          
  • Strong appetite & digestion                                                     
  • Puts on muscle easily                                              
  • Crave transformation                                               

 

 Downside Qualities  

  • Quick to anger
  • Quick to criticize
  • Can get hangry 
  • Sometimes overly competitive

 

                Digestion

  • Pittas have strong digestion that leans towards sharpness & acidity
  • The sharpness happens when they skip meals- hangry
  • Pittas don’t skip lunch or you will burn out later that day
  • Foods to be careful around- hot spices, meat, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate & processed foods easily aggravates fire types.
  • Spices- Cilantro, basil, mint, lemon balm, rose, lemongrass, coconut, dill, fennel, cardamom, coriander instead of pepper
  • Favor- Diet freshly prepared foods & cooling foods
  • Sweet tastes to chill out your edge- Honey is too hot. Use maple syrup or dates for sweet taste

Tendencies

  • Burnout
  • Sharpness in tongue
  • Need to make time to relax & reflect

Remedies 

  • Daily nature walks to give you space & perspective
  • Lunch should be the new dinner
  • Beans are cooling and good for pittas digestion
  • In general spicy foods will aggravate pittas
  • Reflection & gratitude practice at the end of the day to keep your pitta calm
  • Plants & greens in particular are go to meal options

 

How to find if pitta is off?

What are you overly focused on in your life? Typically pitta goes into overdrive when you work to hard on a goal, job, kids, life in general. Need to ease up and relax this is where the nature walks or getting outside helps balance the sharpness of the pitta.

Other reasons pitta can be off- Too much spicy food, alcohol, staying up past 10pm to finish work which increases focus, starting the day with coffee = more acid in body which turns into sore throats burning esophagus.

Workouts

  • Medium intensity based workouts, creative workouts/play, walks, typically love competitive sports

General Practices

  • Flow & let go
  • Avoid burnout
  • Eat a large lunch 
  • Avoid processed foods they affect pittas the most 
  • Watch the spice & alcohol to avoid pitta flare-ups
  • Relaxing evening practice at end of day to shut down work

Kapha Characteristics

Positive Qualities              

  • Means hug (bring together)                    
  • Grounded                                                                   
  • Safety                                                      
  • Go with the flow personality                    

 

Downside qualities 

  • Suffocation to close to people
  • Can get complacent
  • Out of balance can mean lower motivation
  • Slower metabolism

 

Digestion

  • Kaphas do best with drying diets- spicy, crunchy foods & a predominance of green vegetables
  • Tendency to overeat which causes the stomach lining to become more liquid which contributes to overproduction of mucus = colds, congestion, asthma, water retention
  • 2-3 meals a day are best for kaphas
  • Best foods- Astringent grains such as millet, buckwheat, pomegranates, leafy greens, lemons & grapefruit
  • Spices- Fennel, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, go big with spices 
  • Lemon & honey are your pals

Tendencies

  • Body at rest stays at rest
  • Heaviness feeling
  • Designed to give

Remedies 

  • Declutter- kaphas tend to collect things
  • Stimulate the senses daily- explore new places, sights, sounds, colors, etc.
  • Get to bed early 6-8 hours of sleep ideal for kaphas not 10 as you might think
  • Chew on fennel- instead of snacking sip hot water & toasted fennel seeds
  • Digest your meals before ingesting your next meal
  • Decongest- neti pot

How to find if kapha is off?

Typically habits are off. Not as lively they get out of their exercise, nutrition routines, need lighter foods, sat to long recently.

Workouts

  • High intensity, group environment more inviting, compound exercises, morning movement to start the day essential for kaphas

General Practices

  • Dry brush every day - helps with circulation
  • Wake up & move- 10 minutes is good, 20 minutes great
  • 1/3 food, 1/3 water, 1/3 space when eating to see room for digestion
  • Spice is your friend as are honey & lemon 
  • Go to bed early & get up at dawn for movement practice
  • Move, move, move

In Conclusion

We will associate with something from each of the dosha. Your primary dosha will be the one that you relate to the most. Typically we have one that we will really gravitate towards. Next time you're feeling angry notice why and what could be the cause of it. If you're feeling a little all over mentally what might be the cause, or if you feel sluggish notice what dosha might be out of balance. The more we practice these things the more they will become second nature to finding that balance in our lives.

 

Favorite Ayurveda Resources

Weekly Challenge

Find your dosha this week by taking the free quiz. 

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Wanting to dive deeper into Ayurveda? Download this free 28 day Ayurvedic Toolkit.

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explore the blog

Ayurvedic Pregnancy 

How to do a Castor Oil Pack

You'll also love

search the post index

MORE ABOUT ME

I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & seasonal living mama. I'm all about embracing stillness, slowing down,  and connecting to your inner wisdom.

I'm Andrea - your Seasonal living guide

Work with me

I'm a mom and wife who specializes in seasonal living and women's hormones.  I help you heal your period pain, and prepare for perimenopause & find your balance during the menopausal years for the past 15 years. 

I host a weekly podcast, Peaceful Power Podcast and wrote a cyclical living book in 2021- Divine Body Wisdom and am currently writing a second book coming out in the Spring 2023!  

My other interests are playing tennis, watching Golden Girls, and enjoying my morning oatstraw & raspberry leaf infusion! 

I'm an Ayurvedic counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & Wild Woman Circle Leader 

I'm Andrea — your Ayurvedic & wellness mentor.

Learn what practices are best to live in alignment with the winter season. You will also receive a yoga asana practice and a winter guided meditation. 

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