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Ayurveda: Finding Balance

Ayurveda: Finding Balance

Ayurveda teaches that everyone is born with a certain constitution or dominant dosha. The three Doshas are: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They represent the primary life force or Prana flowing through your body. This internal energy syncs with the external world and is reflected in nature’s four seasons. 

Everybody has a combination of the three doshas and if we’re unaware of our own nature, it’s easy to fall out of balance. Our diet, our physical activity, our careers, where we live, and how we sleep impacts the balance. When they are aggravated, we are in a state of dis-ease. Utilize this ancient knowledge to achieve your optimum health.

True diagnoses requires an Ayurvedic practitioner, but for a general Dosha quiz, visit Banyan Botanicals

First, Vata means wind and is associated with the air element, dryness, cold, and the nervous system. Positive elements of Vata are: quick thinking, mobility, and creativity. Vata is considered the “boss” Dosha—it drives Pitta and Kapha. Located primarily in the large intestine and colon, Vata also settles into the thighs, hips, and lower back. 

If you’re unable to sleep, anxious, depressed, or constipated, you may be suffering from Vata imbalance. Living in a cold, dry climate can exacerbate Vata. When out of balance, focus on resting, staying warm, meditating, eating soothing warm foods, and avoiding raw, cold, or stringent foods. Slow down your yoga practice.

Next, Pitta manifests as our digestive fire and often corresponds to tapas or heat in the belly. A Pitta disposition is often passionate, fiery, courageous, and perceptive.

On the flip side, excessive Pitta shows up as anger, impatience, and judgment. All types of inflammation are associated with Pitta. To balance Pitta energy or time of year, limit hot or spicy foods, excessive heat and humidity, oils, and salt. Eat cooling foods. Try a more passive asana or meditation practice.

Finally, Kapha, or the water element, means phlegm or that which binds. Positive qualities of Kapha are patience, compassion, and stability. This energy helps ground Vata and Pitta. It is primarily located in the stomach and chest and throat. 

Too much Kapha manifests as heaviness: literally gaining weight, feeling drowsy or lacking energy, and also issues with the lungs and sinuses. To balance too much Kapha, implement a vigorous heat-building asana practice, avoid heavy, cold foods like ice cream. wants to help you feel more balanced, so we’ve got several new classes for you with an Ayurvedic twist. 

If you’re feeling weighed down, try Claire Petretti Marti’s Lighten Up: Kapha Balancing Flow and two new classes from one of our latest teacher’s Maria Garre: FREE - Beat the Winter Blues Pranayama and Beat the Winter Blues Namaskar

Learn more about Ayurveda’s ties to the gunas or elements of nature with Alanna Kaivalya - Discovering the Dynamic Qualities of the Universe: Practicing with the Gunas.

Balance it all out with Les Leventhal’s Guidelines for a Balanced Life: Caring for Others, Caring for Self and Shy Sayar’s Transcending Emotionality.

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