Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Find your dosha, find your bliss

Do you like quizzes? I LOVE them. It's so enlightening finding out what kind of shopper I am or what kind of household pet I would be or what Friends character I am most like. Sometimes I even take quizzes that have real bearing on my life, my health and my future, like when my doctor asks me pesky questions and I answer {mostly} truthfully or a family friend grills me on what I want to be when I grow up {I'll never grow up, so this is a moot issue at best}. Those are generally less fun.

A few months ago, however, I took a quiz that was both informative and fun: "What's Your Dosha, Baby?" is a quick quiz from yogi Lissa Coffey that determines which ayurvedic body type you are. Also, it's my new pick-up line.

Okay, so let's back up about ten steps. In order to determine why you should take this quiz or even care, allow me to elaborate on the basic principles of ayurvedic yoga and describe the three doshas (or body types). My overview on pick-up lines, however, will have to come at a later time and date.

Ayurveda describes a holistic healing method developed in ancient India that seeks to both treat and prevent diseases through balancing the five major elements that compose the universe: earth, water, fire, air and sky.  Emphasis is placed upon meditation, diet, hygiene, and of course, yoga.

The three doshas are: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata types are generally slender, Pitta types are generally athletic, and Kapha types are generally more heavy-set.


While I think that breaking the entire human population down into only three groups is certainly constricting, the body type definitions do give us some decent basic guidelines. I can only speak to the guidelines given to my particular body type, which I felt gave me an accurate reading of how I can sleep better and maintain my energy levels.

I can also speak to the ayurvedic approaches to the changes in seasons. Regardless of your particular dosha, ayurveda can prepare you for a better winter with a few simple changes to your daily life. I scored these tips in this great article from Yoganonymous, which I will quickly summarize in bullet points below:

  • Winter brings about imbalance in Kapha in the body
    • Kapha's main attributes are: cold, sticky, sweet, oily
    • "like increases like," so we should avoid substances with those attributes
  • Eliminate or avoid heavy foods, particularly wheat & dairy
  • Eliminate or avoid sweets
  • Integrate warm spices such as cinnamon, cumin & cayenne into your diet
  • Maintain a regular routine (I already knew this one!)
  • Exercise daily & try to incorporate a few sun salutations into your daily routine
  • Begin a meditation practice
  • Get a massage (I can definitely get on board with that one!)
  • Wear BRIGHT colors 
What do you think of the ayurvedic guidelines for winter? Do you think you could implement them in your own life?

Don't believe me? Want to learn more? Here are some resources to learn all you wanted and more about ayurveda!

And of course, Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. ahh i did this a while back. i think i was a vata, which is so true. good reminder and great article!