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Tips for Balancing your Ayurvedic Dosha

After taking my Ayurveda quiz and finding out what your dosha is, you now might be wondering "Ok, I know my mind-body type and the imbalances that I am experiencing. Now, WHAT?" No worries, I got you covered. Keep reading for some easy, inexpensive, but very useful tips to keep your Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in line, feeling healthy and energized.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Ayurveda is a living science that works very closely with the elements and the rhythms of the Earth. This is why it classifies people into three groups, according to which elements or energies are more prevalent in them: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

The aim of this is not establishing a hierarchy or discriminating against people due to their characteristics, but to give them health and lifestyle recommendations so they can be in tune with their true nature and thrive in their lives.

The objective of knowing your Ayurvedic dosha is to learn how to maximize your assets and minimize your challenges, so you can use your innate gifts to be your best self.

If you do not know your mind-body type according to Ayurveda, you can take my short quiz here, and find it out before getting more information about each dosha. Let's dive in!

Tips for balancing Vata

Eating habits

In order to counteract Vata's dry, fragile, light, and cold qualities, they should consume plenty of warm, nourishing, easy to digest foods, such as stews, curries, kitchari, blended soups, and healthy fats.

They should choose cooked over raw, moist over rough, and oily over light or dry. Some examples are root vegetables (sweet potato, beets, pumpkin…), cooked oats, rice, quinoa, sweet fruits (mangoes, bananas, cherries, apricots, figs, pineapples), healthy fats (avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds, olive oil), and light proteins (fish, cooked tofu, chicken, eggs). For a full list of Vata balancing foods, check out this post.

Vatas benefit from eating mindfully, chewing every mouthful multiple times, without moving around, reading, or checking their phones.

It is also important for them to have at least three seated meals, rather than snacking throughout the day, and they should always be at the same time.

This is crucial for their bodies to know when to expect food and have better digestion.

They should completely avoid frozen food and cold drinks and drink warm herbal teas instead.

Vatas should not skip meals or fast, since this will aggravate their condition, making them feel spacey, unfocused, cold, or restless.

Best workout practices

Vata people love movement, so they feel attracted to dance, Vinyasa yoga, and everything that prevents them from sitting still, something impossible for them.

However, their stamina is very low, so they have to be careful about not pushing themselves too hard that they become fatigued and weak.

Hatha and Yin yoga, strengthening exercises, pilates, dance, walking in nature, or swimming are practices that allow Vatas to move and release energy without depleting themselves. They also benefit from working out in the afternoon, when our energy levels are higher.

Best lifestyle practices

Vata should stick to a routine, focus on being grounded and calm their overactive minds. They need quality sleep and rest to prevent over-exhaustion, so go they should go to sleep early and wake up early, in order to avoid insomnia.

Meditation is a very useful tool for quieting their thoughts and focusing on one thing at a time. Spending time in nature can also help them be more grounded and connect with their lower chakras.

People with this dosha should avoid excess travelling and loud noises, as well as very stimulating things and places since they could disturb their sensitive nervous system.

They must also stay away from air conditioning and air currents, and keep their body warm to prevent chills.

Tips for balancing Pitta

Eating habits

Pitta has the qualities of hot, sharp, oily, liquid, spreading, and light. So if they want to achieve balance, they should consume food with the opposite qualities.

This means more cool, mild, dry, grounding food, focusing on the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Pittas are the only dosha that can (and actually should) consume more raw foods, especially in the summer, as they have cooling qualities that decrease this dosha's innate heat.

They should focus on cleansing, cooling, simple meals, such as vegetable stir-fries, salads, smoothies, and fresh fruits.

Some of the best foods for Pitta are leafy greens (spinach, arugula, collard greens), cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, kale), grains (dry oats, rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta), light proteins (legumes, white chicken, fish), sweet juicy fruits (melons, mangoes, bananas, peaches, apples, dates), and fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, dill, etc.).

Healthy fats with more cooling properties, such as avocado and coconut, keep Pitta's appetite down. However, they don't need as much amount of fat as Vatas do, since their nature is already oily and an excess could cause acne, oily hair, and oily skin. For a full list of Pitta pacifying foods, check out this post.

Pittas have a very strong appetite and metabolism, so they benefit from eating on a regular schedule. They should neither skip meals nor fast since it would make them very irritable and angry.

They should also eat in a calm, peaceful environment, taking a break from their busy schedule, and having a seated meal without thinking about all the things they have to do.

Best workout practices

Pittas are naturally athletic, and they love a good workout because they have a lot of sustainable energy to release. However, they can be overly competitive.

So even though they love challenging sports that push them to the limit, they get the most benefits with more relaxing, mindful practices that cool both their mind and body.

Some examples are swimming, tai-chi, walking, cycling, and restorative Yin yoga. They should exercise in the early morning or evening when the sun is not as high.

Best lifestyle practices

The main goal for Pittas is to cool down their internal fire, so they should focus on relaxing activities that balance their overheated nature.

Pittas should stay completely away from all kinds of stimulants, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food, because they increase Pitta's heat, leading to imbalances such as inflammation, anger, heartburn, or skin problems.

Practices that calm the mind, such as meditation and breathwork, are extremely beneficial for Pittas since they help counteract their over competitive and driven nature.

They could also use essential oils such as lavender, mint, or lemongrass oil. Pittas should make sure they get quality sleep and that they go to bed before midnight.

Tips for balancing Kapha

Eating habits

Kapha is cold, oily, heavy, dense, and smooth. To balance these qualities, they should consume plenty of warm, dry, light, rough foods, such as vegetable stir-fries low in oil, legumes, and steamed veggies.

They should favor cooked over raw, rough over moist, and light or dry over oily. People with this dosha should focus on foods with bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes, in order to counterbalance Kapha’s sweet and oily nature.

Some examples are green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, arugula, artichokes, cauliflower, spinach, peppers), quinoa, millet, buckwheat, astringent fruits (berries, apples, pomegranate, pears) a little bit of healthy fats (flax seeds, chia seeds, olive oil), light proteins (legumes, cooked tofu, white chicken, fish), and plenty of stimulating spices (ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili, etc.). For a full list of Kapha balancing foods, check out this post.

Kaphas have a slow metabolism and don’t require much food to be satisfied.

However, they tend to emotional eating and binging, that is why it is important for them not to eat until they are truly hungry.

They should eat mindfully, chewing each bite multiple times so they allow time to notice when they are satisfied and should stop.

People with this dosha should not eat until full since stuffing themselves would slow their digestion and make them feel sleepy after eating. Kaphas are the only dosha than can skip meals if they are not hungry, and fasting is very beneficial for them.

Best workout practices

Kaphas need to work out every day in order to keep their energy flowing and avoid feeling heavy and lethargic. They benefit from active, invigorating practices such as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, HIIT training, active dances like Zumba, or cardio training, because they have the most stamina and strength of all doshas.

Furthermore, the endorphins released during workouts help them be in a good mood and prevent them from feeling sad, depressed, and unmotivated, some of the emotions they are prone to when Kapha is increased.