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The Metabolic Types: Ayurveda and the 3 Main Body-Mind Patterns

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. -Ayurvedic Proverb

Ayurveda is the ancient medical science prevalent for thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent. One of the key fundamental theories of Ayurveda involves a system of understanding health and disease known as the tridosha.

This concept of tridosha involving the three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha is a central doctrine of Ayurveda and follows from the first chapter of the earliest text on Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita.The ancient texts of Ayurveda mention numerous properties of doshas and how they affect a human being’s physiology or prakriti based on the dominance of one or more doshas.

The prakriti of a person is quite capable of providing a fair indication of physiological strengths and weaknesses, mental tendencies, and susceptibility to illnesses of various types.

Metabolic Personality Types In Ayurveda

Ayurveda based diet
AyurvedaPhotographer: Chelsea shapouri | Source: Unsplash

Vata Dosha

According to Ayurveda, vata is the force of air and space. It controls our mobility and can lead to ailments such as motion sickness, insomnia, extreme mood swings, depression, anxiety and panic attacks if it’s not in balance.

The word Vata means to blow or to move like the wind. Containing the elements like air and space, Vata manages all the movements in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, evacuation of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the brain. Vata is dry, cold, light, moving, changeable, subtle, rough and quick.

Since Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha can’t move without it, Vata is viewed as the pioneer of the three Ayurvedic Body Types . It is very essential to keep Vata in good balance.

Vata-pacifying tips: Try to be mindful before you eat or drink items like coffee, sodas, bananas. Lavender oil on your feet every night for 60 seconds will help too.

Pita Dosha

It is known as the Fire dosha in Ayurveda. People with high Pitta dosha can feel more hungry, feel irritable and can get easily upset emotionally, crave sour things including spicy food. On the other hand, those who have lower Pitta dosha might seldom experience hunger but instead feel full after one meal.

Ayurveda states that Pitta controls heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. In addition to this, it also controls how to digest foods, how to metabolize sensory perceptions and how to understand the difference between right and wrong. Pitta controls the essential digestive “Agni” or fire of the body.

Pita- pacifying tips: Stay away from melons, yellow foods (e.g., bananas), orange vegetables (e.g., carrot), fried substances, fatty meats, spices.

Kapha Dosha

It is a combination of the earth element along with water and air which creates stability in an individual. Being shy, cautious, pious and compassionate to oneself and others can be some of the characteristics. However too much Kapha can lead to issues such as respiratory problems, intestinal sluggishness or heavy weight gain due to its density and lower metabolism rate.

Kapha individuals love heat and they suffer in cold, damp climates. These types are dedicated however they generally prefer to lay low, even to the point of lethargy.

Due to their inclination towards laziness, kapha types do best to focus on a non-sedantory life, following a strict schedule that keeps them moving. Among all the doshas, kapha types can persist and advantage from the most intense forms of exercise. Ideally, a kapha type would rise before 6 a.m., take a bath and perform a solid workout before breakfast.

Kapha-pacifying tips: Using warm spices like ginger (fiery), cinnamon (warming), and turmeric (warming) to stimulate digestion.

General wellness and Dosha balancing tips in Ayurveda

  1. A balanced vegan diet is the most important part of dosha balancing.
  2. Avoid overeating as it can lead to increased Kapha, Pita, or Vata.
  3. Cook with sunflower oil and vinegar in place of ghee and mustard seed for pacifying Pitta..
  4. Exercise is also important for muscular strength and bone development.
  5. Start the day with a glass of warm ginger water.
  6. For digestion, chew cumin seeds.
  7. Teas with natural oils like chamomile, sweet fennel or wild thyme can be very soothing.
  8. Meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Closing Thoughts

We all know that certain foods can make us feel better or worse. Ayurveda takes this concept a step further by suggesting what we eat and how much of it will influence the balance in our body, mind, and spirit. If you’re interested in learning more about ayurvedic lifestyle for overall wellness, please reach out to us at Awakening Digest. We would be happy to help!


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