Ayurveda aims to personalize your healing journey. It associates your lifestyle, food and movement patterns to your unique mind, body & soul connection - while taking into account the earth’s changing seasons. And, it embraces these simple truths: every day is different; what may have been true for your body when you were younger may no longer apply; what may have been true for your body during hot summer months, alters as you transition into a new season.
Doshas, energies believed to circulate in each person's body, are essential to applying the principals of Ayurveda. Learning what dosha you are is all about finding what energies your body and mind are predominantly comprised of and aiming to balance them. The predominant remedies to bring balance and greater harmony are diet, movement & meditation.
There are three main doshas; pitta, vata and kapha. Each person has all three doshas, with usually one or two more dominant. If you are mostly a pitta-vata, Ayurveda suggests bringing more kapha energies into your life. Similarly, if you are predominantly kapha, you can work to bring more pitta and vata energies into your life.
So how can you determine your dosha type in order to bring greater balance into your life? Ayurveda teaches that we are all comprised of five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether (space). Maybe you already gravitate towards one or two of these elements, but often what we think may be our predominant internal energies, are really what we are seeking more of.
Each dosha corresponds to two of our five internal elements. Here is a quick look at the three doshas, their corresponding elements & attributes, and example remedies for balancing. You can find numerous online quizzes (Deepak Chopra's dosha quiz is a favorite!) in order to hone in on your specific dosha.
Vata Dosha: Compromised of earth and water energies, quick thinking, thin, fast moving, creative, often suffer from fear and anxiety. Seek adequate sleep, avoid intense travel, eat warming foods, avoid cold settings.
Pita Dosha: Compromised of water and fire energies, fiery personality, intelligent, oily skin, often suffer from anger and ulcers. Get adequate rest and relaxation, practice forgiveness, reduce intake of hot and spicy foods.
Kapha Dosha: Compromised of air and ether energies, heavier set, calm temperament, very loving and forgiving, often suffer from insecurity and jealousy. Stay active, avoid naps, minimize intake of heavy foods, salt & dairy.
Resident yogini Shireen is a San Francisco Bay Area native. She has been practicing yoga for almost a decade and became a certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher in Bali in 2015. She was a yoga buyer for YogaOutlet.com for four years and a yoga buyer for Sports Basement for three years. She spearheaded a yoga & wellness retreat at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, including organizing an Ayurveda workshop in 2017. She has also written wellness blog posts for luxlyfe.com and is passionate about living in harmony with nature as much as possible.