I love food. What I love the most about food, is realizing that it highlights when I’m not connecting with myself. What I eat, how I feel while I’m eating, and also something as simple as bloating all show whether I am connecting with myself or not.
Upon searching for a food practice that matched with the connection to food that I wanted, I revisited a practice that I never brought into my everyday life, called Ayurvedic Medicine.
What is Ayurvedic Medicine?
Ayurvedic Medicine, also known as Ayurveda (Ayur = life) (Veda = science/knowledge), is known as the science of life. It’s based on the view that a human being is a combination of mind, body, and spirit. If the mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe than you have good health.
The two main principles of Ayurveda are:
- The mind and body are inseparable.
- Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
Doing practices that bring awareness to the mind, and finding balance within that awareness, transforms the way our bodies feel. Meditation, for example, is one of the most powerful practices that balance the mind and body. While meditating, we enter a quiet space within our mind that increases awareness and causes the balance to your inner state. With the inseparable connection between the body and mind, this balance comes to the body as deeper breaths and less tension. Stress hormones are released, and positive neurotransmitters increase such as dopamine and serotonin.
Each person has their own special way of balancing their body. Ayurveda connects to each person’s uniqueness by using the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether/space. All five elements are within us all, though what elements are the most dominant varies. This is when Doshas come in handy.
What are Doshas?
In Ayurveda, it is believed that the best ways to eat for spiritual, emotional, and physical balance, depends on our spiritual body type known as Dosha. Dosha’s are based on the five elements, along with physical, mental, and spiritual characteristics. Everyone has each Dosha, though one is usually stronger than the others. This lets us know what we need to pay the most attention to for balance.
The three types of Doshas are:
- Vata (also known as Vayu) -air and ether/space-
- Pitta -fire, and water-
- Kapha -water and earth-
Each Dosha has a unique body function, specific diet, what brings it out of balance, and what happens when it is imbalanced.
Vata controls the movement in the mind and body, such as blood flow, releasing wastes, breathing, and how thoughts move within the mind. Because it is based on cool and dry elements, maintaining warm temperature is key.
Things that disrupt the Vata include: eating too soon after a meal, fear, staying up too late, and eating mostly dry cold foods.
Questions that let you know whether or not your Vata needs to be balanced include:
- Is my skin dry, rough, or thin?
- Is my mind constantly racing?
- Do I worry unnecessarily?
- Am I constantly restless?
- Am I experiencing constipation?
- Do I experience forgetting things?
- Do I easily get tired?
- Am I gassy?
- Am I bloating?
If you are facing imbalance, practices such as eating warm cooked foods, getting lots of rest, and having a daily routine helps.
Pitta controls heat, metabolism, and transformation in the mind and body such as how we digest foods, how we know what’s right and wrong, and how our senses are received.
Since Pitta is mainly heated, staying cool brings balance. What disrupts Pitta includes, sour or spicy foods and spending too much time in the sun.
Questions that let you know whether or not your Pitta is imbalanced include:
- Am I being demanding or critical?
- Am I often frustrated, angry, or intense?
- Is my skin prone to rashes and eruptions?
- Am I often irritable and impatient?
- Is my hair gray or thinning prematurely?
- Do I wake up early and have difficulty sleeping again?
- Is hot weather uncomfortable?
- Am I a perfectionist?
- Am I having loose bowel movements?
If you are facing imbalance with Pitta, practicing moderation, eating cool dry foods and using fewer spices such as cayenne peppers helps.
Kapha controls all structure and lubrication in the mind and body such as weight, growth, lubrication of joints and lungs. and how the seven tissues (nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues) are formed.
Since Kapha is structured and based on fluid balance, using moderation helps bring balance.
Questions to know whether your Kapha is imbalanced or not include:
- Do I tend to be overweight?
- Do I sleep for long periods of time and still feel tired?
- Am I possessive and over attached at moments?
- Do I feel lazy?
- Do I experience bloating?
- Do I feel stiff and heavy, especially in the morning?
- Do I experience congestion?
If the Kapha is imbalanced, having an early bedtime and waking up early, eating fresh fruits and veggies, and a little exercise every day helps.
The mind, body, and spirit are always connected. When one is imbalanced, all is imbalanced. Being mindful of how you treat your mind, heals your body, which strengthens your spirit.
Ayurveda assists to bring clarity to what messages our body sends to us when our mind, body, and spirit are facing imbalance.
If you want to know what unique way your body manifested and needs to be balanced, taking a Dosha test shows which Dosha is the most dominant.
I hope this article inspires you to take this Ayurveda journey with me 🙂
After taking the Dosha test, please comment which one you are below!