Ayurved is the knowledge of vitality, movement, vigour, divinity, life and living beings. Indians have used Ayurvedic principles to remain healthy in mind and spirit since time immemorial. The tri-dosh, Vaat, Kapha Pitta is a basic concept in Ayurved. ‘Dosh’ means defect, disorder, error, inconvenience, disease etc. If these Vaat, Kapha and Pitta remain in equilibrium, the body remains healthy. But generally these are out of balance because your chart and it’s planets interfere. Each planet is Vata, Kapha or Pitta by nature. So depending on their relative strengths in your chart, one of these dosh will dominate your body and mind.
Vaat is ‘movement’ (Vaat means wind, wish etc). All the things that move in the body are intelligently managed by this energy ‘Vaat’. The movement of your thoughts to the movement of food within your intestines. Movement of blood, urine, hormones, muscles, impulses in the nerves, all that moves in the body. The movement of mind leads to emotions, creativity, speech etc. Vaat is responsible for movement of the vital energy/pran in the body. (So if you are doing Dhyan you have to be aware of how much Vaat inducing activities you are doing, this will adversely affect your Dhyan.)
If there is imbalance in Vaat, you will feel the effects first in the digestive system, nervous system, ears (equilibrium of the body is affected), especially the joints of the skeletal system and the skin (you may not realise it, but your skin moves the maximum). Planets contributing to the Vaat tendency are Saturn, Venus, Mercury and Moon. If these or their signs are strongly placed in your chart, they will unbalance the Vaat, Pitta Kapha equilibrium, to create a more ‘airy’ personality with the following keywords,
- Dry – dry skin and hair, constipation, rough gravelly voice, hiccups
- Light– thin body frame, light sleep, under weight, needs to rest more
- Cold– hates cold and loves warm, stiffness in muscles and joints
- Rough– cracked heels, brittle nails, uneven teeth
- Nervous– easily excited, imaginative, anxious, muscle tremors, delicate health, less children
- Fast– alert, speech, gait, restless, mood swings, travels, too many thoughts in mind, active, cannot save money.
- Alone– experiences loneliness, doesn’t have faith in a higher intelligence.
If these keywords have resonated with you then here are some simple tips which you can incorporate in your daily life.
- Warmth – dress warmly, spicy, hot, slightly oily food (no cold foods)
- Keep calm – massages, spa, saunas, stick to a comfortable routine, do not travel too much. Spend some quiet and quality time with your close family and loved ones.
- Rest – You require more sleep, so aim for 8+ hrs. Try to keep away from loud sounds, bright lights, addictions and over-stimulation.
Now Pitta is the ‘conversion process’. (Pitta means bile.) Everything that the mind/body ‘converts’ and makes ‘suitable for itself’ is through the energy of Pitta. So this covers the process of digestion and all the enzymes in the body are ‘converters’. Then on the mental level the process of converting sensory inputs to intelligence, then the ‘thinking process’ converts the ideas to understanding. This ‘conversion process’ also creates ‘heat’, so makes one sparkle with health, vitality, intelligence and wisdom. The planets contributing to the pitta in your life would be Sun, Mars and Mercury. If these are strong, or their signs are strongly placed in your chart you might be a pitta dominant personality.
So for our pitta personality our keywords would be related to ‘fire’,
- Hot– good digestive system, strong appetite, higher than average body temperature, dislikes more heat or bright light, receding hairline or baldness
- Sharp– sharp and bright features and face, sharp memory and understanding, probing mind,
- Oily– oily soft skin and hair, deep-fried food causes headaches
- Fluid– tendency to loose motions, excessive sweating, needs to drink lots of water, rashes on skin, hot skin, desires name and fame
- Reds /Yellows– tends to have flushed skin, often overproduction of bile
- Fire– acidity, excess salivation, bitter taste, nausea, burning sensations, cynical by nature, strong feelings of anger/ hate.
- Intelligence – excellent abilities for learning, understanding and concentrating, highly disciplined, make large amounts of money, spends on luxurious items.
To keep your ‘hot’ planets and signs ‘cool’, here are a few tips.
- Cooling – Eat non-spicy, non-salty, non-oily foods especially in summer. Avoid going out in the summer sun. Aggression will aggravate pitta, so if you see a discussion turning into an argument use your intelligence and defuse the situation in a healthier manner.
- Exercise in moderation and during the coolest part of the day and opt for the swimming pool. Your temper runs short, so try some some calming breathing exercises too.
Kapha is ‘fluidity which creates structure’. It is simultaneously ‘earthy’ and ‘watery’. All the cells, tissues and organs of the body and the ‘fluidity’ which links them together is Kapha. Lubrication of joints and organs, strong muscles and bones, cellular secretions, and memory retention. Planets with kapha tendency are Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. If these and their signs are strongly placed in your chart your mind/body may lean towards imbalance in the kapha.
- Heavy, slow and steady – movement, appetite, thirst, metabolism and digestion. A large body frame, possibly overweight but compact. A lubricated smooth movement of the joints. A heavy deep but sweet voice. Likes sitting and sleeping, can get lazy. A sense of density, ‘thickness’. Mind is contemplative, peaceful, slow to react. Often slow to start, is dull in the mornings. Has good knowledge, memory and also a strong constitution.
- Fluids – cold and congestion, clammy skin, water retention, over-production of saliva and mucus. Oily skin and hair. Diseases related to the ‘water’, sinus, sluggishness, excess weight, diabetes, water retention, headaches, especially on full moon days and when the weather is overcast and gloomy.
- Smooth and soft – skin, calm nature, gentle mind, pleasing look, compassionate, caring, kind, sometimes gullible.
- Cohesive – Firm body, joints, muscles. Likes physical contact, hugging cuddling. Mind is deeply attached in love and relationships. Saves money. Has a deep faith in the higher intelligence. Can get greedy and emotionally needy if unbalanced.
- Sweet and salty – is quite sensual in nature, craves sweet and salty food but digestion being slow puts on weight which is then difficult to shed as dislikes vigorous exercise.
Here are some small things which will help you balance your kapha tendencies.
- Move – Exercise, walk, be a bit more active, read new things, learn new things. Vary your routine, do something exciting at least one day a week, e.g. go to a museum, go for a day-tour, visit your family/friends, go for a movie. Move!
- Diet – Eat warm, light, moderately spicy, easy to digest foods. Avoid heavy, fatty and overly sugary-salty foods. Reduce the intake of milk/milk products and avoid cold drinks/food.
- Sleep – Try to reduce your sleep time, stick to 8hrs no more, and no daytime naps!
So this was a very basic and simple to understand/ use post on Ayurved. If you are getting a bit interested in astrology by now and know how to read your chart, then you can also try balancing the planetary energies with the activities, fragrances, colors and tastes associated with them. This will balance the subtle energies which are the seeds of Vaat, Pitta and Kapha and thus help you be healthier from the deepest levels. And finally, a regular spiritual practice, even for 5 mins a day, will go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy!