Tag Archives: dosha
I am now 58 yrs. old with many, many more life experiences and health challenges than in my 30’s. I have a definite vata dosha now but if I had taken the quiz in my 30’s the results would have been different. Does a person’s dosha change generationally? -Deb
Ahh…”Does my dosha change?” is a great question. A person’s prakruti (natural balance of doshas) never changes. It’s innate from the time of conception. BUT what does change in our life are…seasons, jobs, relationships, food, eating habits, exercise, daily routine, emotions, etc., All these things can alter our doshas and that is where we get imbalanced. So it is safe to say that if you maintain your prakruti throughout life, you do not have any imbalances or health issues. That is perfect health. So in Ayurveda, we need to figure out your prakruti first, to understand where you started and who you are naturally. Then we examine where you are today and in how you’ve shifted from your natural state. THEN we begin to advise food, lifestyle, herbs, treatment, etc., to try and get you back to where you started. So! While your natural doshas stay the same as when you were in your 30s, you have added many more life changes which could sway your doshas from your natural state. Also, after menopause, we all enter vata stage of life, which is where you are now. So you will feel much more vata-like than you may have when you were younger. Does that help?
“What are the best ways to balance? Can you appear to be more kapha or vata if you are out of balance? I am much more pitta naturally and very much out of balance.”
Oh boy oh boy. I think this is the question I get most frequently, the question of the “hidden dosha(s).” Miss Reader posed this question beautifully. As she’s been learning more about herself, she realizes that naturally, she’s mostly pitta. However, the personality and physical traits that stand out to her currently, are more like a kapha and vata combination. I like this question for two reasons.
Reason numero UNO: This reader is beginning to know herself, which is absolutely KEY to healing in Ayurveda. She has been confused about what her prakruti or natural balance of her doshas really is (sound familiar?). It seems now after some learning, self discovery and time, she is beginning to find out what her natural balance is and therefore what she needs to do to stay healthy! Yay for discovery!
Reason numero DOS: She brings up the point of doshas that are shining bright, doing a little dance for everyone to see on the surface, but at the same time are masking our natural state. Ah HAH! It’s like removing a costume! Realizing that what is on the surface, may not be our authentic selves is also KEY to healing in Ayurveda. It’s also the part where everyone gets confused and sends me sweet little notes of dosha confusion :)
This is getting juicy. OKAY! So, there are three doshas. Your prakruti (born-in balance) will be one or two of those doshas (having all three is extremely rare so I’m not going to go there). But then life happens. Maybe we acquire bad eating habits or move to a different climate or have emotional trauma or we too much exercise that is not good for our dosha or we have a really stressful career. And so on! All these factors start to form the costume…they begin to change our natural balance and turn us into someone we might not recognize over time. This is when we start to feel, not like ourselves and might have some physical indications that we are off. It happens slowly, so unless we have really managed our health closely (or already know Ayurveda) and accurately according to who we are as an individual, we most likely have picked up some of these “life happenings” and might not recognize it until we’re pretty far off.
Here is an example of how a pitta person might be masked as a kapha.
Mr. Pitta has a stressful career which causes his pitta to increase, but to manage his stress he skips exercise (kapha increasing) because he has taken on too much responsibility and he’s exhausted. Mr. Pitta reaches for comforting foods to manage his stress (kapha increasing). Deep down he knows this has nothing to do with his hunger or stomach, but it’s for a different reason, to calm him. Then because he is overfull, he can’t get up in the morning and sleeps too late (kapha increasing) therefore not following the daily routine, so he has low energy for the day (kapha symptom and kapha increasing). He will reach for caffeinated beverages to get through the day, which gives false energy, causing him to crash and then need another caffeinated beverage in the afternoon. The result is, the naturally pitta person gains weight, has low agni (metabolism), carries too much stress, gets sick often (clogged channels and low quality ojas) and has no energy. Thus resulting in a kapha imbalance. This specific scenario I see tooooo frequently in our American society!!!
