What is Vata, Pitta, and Kapha?

The anti aging healing secret behind Ayurveda is based on the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth combining into three energies known as doshas. There are three doshas; Vata (ether and air), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth). When these ever moving transforming doshas go out of balance we begin to experience symptoms of discomfort or dis-ease. The energy of these doshas move according to our age, climate we live in, and how well we practice a daily self care program.

What is Vata Pitta Kapha

Vata; the air and ether elements, represents all movement within our mind and body.  Its qualities are cold, light, dry and mobile and like the wind is very irregular or not always occurring.  A person with excess Vata will have dry skin, hair, and nails, cold hands and feet, along with irregular energy levels. Some days they have an appetite and other days they do not and often have difficulty sleeping. When there is excess Vata energy; digestive problems like gas, bloating, constipation and weight loss will be present, and emotions like anxiety, fear, excessive talking, difficulty focusing and completing tasks will be a challenge. To balance the energy of Vata a regular schedule of eating, exercising and sleeping at the same time every day is important to balancing this scattered energy. Eating warm moist foods as opposed to raw cold salads and juices, and warm spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and black pepper to improve digestion. Light activity such as yin yoga, meditative walks in nature are grounding and help the mind to feel calm and focused.

Pitta; the fire and water elements, represents all metabolism within our mind and body. Its qualities are hot, light, sharp, mobile and regular. A person with excess Pitta will experience digestion problems such as acid reflux, loose stool, and burning pain. The internal skin is prone to ulcers and colitis. The external skin is prone to rashes and acne. Imbalanced emotions are an overly focused mind with a sharp tongue tending to offend people. To balance the fiery energy of Pitta a daily self care routine of cooling salads, fruits, grains, beans, organic dairy, and cooling spices, coriander, fennel, cumin and cardamom. Cooling calming exercises such as swimming outdoors, hiking in a shady forest, or yin yoga help balance Pitta’s strong need to over achieve.  Cooling drinks, coconut water, fresh juices, and hibiscus tea are better choices over coffee or alcohol which Pitta people tend to desire. Stay away from hot spicy foods, meat, seafood, and fermented foods like kombucha and yogurt as they are also too heating for an imbalanced Pitta person’s digestion.

Kapha; the water and earth elements, represents all structure within our mind and body. Its qualities are cold, moist, solid, heavy and regular. A person with excess Kapha may experience lethargy, weight gain, lung congestion, and diabetes. The heavy quality of Kapha slows them down and they don’t like to exercise which leads to a lack of motivation, causing depression, lethargy, and sadness. To balance the heavy energy of Kapha a daily self care program to include the opposite qualities of light, dry, and warm. Eating two meals a day of lighter grains like quinoa, amaranth, and millet and non-starchy vegetables with stimulating spices like cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, and chilies. Coffee is recommended for its mind stimulating quality but don’t add too much cream and sugar comfort. Stay away from nuts, dairy, sweets, or meat as they are too heavy for an imbalanced kapha to digest. The best exercise for Kapha is vinyasa yoga, jogging, and dancing or any continuous movement to stimulate metabolism and increase body heat.


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