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Eating for Your Ayurvedic Dosha

Sporty & Rich Wellness - Eating for Your Ayurvedic Dosha

 By: @islandem_

 

We are what we digest. While gut health is gaining an increasing amount of mainstream attention, so much of the information being promoted dates all the way back to ancient India, where Ayurveda, known as "the science of life," originates from. This is one of the original natural systems of medicine created in India alongside the foundations of yoga. It is a holistic practice that involves working with each person's physical, psychological, and spiritual health. This practice acknowledges the fact that every person is unique and therefore, requires different treatments and healing mechanisms.

While Ayurvedic healing is about changing your diet, it doesn’t solely focus on the foods you consume. Ayurveda believes we are not what we eat, but rather, what we digest and eliminate. It believes that where, when, how, and why you’re consuming the food has the biggest impact on your gut and body. If you are eating what is believed to be the healthiest food but you aren’t properly digesting and eliminating it, it is thought that the food will actually harm your body. In Ayurvedic medicine, digestion has so many factors, starting with your dosha.

The doshas come from the Ayurvedic philosophy that the world is made up of air, ether, earth, water, and fire. The energies of these elements exists in us all, but each dosha contains a greater amount of certain elements than others. This balance influences your personality, emotions, physiology, and mental health. There are an abundance of online quizzes that can help you to identify your dosha, or you can see an Ayurvedic practitioner for an in-depth dosha analysis. 

 

Kapha: Water + Earth

Qualities: heavy, slow, solid, earthy, calm, fluid, oily, excess weight, lethargic, is nurtured by light and dry foods that are raw or lightly cooked. Favor spicy foods and should avoid heavy meals.

 

Pitta: Fire + Water

Qualities: Hot, intense, sharp, multitasker, powerful, athletic, overwhelmed, indigestion, balanced by cooling and refreshing foods with moderate texture. Avoid spicy, sour, and fatty foods. 

 

Vata: Air + Ether

Qualities: Cold, light, dry, thin build, airy, moves quickly, head in the clouds, bloats easily, balanced by heavy, cooked meals. Avoid crunchy, raw foods, and favor oily and dense meals.

The key to Ayurveda is not to change your dosha, but to balance it through counteracting. For example, if you are a Vata and always on the go, you need to eat foods that ground you, because any raw or lighter foods will aggravate your airy nature and create gas. 

Ayurveda heavily focuses on eliminating any waste within the body. You can do so by panchakarma, colonics and enemas, and high-fiber supplements. 

Ayurvedic medicine also encourages you to change your lifestyle habits. Besides focusing on the foods you consume, start to eat on a regular schedule and eat your last meal in the early evening to give your body enough time to digest the food prior to sleeping. Moreover, make sure you are fully present when eating. In other words, remove any distractions and avoid eating on the go. Lastly, aim to be in a positive mindset prior to eating and remember to express gratitude for your food. If you think it’s going to taste gross or upset your stomach, it will. Since Ayurveda and yoga are sister-sciences, it’s highly recommended to incorporate a yoga or meditation practice into your daily routine in order to relieve stress and anxiety - another influential factor of poor digestion.

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