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Finding Balance : The Mind-Body-Spirit Doshas

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science for daily living that allows for an awakening into greater harmony and balance in our mind - body states so we flow naturally without resistance or unnecessary disruption to our systems. To find out your dosha, drop me an email for a copy of a quiz to guide you through a process of self-discovery, embodied inquiry and honest reflection through the lens of Ayurveda – literally translated as the science of life. Understanding your dosha allows you to support balanced health in body, mind, and spirit.

The three dosha are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha which are composed of a combination of the five elements (pancha mahabhuta) - earth - prithivi, water - jala, fire - agni/tejas, air - vayu and space - akash. We all have a unique combination of these three dosha which remain constant throughout life and serves as a blueprint for health. Learning our unique dosha combination and understanding our constitution can reveal our natural strengths and identify our challenges.

Our lifelong natural state is called prakriti — what we are born with which includes our inherent personality type and individual characteristics. Environmental factors such as seasonal change and lifestyle choices impact on our dominant dosha which can then shift out of balance. These reactive changes are known as vikriti or our current state. By supporting choices which pacify or balance the dosha, we can return to our predominant natural state in which we experience flow and harmony.

Vata : The Creative Artistic Free Spirit

Vata is the principle of movement and change. It is made up of the elements of air and space. If there is a predominance of Vata dosha in your nature, there is a tendency to be thin, light, and quick in thought and action. When Vata is balanced, it generates creativity, enthusiasm, and liveliness.

When Vata is out of balance, too much air has accumulated in mind, body, and environment. The result is a sense of flightiness, not feeling rooted or grounded. It can manifest in symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, and dry skin. The best way to balance Vata is to bring more earth element and stability.

Mind - Creative, quick, imaginative

Body - Thin, light frame

Skin & Hair - Dry

Appetite - Delicate, spontaneous, tendency to skip meals

Routine - Variable, spontaneous

Temperament - Welcomes new experiences, enthusiastic, friendly, energetic

Communication - Talkative

Stress Response - Tendency to blame oneself and ask, “What did I do wrong?”

In balance +






Out of Balance -





Think, feel, imagine - calming, relaxing, grounding

  • Adopt regular routines for bedtime by practicing sleep hygiene techniques and awaken at the same time every day

  • Meditate with mantra in the morning and evening to quieten the fluctuations of the mind

  • Practice restorative yin yoga to connect with your body

  • Practice nadi shodhana pranayama such as alternate nostril - anuloma viloma breath

  • Eat warm meals regularly and favour sweet, sour, and salty tastes

  • Essential oils – clove, cinnamon, geranium, chamomile, sandalwood, citronella

  • Perform a slow daily self-massage (abhyanga) with warm relaxing oil

  • Diffuse relaxing oils into the environment

  • Drink relaxing herbal tea

  • Favour greens and yellows

  • Stay warm by wearing socks, gloves, jumpers and wrapping yourself with cosy blankets

  • Create rhythms, patterns and routines in your life

Vata Balancing Practice 1 & 2 on YouTube now

Om Bhu Devaya Namah

I invoke the grounding, strengthening, regenerative energies of Earth Mother

Bhu Mudra - thumb, ring and little finger fold in, index and middle extend in inverted V towards the earth

Pitta : The Ambitious Fearless Warrior Leader

Pitta is the principle of transformation and metabolism. It is made up of the elements of fire and water. Those with a predominance of Pitta tend to have muscular bodies, penetrating minds, and a determined spirit. When Pitta is balanced, it fosters warmth, intelligence, and natural leadership.

When Pitta is out of balance, too much fire has accumulated in mind, body, and environment. The result is a sense of internal and external combustion which can be explosive. It can manifest in irritability and aggressive behaviour and lead to physical symptoms such as heartburn, acne and ulcers. The best way to balance Pitta is to bring more space and coolness.

Mind - Sharp, intellectual, direct, precise, discerning

Body - Medium build, warm, muscular

Skin - Sensitive, prone to acne and flushing

Hair - Tendency towards early greying or thinning

Appetite - Strong, can eat almost anything, anytime

Routine - Precise and organized

Temperament - Passionate, ambitious, courageous

Communication - Speaks to convey a point

Stress Response - Tendency to blame others and ask, “What did you do wrong?”

