Vata, Pitta, Kapha and You
Ever wonder why you consistently have trouble waking up in the morning and your partner just bounds out of bed and is raring to go? Why you are so distracted with the squirrel outside your window rather than the looming deadline you’re faced with? Why you seem to be the only one feeling frustrated and angry in a relaxing hatha yoga class? The answers to that are simple according to Ayurveda.
We are so intertwined with nature, that our mental, physical and emotional constitution are born from the 5 elements- air, ether, fire, water and earth – as are all living things. These are then further categorized by 3 types known as “Doshas” – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We each have a varying degree of all three, which makes us each unique individuals.
To really understand why you are the way you are, taking a quick look at each “Dosha” will really shed some light (see descriptions below). Knowing who you are really helps you decipher the world around you to be yourself with all your attribute and faults. Learning how you should eat, how effective you are at certain times of days and through out the seasons, strategizing your time for work and play, why you act the way you do under stress or even why you might suffer from anxiety is essential. Most can be explained Ayurvedically. I can teach you to find the balance you need to live your life according to you. Being careful to being sensitive to the world around you but knowing you are calling your own shots and not being pulled in all directions and reacting to life. Each Dosha has their upside qualities as well as their downside qualities – this is what we work with, whilst looking at the time of year, your age, your occupation, your environment, and most importantly your original constitution. It’s all about finding your balance.
So here is a quick breakdown of the 3 Doshas.
Vata is best represented by air and ether.
As any movement requires space for it to flow, we can attribute our bodies as the space which encapsulates all involuntarily or voluntarily movements within our bodies. We can then understand that blinking our eyes, swallowing, blood flow, feelings, thoughts…are some of these movements. Vata is the force behind this.
Imagine a slow soft gentle breeze that gets whipped into a frenzy only to die down again. This is characteristic of a Vata person… A person that has a multitude of things happening all at once but can never really seem to focus on just one and certainly can’t seem to finish…ever. Fortunately, Vata’s saving grace is their whimsical ways, always ready for an exciting change, they are off the cuff while possessing unwavering creativity and an ability to be natural born leaders. They are so to the left that when you get to their left they are already at another left leaving you wondering how you could even begin to follow. They are ingenious and prone to getting ill, they are more fragile than Pitta and Kapha.
Pitta is best represented by fire and water (oil)
Pitta types have strong ideas which are vocalized in a strong manner as well. They tend to be confident and inspiring leaders with a bit of a tendency to be highly competitive and perfectionists. They are prone to skin inflammations, ulcers, acid reflux… and are often irritable. Like fire they tend to be hot, intense and fiery.
Picture a quiet evening listening to some cool jazz when in comes a Pitta with a mission, your quiet evening is sure to turn into a more exciting one. They can inspire and motivate, they can challenge and make you question. They can certainly get angry and if you let them, they can get you into a frenzy as well. Your cool evening will turn into a cacophony of emotions. Watch out!
Pittas can mostly eat anything they like without gaining weight, even food that is not ideal for them. They also tend to burn the midnight oil and will barrel through any time constraints to get the “project” done. They usually fall asleep at the computer or in bed reading. They def. do not want to miss out on anything. Whatever you do, it is preferable not to get in their way. They are often warm and will not feel the cold, they may need a light jacket in cold weather whilst Vatas and Kaphas will most likely be bundled up. If they get sick, it is mostly heat related issues, acid refux, fever etc..
Kapha is best represented by earth and water
Kapha the most loving, caring, empathetic, and rooted of the the three doshas. Kapha types tend to be loyal and loving people with a slight lean towards being sluggish and overindulgent. They tend to be a little overweight and hold onto their energy. Like water they are cool, wet and soft.
Have a problem, want to express an issue, need an ear?… find a Kapha. They will listen to you until the cows come home. They are grounded, rooted and generally happy. Always ready to give out hugs in droves and ready to accept them as well. The down side, they may be too grounded and can’t get off the couch until a deadline is looming. They have a tendency to procrastinate but once you get them going their stamina is unquestionable. They will finish whatever they start but it takes a lot of prodding or a fear of missing the boat entirely before they can get motivated. They can also hang onto unwanted emotions and can’t shake the feeling of disappointment easily. They love the good things in life…a little too much. We certainly <3 our Kaphas!
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