Ayurveda, which means knowledge of life, is a traditional medicine developed 6000BC which aims to create a life, living in harmony with nature, and awareness of balancing body, mind and soul.
Ayurveda works on the principle of the 5 elements: Air, Ether, Water, Fire, Earth.
Each of us has a different balance of those 5 elements. That’s what makes us all different and unique human beings.
There are 3 main groups of people according to the two main elements present in their bodies. Those groups are called the doshas.
The three doshas constantly fluctuate according to our environment, which includes our diet, the season, the climate, our age, and many more factors.
Characteristics of the doshas:
MOVEMENT – ETHER AND AIR
Characteristics of mind: Energetic, adaptable, healing energy, good communication, positive spirit, enthusiastic, creative, and intuitive, visionary, performs activities quickly. Also fearful, indecisive, agitated, anxious, unreliable, changing moods, spaced out, quick to forget.
Characteristics of body: tall, light, thin build, good circulation and nerve impulse. Also irregular hunger and digestion, insomnia or light interrupted sleep, excitability, tires easily, tendency to overeat, constipation, erratic mental and physical energy.
To pacify Vata and stay in balance you can do the following things:
- Keep warm, choose warming, grounding foods
- Avoid extreme cold along with cold and frozen foods
- Minimise raw food consumption especially raw apples and cabbage
- Go easy on beans/pulses – mung dahl, adzuki beans and red lentils are best
- Emphasize sweet, salty and sour tastes in your food
- Include lots of moist food in your diet – soups, hot drinks, whole grains with a little oil and butter
- Create a safe, calm and secure environment for yourself
- Establish a routine that works for you and try to stick to it! If nothing else, eating your food at regular times has an incredibly balancing effect.
TRANSFORMATION – WATER & FIRE
Characteristics of mind: Intelligent, warm and friendly, good overview qualities, good managers and leaders, regular mental energy, strong impressive voice, often good public speakers, courageous. Also, tendency towards anger, impatience and irritability under stress, aggressive and proud.
Characteristics of body: Medium build, medium strength, good metabolism, strong digestion, good sharp hunger, ruddy skin, moles/freckles. Also, intolerance to sun or hot weather. migraine, headaches, hypertention.
To pacify Pitta and stay balanced you can do the following:
- Keep cool, avoid excessive steam, heat and humidity
- Avoid caffeine, excessive oils, fried food, salt, alcohol, red meat and hot spices
- Emphasize fresh raw food and vegetables in your diet
- Enjoy lots of milk, cottage cheese and whole grains
- Emphasize bitter, sweet and astringent tastes in your diet
- Get plenty of fresh air
- Trust your feelings and express them in ways that support you and those around you
- Practice moderation in all things!
STABILITY – EARTH & WATER
Characteristics of mind: Loving, nurturing, patient, affectionate, tolerant and forgiving, loyal, slow to anger, relaxed personality, Also, slow to grasp, controlling, insecure, materialistic, tendency to be possessive and lazy.
Characteristics of body : Solid, powerful build, great physical strength and endurance, steady energy, oily cool pale and soft skin, good sleep, slow digestion. Also, tendency to obesity, allergies, sinus problems.
To pacify Kapha you can do the following things:
- Get plenty of physical exercise every day
- Keep your consumption of fat to a minimum
- Avoid iced foods and drinks, sweets, and excessive amounts of bread
- Choose warm, light and dry foods
- Don’t drink too much fluid – 4 cups a day is enough
- Emphasize pungent, bitter and astringent tastes in your food
- Enjoy lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices
- Get plenty of complex carbohydrates to sustain your energy levels and provide a good source of fibre
- Allow excitement, challenge and change into your life as much as you can