By Wendy Saunders
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

When unbalanced, the Doshas have a significant impact on the mind and emotions.

Vata controls and mind and nervous system and is made up of air and ether, making it sensitive to imbalances. Vata is associated with speed, flexibility, intelligence, communication and creativity.

A Vata imbalance can be due to too much caffeine, drugs, dry fruits, raw vegetables, crackers, etc.

When Vatas are unbalanced, they generally:

  • talk endlessly, on many different subjects, lacking depth,
  • are low in self-confidence and self-esteem
  • react negatively to change
  • are fearful, anxious, unstable, agitated and absent-minded
  • loners

When balanced, Vatas are:

  • sociable
  • creative, good writers and musicians
  • good teachers
  • connected to spiritual understanding.

Vata is balanced by:

  • taking time out
  • slowing down
  • spending time in gentler activities such as meditation or slow yoga
  • snuggling up with a movie on a cold, windy day, without distractions
  • routines are very important for Vatas, no skipping meals or irregular sleep, keep out of the cold and wind, no cold, raw and dry meals and snacks.

Pitta governs insight and intellect and has an essential connection to the brain. It is made up of fire and water and is associated with courage, will power, leadership, intelligence, acceptance and contentment, satisfaction, cooperation and surrender.

A Pitta imbalance can be due to a diet of excess hot, spicy, sour, oily or fried foods.

When Pittas are unbalanced, they exhibit:

  • anger
  • frustration
  • impatience
  • envy
  • aggression
  • criticism
  • rigid attachment to one’s beliefs
  • excessive ambition and a ruthless desire for power, blatantly disregarding other’s needs and their physical health in favour of their goals
  • a tendency to be opinionated and judgmental
  • domineering tendencies

When balanced, Pittas are:

  • courageous
  • determined and resilient
  • good leaders
  • accepting
  • content
  • satisfied
  • cooperative
  • curious
  • goal-oriented

Pitta is balanced by:

  • not missing meals
  • expressing emotion
  • avoiding excess heat, maintaining a cool environment
  • avoiding salty, greasy or spicy foods leading to digestive problems
  • when not doing too much at once
  • living near the water

Kapha controls the lubrication of the body as well as the white matter of the brain, connected to memory. It is made up of water and earth elements and is associated with emotion, love, loyalty, compassion and steadfastness.

A Kapha imbalance can be caused by an overly sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, sluggish digestion due to excess heavy, dense, cold foods like cheese, ice cream and fried foods, leading to an excess of downward moving energy.

Unbalanced, Kapha exhibit tendencies towards:

  • lethargy
  • laziness
  • stubbornness
  • attachment/ possessiveness
  • greed
  • hoarding

When in balance, Kaphas exhibit:

  • love
  • patience
  • compassion,
  • loyalty,
  • steadiness,
  • endurance
  • and a sense of ease in life
  • memory retention
  • contentment
  • acceptance

Kapha is balanced by:

  • avoiding fatty, heavy and iced foods, instead, eating warm, spicy and light food
  • staying active physically and mentally
  • staying warm and dry
  • avoiding salty, greasy or spicy foods leading to digestive problems
  • letting go, decluttering physically, mentally and emotionally
  • living in the present moment

Creating balance involves several therapeutic methods including yoga, diet, and mantra, helping you on your journey towards a healthy mind, body and spirit, to create patience, groundedness, steadiness and calm.

Read Avurveda Part 1: An Introduction here
Read Ayurveda Part 2: Exploring and Balancing Our Doshas here
Wendy Saunders from Govinda Valley Retreat follows a Yogic and Ayurvedic Lifestyle and is qualified in Eco Tourism, Conservation and Land Management, Yogic Studies and Ayurveda Lifestyle. She has experienced her own healing through her diet of natural Ayurveda foods, daily Yoga Nidra, Asana, meditation and Mantra meditation, along with Karma Yoga (selfless service), combined with a safe, caring community. For further information, contact Wendy Saunders, Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant on 0412 614 684.