Finally answering the question…so what do you balance?! You always balance the dosha(s) that is out of balance, first. SO! If Mr. Pitta has a kapha increase, we manage kapha. We keep pitta in mind of course, but we work on reducing kapha to get Mr. Pitta back to his natural state. From there, he can live a pitta balancing lifestyle. It’s a little more complex than that because we have to keep in mind all the qualities of the doshas, but in a nutshell, that’s what Ayurveda does. This is one example, but this can happen with all doshas when we’re imbalanced. Kaphas can seem like vatas, vatas can seem like pittas, pittas can seem like kaphas, and as many other combinations as you can think of. Did I confuse you more? I hope not. When you break it down it’s easy.
Get to know yourself. Take the dosha test and remember to take is according to who YOU are NATURALLY, not necessarily today. Take your time and let your discoveries unravel. In all honesty, it’s not as simple as a dosha test. You know yourself better than anyone. Ask yourself questions, learn about the doshas and begin to absorb this wonderful knowledge to make it work for you! :) Namasté!
I got this question last week on my radio show when we were talking about ama and how to avoid getting sick. If you missed it, check out episode 9 to catch up! I missed Karen’s question and promised that I would answer in a blog post. Thanks for your question Karen!
Karen D. asked: You may have answered this already, but does the location of ama depend in part on one’s primary dosha?
To recap (although I highly suggest listening to le show), ama is toxins in our body-minds. Karen’s question was brought up because I was talking about when we have ama in our bodies, it seeks out weak tissues and based on who we are (doshas) ama will lodge in those tissues and create disease. I used examples of a vata person might find that ama settles in their bone tissue which might cause dry joints, causing cracking or stiffness. A pitta person might have ama in their blood tissue which may cause acne, rashes or herpes. A kapha person might have ama in their fat tissue which can cause low quality but high quantity fat, causing weight gain.
SO! Now that you’re all caught up, let’s answer Karen’s question. She is correct, it does in part have to do with one’s natural dosha(s) balance AND it may also have to do with a dosha that becomes imbalanced. They key here is to look at the tissues not the doshas. Uh oh, did I just confuse you? Let me simplify. Knowing what type of dosha(s) you are will help HUGELY in preventing ama in the first place, so then you don’t have to worry too much about where your ama goes…cause you shouldn’t have any :D
So yes, based on what your dosha is, you can anticipate where ama might go if you have an issue. I say, leave figuring all that out to your Ayurvedic Practitioner should you get to that point. YOUR job is to a) recognize ama b) clean it out when you know it’s there c) pay attention to what you’re made of (take the test!) and d) Follow the daily routine and lifestyle recommendations for your dosha.
Thanks for the question Karen!! I hope this helps! xoxoxo, MonicaB.
‘Elo! So, understanding this dosha balancing thang can be a little confusing. I get lots of emails and questions that my readers have about their own unique balance. Sometimes I even get vatas saying, “I wish I was a kapha!” Doesn’t everyone? ;) Just kidding. Oh come on now, kaphas have their problems just like every other dosha, but sometimes we do wish we could become something we are not. Maybe we wish we were more organized like pitta. Or maybe we wish we had more creativity like vata. And of course, we all wish for more peace of mind and compassion like a kapha.
Friends I have some news…YOU are always going to be YOU. You cannot become a different dosha if it’s not in your nature. I’ll break it down for you. Quite simply the doshas can be represented by animals :)
Back to my point, none of these animals are wishing they were something else. They all embrace who they are and live by focusing on their strengths and positive qualities rather than their weaknesses. So remember that. While you are discovering who you are, embrace the way you are unique. XOXO.
