Ayurveda- aka ‘That Indian Diet Plan’

19 Sep

Except it’s not.  It’s actually another way to understand yourself.  And, find balance.

In a nutshell:

Concept of Tri-Dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)

In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means “that which changes.” It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix ‘dys’, such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. Doshas are required for the life to happen. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the dosha.

The three active doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Dosha Related Elements
Vata Air and Ether
Pitta Fire and Water
Kapha Water and Earth
  Vata Pitta Kapha
Function of the Dosha (or controls)
bullet Movement
bullet Breathing
bullet Natural Urges
bullet Transformation of the tissues
bullet Motor functions
bullet Sensory functions
bullet Ungroundedness
bullet Secretions
bullet Excretions
bullet Fear
bullet Emptiness
bullet Anxiety
bullet Thoughts
bullet Life force
bullet Nerve impulses
bullet Body heat
bullet Temperature
bullet Digestion
bullet Perception
bullet Understanding
bullet Hunger
bullet Thirst
bullet Intelligence
bullet Anger
bullet Hate
bullet Jealousy
bullet Stability
bullet Energy
bullet Lubrication
bullet Forgiveness
bullet Greed
bullet Attachment
bullet Accumulation
bullet Holding
bullet Possessiveness
Manifests in living things as The movement of::

bullet nerve impulses
bullet air
bullet blood
bullet food
bullet waste
bullet thought
The quality of transformation. Pitta controls the enzymes that digest our food and the hormones that regulate our metabolism. Pitta transforms the chemical/electrical impulses in our mind to thoughts we can understand. Cells which make up our organs and fluids which nourish and protect them.
Characteristics
bullet cold
bullet light
bullet irregular
bullet mobile
bullet rarefied
bullet dry
bullet rough
bullet hot
bullet light
bullet fluid
bullet subtle
bullet sharp
bullet malodorous
bullet soft
bullet clear
bullet oily
bullet cold
bullet heavy
bullet stable
bullet dense
bullet smooth
Too much of the dosha force can result in
bullet nerve irritation
bullet high blood pressure
bullet gas
bullet confusion
bullet ulcers
bullet hormonal imbalance
bullet irritated skin (acne)
bullet consuming emotions (anger)
bullet Mucous build-up in the sinus and nasal passages, the lungs and colon.
bullet In the mind it creates rigidity, a fixation of thought, inflexibility.
Too little dosha force can result in
bullet nerve loss
bullet congestion
bullet constipation
bullet thoughtlessness
bullet indigestion
bullet inability to understand
bullet sluggish metabolism
bullet Experiences a dry respiratory tract
bullet burning stomach (due to lack of mucous, which protects from excess stomach acids)
bullet inability to concentrate
Where found in a plant flowers and leaves (the parts which reach farthest into air and space) Plant’s essential oils, resins and sap Roots (The roots are where water is stored. Roots also stay within the earth.)
Climatic influences Dry climates or cold autumn winds increases Vata Hot summers or hot climates will increase Pitta Wet winters and damp climate add to Kapha.
Predominant during the life stage of Old age
As we get older, we “shrink and dry out”.
Teen and Adult.
During this stage, our hormone changes transforms us into adults

(Source – And, YES!! I know this looks wonky on most computers.  REMINDER:  I stink at technology.  Click the source link for a better view!  Thanks for understanding :))

I really like this site.  You’ll have to do a bit more work then the ready made quizzes but I think it’s worth it.  It’s like I say in yoga:  I’m just a tour-guide– you know what you want to take a picture of and what stuff you’d rather be chatting to.

So go ahead.  Poke around.  Take that picture.  Interesting right?!

Or, if you want a more ‘cruise ship’ experience, here is an easier quiz:

To help determine your constitution, we’ve provided a brief questionnaire below. We recommend printing out the questionnaire and circling the answers with a pen. For each statement listed beneath Vata, Pitta and Kapha, circle the number that most closely indicates how much it applies to you. Then, add up the numbers to get a total score for each dosha.We recommend first answering the questions in accordance with general trends throughout your life. This will give you a better understanding of your underlying birth constitution, or prakruti. Then answer the questions in accordance with how you look, feel, and behave today. For example, if you’ve slept well throughput your life, but just started having sleeping problems, the second set of answers will reflect this current imbalance, or vikruti. It’s also important to remember that most individuals have one primary dosha, followed by a prominent secondary dosha.A simple questionnaire will not always capture the full dynamism of the doshas. For this reason, we also recommend consulting a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.

