Determine your Dosha

Ayurveda has a unique and workable way of looking at a person’s individual body type – or ‘dosha’ as it’s known in classical Ayurvedic terminology. It includes combining nutrition, herbal remedies, yoga and massage to heal and nourish the body and spirit.

Combating stress is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. Many of us associate stress with aspects of life which, when we think about it, are generally out of our control. These include facing new situations or dealing with emotional challenges such as losing a job, the end of a relationship, or financial concerns. However, most of us fail to realise that we often create stress for ourselves, both with our thoughts, and by what we put into our bodies.We can inadvertently cause ourselves additional stress at a deeper, more cellular level.

Understanding Ayurveda

Ayurveda recognises that there are five basic elements that comprise everything we know. These are space, air, fire, water, and ear th. Each one of us is a combination of these five elements.

There are three general body/mind types formed from the five elements.They are Vata (space and air/wind), which governs movement; Pitta (fire and water/bile), which governs transformation, and Kapha (water and earth/mucous), which governs structure. Like a grand cosmic recipe, we are all a combination of each general body/mind type.

Your Ayurvedic Dosha

Vata

  • Massage: An oily massage early every morning and professional treatment once a month, with a sattvic (light and harmonising touch) will calm the Vata dosha.
  • Vyayama (exercise): Swimming to ground Vata, and yoga asanas (postures) that stretch the pelvic muscles such as forward bend, back bend and spinal twist.
  • Marut-Seva (taking fresh air): Pranayama (breathing) practice for Vata is alternate nostril breathing, which will balance erratic energy. Meditation will also help calm an active mind.
  • Visualisation: The best type of visualisation exercise for Vata is simple relaxation.This creates peaceful and positive images of inner peace, which releases tension and dissolves anxiety.
  • Nutrition: Establish a regular routine for mealtimes. Sweet, sour, salty, warm, heavy, strengthening food nourishes the Vata dosha. Tea should be warming ginger or nutmeg. Eat in a calm environment.
  • Gem Therapy: For protection from the cold,Vata can choose carbon steel. Or tr y topaz which contains ether, air and fire, and promotes passion, relieving fear.
  • Oils To Burn: Rose, orange, geranium, basil.

Pitta

  • Massage: A daily coconut oil massage to the scalp and feet is the classical way to cool the Pitta fire.Then book professional abhyanga (full body oil massage) once a month, delivered with a rajasic (medium) touch.
  • Vyayama (exercise): Swimming lengths, and yoga asanas (postures) that stretch the back muscles and improve digestion.These include boat, half locust and bow, and fish for physical well-being and emotional balance.
  • Marut-Seva (taking fresh air): Pranayama practice for Pitta is a ‘breath of fresh air’, which purifies and recharges the body. Meditation will also help a Pitta active dosha feel deeply nurtured whilst it improves the cleansing of organs.
  • Visualisation: Focus should be on generating healing – using symbols and images to visualise how your immune system fights and defeats physical and mental disease.
  • Nutrition: Avoid hot and spicy food, and limit your intake of alcohol, black tea, meat, eggs

Kapha

  • Massage: Get into the habit of scrubbing your body daily with a body brush, and book a deep (tomasic) massage once a month delivered with stimulating natural ayurvedic body oil.
  • Vyayama (exercise): Take regular exercise, and do yoga asanas (postures) that stretch the chest such as shoulder stand and plough, cat and dog stretch, chair and bow.The latter two also energise the entire body.
  • Marut-Seva (taking fresh air): Pranayama practice for Kapha is ‘bellows breath’ which deepens the quality of your breathing. Meditation will also help a Kapha active dosha by purifying the respiratory system by expelling stale air.
  • Visualisation: Kaphas are known for being lazy and depressed, and you can suffer from envy! Therefore, daily goal- setting visualisation is important to help you create an image of achievement and attract the necessary resources.
  • Nutrition: Favour spicy hot food, light soups, apples, pears, grains and food that is easy to digest. Keep away from sweets, dairy products and fatty food. Drink ginger tea, and avoid overeating and sleeping in the day time.
  • Gem Therapy: Ruby and red garnet are good for Kapha imbalance of low energy or poor circulation. Or try yellow gems for a weak immune system or weight problems.
  • Oils To Burn: Lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, fennel.

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