According to the wise Indian sages of Ayurveda, mortals have 3 types of bodies called the three “doshas”… The first are the small-boned, sylph-like figures called “Vata”, next are the medium-boned, athletic, salamndarine ones called “Pitta”, and the third, heavy boned, full-bodied, undine shapes, called “Kapha”. Many people are a combination of two…We are what we are meant to be unless we transgress our natural boundaries. This is easy to do in a culture of dietary confusion and an overabundance of synthetic foods such as ours.
Difficulty: Moderate Things You’ll Need:
- A book on Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, such as “Perfect Health” by Deepak Chopra
- A collection of the body- appropriate Fruits of the Earth in your box where winter is kept.
- Trust and patience as your body re-adjusts to its natural state.
Many women attempt to measure their beauty against fashion models – an almost exclusively Vatta terrain. This must be put into perspective. The ethereal, sometimes boyish Vatta type is the result of a small bone structure, sometimes great height, and very sensitive digestive system. In youth these people can eat anything and not gain an ounce, even if they try. They make good models because fabric drapes, hangs, and swirls around them unencumbered. They have dry, poreless skin and an electrical energy that projects well on film…The downside is a high strung nature, lack of physical strength, being cold all the time and, when under stress, the hair dries out, gets brittle, and breaks… Vata women are often accused of being anorexic when they are not. It is interesting that note that Vata men are rarely accused of eating disorders to explain their thinness…
The Pitta type is the social ideal of medium weight often coupled with athletic ability. They also have the kind of stomachs that can digest tin cans, old boots, and top it off with a sixpack. Yet – they thrive on, and need, salads and raw foods. They are the only body type that can indulge in cold drinks without putting out their digestive fire. The Pitta male is the classic “hunk” to which other men aspire… This body is easy to maintain with the right food and high physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle is not advisable for this fiery, active type.
The Kapha body is born to be heavy. The ideal for Kapha is the plump “Rubenesque” figure. The bones are large, the figure is full and rounded. Hair and skin are very soft and oily, which is one reason Kapha can be so wrinkle free even in old age. They tend to be cold and emotionally sensitive which can exacerbate the need to eat comfort foods — the very things they should avoid to maintain their Rubenesque curves. This dosha should revive their digestive fire twice a year as the digestion can be sluggish especially in the winter months. Dairy foods, soft drinks and heavy fried foods should be eliminated and replaced with Ayurvedically appropriate foods.
To reset “agni”, or the digestive fire, it is advisable to fast for the first three days before embarking on an Ayurvedic diet. This fast is also designed to eliminate toxins caused by eating the wrong foods. (Click links below for instructions on the web)
While on the fast, take the test to discover what your primary dosha is. Many people are a combination of at least two. Go to the section under your dosha or combination of doshas and stock up on the foods that are best for you and eliminate the wrong ones. If you keep to the right diet, not only will your body set itself at your optimal weight, you will purify your system of toxins and rekindle your health on many levels, including the spiritual one.
Tips & Warnings
- I always do a liver/ intestinal cleanse twice a year as we all fall into dietary traps and even stress can muck up your digestive system. This pays off in so many ways, as the liver is the great detoxing, enzyme dispensing, bile producing, fat burning organ of the body and tends to get trashed by too much intake of undesirable substances, even in the air we breathe.
- The study of Ayurveda can help us to understand that there is not just one standard of beauty, but several. Lashing out at one, pathologizing another will be seen as a mistake once we realize that we are born under one of the three doshas, and that every dosha is beautiful and healthy if maintained through right diet and attitude.
- Ayurveda is a complex subject, so I advise getting a book. Below are some links, or just google Ayurveda, and Ayurveda tests, to get your dosha.
- Don’t be in a hurry. It takes a while to learn new habits and we are addicted to some things like caffeine and sugar and that old water retainer – salt. Just set change as a goal and let your deep mind take you there.
- Because Ayurveda comes from India there is preference for a vegetarian diet. Though I applaud vegetarianism, not everyone can survive on that. Protein is an excellent replacement for stodgy carbs when energy is low.