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This book talks about Ayurveda which is the Indian science of life. It focuses on the Doshas which are the bodily humors that make up our and nature's constitution. Our body has a specific amount of each Dosha and that affects how we behave, what ailments we might have and what makes us feel good or bad. The three Doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Any given person can have a combination of one or more Doshas, for example I am mostly Vata-Pitta and I have a little bit of Kapha(the book has a quiz that helps you figure it out, or you can visit Chopra's site, for a quick quiz). Those Doshas have to be balanced in order for me to feel good, if they are not balanced, I can be behaving more like a Kapha than a Vata or Pitta for example.
So, what are the characteristics of these Doshas?
Vata: a person with this Dosha is usually thin, moves around all the time to the point of extreme exhaustion, may have a tendency to forget about eating and loses weight quickly. Also when unbalanced, their skin and hair is dry, may have trouble sleeping and feels cold all the time. This Dosha needs balancing by diet (usually warm foods like stews) and light exercise, ideally a restorative yoga class to recover from the usual exhaustion of moving too much.
Pitta: these persons have a medium constitution, love to convince people, they are usually very warm no matter the season and they have an excellent digestion sometimes causing to overeat and when unbalanced they can get easily irritated and aggressive. Unbalance can cause the skin to break out in hives. Cold foods are preferred to balance the inner heat and moderate exercise is ideal.
Kapha: this person has a large constitution, probably will never be a thin person (and it wouldn't be healthy either) but can definitely be fit, especially taking advantage of the strength and stamina they were donned with. When unbalanced, they can be very lazy and sleep the whole day, this lack of activity causes them to gain weight. They usually have to force themselves to move around. A balanced Kapha is a treat to have around being that they are usually very loving and pleasant.
The past few months I've been behaving like an unbalanced Kapha, very tired with no energy at all so the past 2 weeks I've been trying to balance this Dosha so it can go back to normal and my natural Doshas can flourish. Those of you who have done yoga, are familiar about being kind to our bodies. Chopra recommends exercising but not to the point of exhaustion, exercise as vigorously as your nasal breathing allows you, if you have to open your mouth to breathe, step back. Also, he recommends a liquid diet, once a week to give our digestive organs a break. The good thing is that you can blend everything except lasagna, pizza or meat, as he says (I thought it was pretty funny). So I've been drinking oatmeal-peanut butter smoothies, green smoothies and soups and I am not hungry at all!
There are other tips to help balance our Doshas but I'll write about them in the next post, hopefully with a yummy recipe to make your mouth water! I hope this post touched something inside of you and helped you a bit like it has helped me.