Ayurveda & Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Three Doshas

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Three Doshas

Why are some people more prone to weight gain than others while there are others who eat all they want and do not add a pound? Is sweet bad for everyone? What explains some people's disposition to anger, calmness or lethargy? 

The answer lies in this Ayurvedic term-Prakruti. Our body type, moods, personality traits and disposition to illnesses are determined by our prakruti. According to Ayurveda, our basic constitution, called prakruti, is determined at the time of conception and remains more 9r less steady over our lifetime. It truly makes each one of us special and one of a kind with observable patterns. 
Prakruti is governed by the three bio energies called doshas. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha which control the activities of the body. It is important to understand that though our body has all the doshas, it is the one that is predominant that decides our prakruti. A person's chances of developing certain types of diseases are thought to be related to the way doshas are imbalanced. 
The five elements of the universe- Earth, Fire, Air, Space and Water, are the components of the three doshas. 

VATA (Space and Air combine)
Traits: Thin body frame, vibrant, enthusiastic, hyperactive, imaginative, sensitive, extroverted, variable grasping power and memory.

Must Have’s: All sweet fruits, fresh dates, banana, almonds, mangoes, raisins, lentils, moongbeans, soya, oils like sesame, olive, sunflower, peanut, milk, fresh cheese, butter and ghee.

Avoid: Dry fruits, junk food, cold and frozen fruit, kidney beans, gram and peas.Location: Though all pervading by nature, vata has some specific locations in our body. They are the rectum and large intestine, urinary bladder, pelvic region, bones and bone marrow, ears and skin. Of these, the colon and large intestine are the main seats of vata. If vata dosha increases in our body, it gets accumulated in these locations. Tips: The vata prakruti people find it very difficult to maintain regular habits, that is, to eat and sleep at regular times. But this is the most important thing for them to do. When Vata is out of balance this may feel almost impossible, but an effort to establish a regular routine is very important for all people with a vata body type. Rest sufficiently, and choose foods which can be instrumental in balancing vata characteristics. Regular exercise should be relaxed and moderate. Hatha yoga practice in a meditative mood is good, as are walking, and swimming. Avoid strenuous, competitive, frantic activities.Meditate every day for deep relaxation.

Vata Skin
To have Vata skin means the dominance of air and space attributes in the skin compared to other people of the same age and ethnicity. Thus Vata skin will be thinner, feel cool to the touch, and have a tendency towards dryness.
When Vata is out of balance
· Skin is dry
· Feels rough and flaky
· Looks dull
· Build up from dead skin

Vata skin and aging: Vata skin will show signs of aging more quickly because it is already thin and dry to start with.
Bringing balance to Vata skin: To bring into balance the cold, light and dry nature of Vata, products need to be warming, rich, highly hydrating and moisturizing. Ingredients picked should have regenerative qualities to help slow down the somewhat accelerated aging process.

Some products ideal for the Vata Skin
· Hydrating Cleanser or Deep Cleanse Treatment
· Microcrystal Exfoliation Treatment
· Daily Repair Serum - Rich Repair (rose)
· Anti-Age Serum
· Rich Repair Treatment Oil and/or Rich
· Repair Moisturizer
· Anti-Age eye Cream
· Moisturizing Mask

PITTA (Fire and Water combine)
Traits: Moderate body type, active, short-tempered, creative, caring, like challenges, good managerial skills and leadership qualities, good digestion and concentration, courageous, intellectual, fast thinkers. 

Must Have’s: All sweet fruits like apple, figs, dates, pomegranate, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radish, sprouts, buttermilk, milk, ghee, curd, coconut, nuts which are soaked in water.

Avoid: Too much heat or sun exposure, hot spicy junk food, deep fried, sour and fermented food.

Location: The main sites of Pitta are the navel, body fluids, blood, sweat, skin, eyes and brain. Of these, the navel is considered important. Nabhi, or the navel is the seat of Jatharaagni or the digestive fire.Tips: Pitta prakruti people will get upset by alcohol and cigarettes, as well as by overwork, overexertion, and overheating. When out of balance, they are susceptible to feeling negative emotions as hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Therefore it is very important for them to maintain their cool and to lead a moderate lifestyle. They should practice nadi shodana and shitali prayanama. Agnisara kriya is also good as it stimulates the metabolism and washes away impurities, increasing the digestive fire.

What is Pitta Skin?
Pitta skin it indicates more dominance of fire and water in the skin compared to other people of the same age and ethnicity.

Indicators of Pitta skin
Normal thickness,
Feels warm to the touch,
Can be sensitive
It is important to know, fire and water can also bring contradiction in the skin, also called combination skin.
Indicators of Pitta skin out of balance
· Skin feels sensitive, tendency for redness
· Inflammation, Rosacea
· Dehydrated and sensitive, if fire element is high
· Oily, if water element is high

Pitta skin and aging: Pitta skin is the most vulnerable to sun damage and will show more signs of sun damage then the other skin types as it gets older.

Bringing balance to Pitta skin: To bring into balance the fiery nature of Pitta, products will need to be hydrating, cooling and soothing. Ingredients will need to have anti-inflammatory properties to calm down sensitivity, irritation, and redness if present. Moisturizing and slightly sebum balancing ingredients will adapt perfectly to the conditions of the skin and bring balance whether the skin feels perfectly normal or partially dry or oily (combination skin).

Some products that a Pitta Skin needs:
· Hydrating Cleanser or Deep Cleanse Treatment
· Microcrystal Exfoliation Treatment
· Daily Repair Serum - Fine-Line (rose)
· Anti-Age Serum
· Fine Line Treatment Oil and/or Fine Line
· Moisturizer
· Anti-Age eye Cream
· Calming Mask

KAPHA (Water and Earth combine)Traits: Heavy body type, cool, lazy, sensitive, calm and relaxed, emotionally stable, good memory, creative, patient, good decision makers, extrovert, methodical, natural resistance to illnesses.

Must Have’s: All fruits can be taken in less amount, all green leafy vegetables, sprouts, carrot, radish, barley, ragi, corn, buttermilk, soya and goat milk, olive oil, nuts (2-3), sunflower and flax seeds.
Avoid: Sweets, milk products (except buttermilk and milk), cakes, chocolates, pastries, aerated drinks, cold and frozen foods.Location: Kapha dosha is located in the chest, throat, head, stomach, fat, nose and tongue. Of these, the chest is considered important. 

Tips: As kapha prakruti people are prone to lethargy, sluggishness, depression, and overweight, daily exercise is more important for them than for any other type. Surya namaskars (Sun Salutation) is very good for this type. Walking is very beneficial.Meditation can be more intensive for kapha constitutions than for vata or pitta. Schedule time every day for prayer and meditationApt knowledge of ones Prakruti helps in prevention and treatment of diseases. This can be determined with the ancient technique of ‘Nadi Parikshana’ - literally meaning- checking of the patients pulse.