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tridosha - joyful belly

By Nikki Goldstein- Girl Force

The ancient art and science of Ayurveda, literally translated as the “wisdom of life”, offers practical wellness solutions for the 21st Century.

Long before our modern scientists discovered that poor diet, lack of regular exercise and stress can have adverse effects on your long term health and wellbeing, Ayurvedic doctors had a complete system of treatment that could bring balance to the mind, body and spirit.

Ayurveda is probably the oldest and most complete healing system on the planet. This 5000 year-old practice encompasses every aspect of health and wellbeing. From the foods you should eat to the meditation and yoga practices you should perform, right down to the colours that will balance your unique constitution, Ayurveda offers a governing plan for life.

Are you Vata, Pitta or Kapha?
According to Ayurveda your constitution holds the key to your past, present and future health. Ayurvedic practitioners view the constitution as a blueprint of your innate mental, physical, emotional and spiritual tendencies that were created at the moment of your conception and they make diagnosis’s and develop treatment plans based on your constitutional type. Dr Krishna Kumar, Director of the Australian Academy of Natural Medicine says, “When you know the strengths and weaknesses of your constitution you can take steps to prevent conditions you are predisposed to and enhance the good health you have inherited”.

Ayurveda contends that each constitution is made up of a unique combination of vata, pitta and kapha. (There is no exact translation of vata, pitta and kapha but they could loosely be described as (vata) air and ether, (pitta) fire and (kapha) water and earth). And whilst each and every individual has a combination of all three energies in their bodies, most people lean towards one energy or “dosha”. Once you become aware of your unique characteristics you will notice that you relate more closely to one of the doshas than the other two. For example, Pitta types are born leaders, they are the most aggressive and ambitious of all types, we’d call them A-type personalities and they are very different to the Kapha types, the gentle, loving, slow-moving earthy types of the world. When you’ve examined the characteristics of all three types it will become obvious which type you are - even if it’s only by comparison.

Understanding your constitutional type is a gift. When you know whether are vata, pitta or kapha you can design a preventative health strategy that will bring you life-long balance and vitality.

The Characteristics of Vata
* Light, thin build
* Small, often irregular features
* Either very short or very tall
* Often has knobbly joints
* Dry hair and skin
* Seldom overweight.
* Small irregular teeth

Prone To:
* Nervous disorders
* Joint problems
* Nightmares
* Insomnia
* Constipation
* Irregular hunger and digestion
* Changeable moods
* Tires easily
* Tend to overexert themselves easily
* Short memory

The Characteristics of Pitta
* Medium build with well-proportioned limbs and torso
* Fine, soft hair, often reddish or yellowish
* Warm moist skin that is prone to redness
* Strong features
* Penetrating gaze
* Moderate stamina
* Weight is easily gained or lost

Prone To:
* Over-work
* Tendency to anger when stressed or hungry
* Critical and sarcastic at times
* Ambitious
* Achievement oriented
* Suffers from skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis
* Tendency to heartburn and ulcers
* Yellowish teeth
* Strong body odours

The Characteristics of Kapha
* Strong, solid build with a tendency to put on weight
* Smooth, often oily skin which can be pale or dark
* Large eyes, attractive features
* Thick lustrous hair
* Slow moving
* Good memory
* Strong white teeth

Prone To:
* Obesity
* Sluggishness in the morning
* Slow digestion
* Mild hunger
* Tendency to procrastinate
* Tendency to be possessive
* Long, heavy sleep
* Sinus congestion
* Depression

In Ayurveda anything can be a food, a medicine or a poison, depending on how it’s used. That means that anything you do, think, consume or imbibe can have a healing or harmful effect on your particular body and mind. For example, some people find that eating spicy food is a healthful experience whilst for others it can cause ulcers and heartburn. Figuring out that we all have different needs helps us design a health plan that is tailor-made to suit our individual nature.

According to Ayurveda balancing your doshas involves daily attention. By engaging in a holistic health program that includes yoga, meditation, massage, dietary practices, herbal remedies, cleansing techniques and even some sound or colour therapy you can maintain balance and vitality. The Dosha Balancing Plans will provide a good starting point.

Vata Balancing Plan
* Daily routine
* Regular gentle exercise
* Soothing mantra meditation
* Sweet, sour and salty foods
* Warmth
* Early nights
* Nourishing oily self massages – daily if possible
* Bubble baths
* Lots of rest especially when tired
* Wearing bright, warming colours such as gold, orange, green

* Over-work
* Too much worry
* Too many stimulants
* Late nights
* Too much sex
* Cold in general
* Icy-cold food
* Dry windy weather
* Extra-spicy foods

Pitta Balancing Plan
* Daily time-out to relax
* Creative visualisation meditation
* Hatha yoga
* Weekly non-competitive sports
* Daily swimming
* Laughter
* Cool shady places
* Weekly gentle aromatherapy massage
* Sweet and astringent foods
* Wearing soft pastel shades

* Spicy foods
* Too much sun exposure
* Too much exercise
* Overwork
* Too much red meat and alcohol, (especially red wine), caffeine
* Too much competition

Kapha Balancing Plan
* Mental, emotional and physical stimulation
* Travel
* Change
* Daily aerobic exercise
* Daily fresh air and bush walks
* Daily dry-skin brushing
* Warm spicy foods
* Wearing vivid colours red, orange and gold
* Weekly stimulating massages

* Cold and damp weather
* Too much sleep
* Lethargy
* Heavy, fatty foods
* Lack of exercise
* Lack of mental stimulation