0-1 Doesn’t apply
2-3 Sometimes applies
4-5 Applies most of the time

Vata
Physical Characteristics
1. I am slender and don’t gain weight easily. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. I am taller or shorter than average. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. “Thin” describes many of my bodily features (such as my hair, neck, fingers, and lips).
0 1 2 3 4 5
4. My energy fluctuates and often comes in bursts. 0 1 2 3 4 5
5. My appetite is variable (i.e., high one day and low the next). 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. I have a tendency to become bloated, gassy, or constipated. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. My skin frequently becomes dry. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. I tend to have cold hands and feet. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. I am a light sleeper and often have difficulty falling asleep. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. I prefer warm, moist weather to cold or dry weather. 0 1 2 3 4 5
Psychological Characteristics
1. I am creative and imaginative. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. I enjoy artistic forms of expression. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. My mind is active and often restless. 0 1 2 3 4 5
4. I learn quickly but also forget quickly. 0 1 2 3 4 5
5. I become “spaced out” quite easily. 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. I have a tendency to feel anxious, nervous, and insecure. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. I speak quickly and use hand gestures. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. I am always on the go. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. My lifestyle and daily routine are irregular. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. My dreams are active and colorful. 0 1 2 3 4 5
Pitta
Physical Characteristics
1. I have a medium build and gain or lose weight easily. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. My height is average. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. My physical features are sharp or pointed (such as my nose, chin, and teeth
0 1 2 3 4 5
4. My energy and activity levels are high. 0 1 2 3 4 5
5. My appetite is strong; I can eat large quantities of food. 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. My bowel movements are regular; I occasionally have diarrhea. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. I perspire quite easily. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. My skin is oily and has a reddish tone. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. My eyes are penetrating and light in color. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. I prefer cooler weather and become irritable in hot weather. 0 1 2 3 4 5
Psychological Characteristics
1. I am goal oriented and achieve anything to which I put my mind. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. I have a good sense of humor. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. I have a strong intellect and enjoy learning new things. 0 1 2 3 4 5
4. I have a natural ability to lead others. 0 1 2 3 4 5
5. I am a perfectionist. 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. I tend to become irritable, impatient, and angry. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. I am critical of myself and others. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. Many people think I’m stubborn. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. I become irritable if I skip a meal. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. I enjoy competition. 0 1 2 3 4 5
Kapha
Physical Characteristics
1. I gain weight easily and lose weight with great difficulty. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. I am short and stocky or tall and sturdy. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. “Thick” describes many of my bodily features (such as my hair, neck, fingers, and lips).
0 1 2 3 4 5
4. I have abundant strength and stamina. 0 1 2 3 4 5
5. My digestion is weak and I often feel heavy after eating 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. My bowel movements are highly regular. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. My skin is smooth and oily and tends to be pale. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. I sleep deeply and soundly. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. I catch colds quite frequently. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. I prefer hot weather over cold or damp weather. 0 1 2 3 4 5
Psychological Characteristics
1. I have a big heart and prefer to focus on the good in the world. 0 1 2 3 4 5
2. I am calm in nature and not easily angered. 0 1 2 3 4 5
3. I prefer a slow, relaxed lifestyle. 0 1 2 3 4 5
4. I don’t learn as quickly as others, but my long-term memory is excellent.
0 1 2 3 4 5
5. I become sentimental quite easily; I often think about the past. 0 1 2 3 4 5
6. I am methodical in my actions. 0 1 2 3 4 5
7. I am highly protective of myself and family. 0 1 2 3 4 5
8. I let negative emotions build up rather than addressing them. 0 1 2 3 4 5
9. I usually let others take the lead. 0 1 2 3 4 5
10. I am a natural listener and frequently help others with their problems.
0 1 2 3 4 5

And, yours truly is a Kapha- Vata.  On a good day… 🙂

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