Alrighty. Let’s talk about the Ayurvedic daily routine! We know doshas rule our bodies, but they also rule nature and the universe in the way of time and space. Remember, macrocosm vs. microcosm. We are tiny bits of this big nature that surrounds us, so when we go in accordance with nature, we will function at our best. This daily routine will help guide you as to which energies (doshas) govern which times of day. Doshas rule certain times of day, seasons, and stages of life, so once we know what energies are strongest at specific times, we can go with the flow of those energies to achieve overall balance.
See the chart above. Study it for a sec. Ok, now I’ll go into detail about the Ayurvedic daily routine.
Let’s start at 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. Vata Time: The body prepares itself to wake and start moving. Dreams start happening, there is movement in the bowels preparing for elimination, and the mind is closest to the higher self. It is best to wake 1 hour to 1/2 hour before sunrise so that you rise with the vata energy of movement. You will be surprised how energized you feel the rest of the day. Once sunrise hits, kapha period starts and you could have a groggy start to your day. So wake up, go to the bathroom (vata is responsible for elimination), drink water, and do your yoga and/or meditation. You could also exercise at this time of day because you will get moving easily.
6 a.m. – 10 a.m. Kapha Time: The energy of kapha is slow and steady. Eat a light breakfast around 7 or 7:30, just enough to tide you over til lunch. Your agni is weak from the night’s rest so you have to rekindle it. Kapha time is a great time to get the mundane tasks out of the way, cause kapha follows. Think about it, when you get to work, you’re not really creative or ready for any heavy strategy are you? Wouldn’t it be nice to just follow a simple task list, right when you get in, to get a bunch of thing done? That’s kapha.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Pitta Time: Get ready to strategize, make new goals, organize, and analyze! This is pitta time and thoughts, perceptions, discriminations, and intellect are at their peak. Have strategic meetings now, when people are their sharpest and ready for a challenge. Noon is also when agni is strongest (because agni and pitta relate to the sun and sun is strongest around noon) so eat lunch at noon and make it your biggest meal.
2 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Vata Time: At about 2 or 3, you are getting a little antsy…you might need a snack or you might feel a little bit chatty. Right? That’s vata wanting to move. You’re probably not really hungry, but you’re getting bored and your mind wants to wander. If you have afternoon meetings you might have a wandering mind and end up with doodles on your notes. This is a great time to create and innovate!! Creative work should be done at this time of day. And at the end of the work day, make a task list for the next morning. This will help your vata stay organized and your kapha will love to have a list when it gets in in the morning.
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Kapha Time: Relax! Have a light dinner. It’s kapha time so agni is not as strong. It’s time for family, relaxation, nurturing, and winding down. Get to bed by 10 so that you start sleeping in the slowness of kapha.
10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Pitta Time: If you’ve stayed up past 10 (yea, most of us do), do you feel like you get a “second wind” and your brain starts going and you start working out the days problems in your head? That’s pitta kicking back in. Pitta will digest all thoughts, perceptions, foods, and everything given to your mind and body from the entire day. Pitta is working hard to move all that stuff through the entire digestion process. If you stay awake past 10, you might have a hard time falling asleep because your body and mind is a processing machine!
2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. And back to Vata: Where it eliminates all the stuff that pitta digested…and gets ready to start a new day fresh with new choices, new challenges and a nice task list waiting on their desk.
Simply put, the Universe is made of 5 great elements (ether, air, fire, water earth) and so are we! From outer space all the way down to the reproduction of our tiny cells, it’s all made of the same ingredients.
On our first day of class, Dr. Apte showed us a cauliflower and said it was the Universe. Huh. Then she picked a piece off…still looked like cauliflower. Then another smaller piece, still looked like the big one, then smaller…then she said, “This is us.” There was no difference between that tiny piece of ‘flower or the big one.
That’s how we roll in Ayurveda. Macrocosm and Microcosm are the same. So, it makes sense that when we go in accordance with nature, it is best for our mental, physical and spiritual health. The doshas are in flux during certain stages of life, certain seasons, and certain times of day. Once we learn how nature works, we will know how we work. And from there, we can always be in charge of our own health. Empowering, hey?