Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are you kapha, pitta or vata?

Are you kapha, pitta or vata?
Tue, Mar 10, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network

[Top: In this treatment at Ayurveda Spa, warm medicated oil is poured non-stop from an earthen pot positioned strategically over the forehead, which helps to calm overwrought nerves and overworked brains.]

By Mangai Balasegaram

THE most interesting aspects of Ayurveda are the three dosha, or primary energies, which describe the constitution of each individual, says Ayurvedic doctor S.K. Vats.

Vata regulates movement, pitta metabolism, and kapha structure and integrity.

The idea is that we are born with a certain combination of these dosha, usually with one dosha being dominant , predisposing us to imbalance. But our lifestyle and environment ? including diet, toxins, stress and activities ? also affect our dosha.

People ruled by vata are fun, excitable, creative and fast talkers and walkers. But when out of balance, they are plagued by fear, anxiety and nervousness. They tend to be thin and bony with cold hands. They are likely to suffer from back pain, gas, nervous stomach and arthritis.

Pitta individuals are strong, well-built, focused and good leaders, but are hot tempered, impatient and irritable when not in balance.

They may suffer from rashes, boils, ulcers, insomnia and high-blood pressure.

Kapha people are loving, calm, and forgiving but become insecure, greedy, possessive and sluggish when suffering from imbalance.

They tend to have a heavy build, are slow moving, and put on weight easily.

Common health problems are colds, sinuses, asthma and allergies.

Dr Vats reels off many tips on what to eat depending on your dominant dosha.

Vata people should take steamed or boiled foods and avoid raw and dried foods, while those ruled by pitta need to take simple carbohydrates. Kapha individuals should take high-fibre foods with a low glycemic index.

But Dr Vats says it is important for people to have a daily regimen which ideally involves exercise, yoga, a good diet, self-discipline and cleanliness. Exercise, he stresses, is best done in the morning when we have a better chance of burning fat.

He says the most neglected meal is breakfast. The best way to start the day is with a herbal drink such as fennel water (vata or pitta) or turmeric and hot water (kapha).

The Star/Asia News Network

This story was first published in The Star.

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