In balance +








Out of Balance -









Think, feel, imagine - cooling, soothing and nurturing

  • Spend time outside, in nature by the sea or river

  • Favour cooling tastes which are sweet, bitter, and astringent

  • Eat mindfully with awareness

  • Meditate twice a day using visualisation or candle gazing (tratak) to soothe the mind and relax the body

  • Practice yin yoga, yoga outside in nature or chandra namaskar - moon salutations

  • Practice a cooling breath such as sitali or sitkari pranayama

  • Schedule space in your day for self care or a break

  • Perform a slow self-massage (abhyanga) with soothing oil

  • Diffuse soothing oils into your environment

  • Essential oils – lime, spearmint, ylang ylang, chamomile, fennel, vanilla, sandalwood

  • Favour cool colours – blue, green, and white

  • Stay cool by wearing natural fabrics such as cotton or linens

  • Drink soothing herbal tea

  • Engage in non-competitive physical activities such as walking

  • Be more playful and joy seeking

Pitta Pacifying Practice 1 & 2 on YouTube now

Varuna Gayatri Mantra

Om Jalabimbaya Vidmahi

Nila Purushaya Dheemahi

Tanno Varuna Prachodayat

Let me meditate on the reflection of wtaer

Consciousness of ocean blue, give me higher intellect

And let the Varuna, deity of water illuminate my mind

Varuna Mudra -thumb and little finger touch

Kapha : The Devoted Loving Tender Confidant Kapha is the principle of protection, nourishment, and stability. It is made up of the earth and water elements. If you have a predominance of Kapha in your nature, there is a tendency to be heavier set with a calm, grounded presence and a tendency to think things through and move at a slow, measured pace. When Kapha is balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness, and loyalty. When Kapha is out of balance, too much earth has accumulated in mind, body, and environment. The result is a sense of sluggishness, congestion and dullness. When Kapha is out of balance, it can cause weight gain, lethargy and resistance to healthy change. The best way to balance Kapha is to bring more movement and circulation. Mind - Attention to detail, steady, consistent

Body - Sturdy, gains weight easily Skin - Smooth, oily Hair - Thick, oily Appetite - Takes pleasure in savouring food and has a slow digestion

Routine - Methodical and steady, resistant to change Temperament - Thoughtful, forgiving, sweet, patient, loving, content, slow-moving Communication - Simple and profound Stress Response - Tendency to withdraw and say “I don’t want to deal with it!"

In balance +

Diplomatic Kind Generous Loyal Forgiving

Out of Balance -

Stubborn Grudge holding Melancholy Feeling stuck Insecure Lethargic Materialistic

Think, feel, imagine - action, invigorating and awakening

  • Actively seek for opportunities to create healthy change

  • Awaken early at sunrise and take a mindful walk

  • Meditate twice a day to gain clarity of vision and intentions

  • Practice hatha yoga and add surya namaskar - sun salutations

  • Practice bhastrika - bellows breath, kappalabhati - shining skull breath or simihasana pranayama - lion's breath

  • Favour pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes

  • Eat mindfully when hungry

  • Be spontaneous and try new challenges and experiences

  • De-clutter and clean spaces around you

  • Drink invigorating herbal tea

  • Perform a vigorous self-massage (abhyanga) with warm invigorating oil

  • Diffuse invigorating oils into your environment

  • Essential oils – tea tree, lavender, peppermint, sage, and eucalyptus

  • Favour bright strong colours such as reds, oranges, and yellows

Kapha Pacifying Practice 1 & 2 on YouTube now

Om Namaha Shivaya

I bow to the inner Self

Na – Earth, Mah – Water, Shi – Fire, Va – Air, Ya - Space

Kapha Karaah Mudra - extend index and middle fingers and bring tips of thumb, ring and little fingers to touch

Kapha Nashaah Mudra - extend index and middle fingers and bring thumb to knuckle of ring and little fingers

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

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