Vata – The Expression of Movement
An individual with a predominantly Vata constitution, whose doshas are in balance, will be creative, vivacious and energetic by nature. Vata is responsible for movement in the body and since it governs the other doshas, it is vital for health. Composed of air and space, Vata is light and volatile. The word “unpredictable” is often used to describe a Vata type of person. Recommendations for these individuals will therefore be aimed at counterbalancing this quality with an increase in stability; a regular daily routine, for example, is one of the means employed. Since winter and changes of season are predominantly Vata, maintaining a suitable diet and daily regimen during these times of the year will be particularly beneficial.
Vata types have an irregular appetite and digestion. They tend to nibble and eat salads, whereas they need to eat hot, oily and nourishing meals. They particularly need foods that taste sweet, sour and salty. They urinate frequently and have a tendency towards constipation. Mentally they are quick to understand, but also quick to forget. They are alert, very active and restless; they think, talk and walk rapidly, but also tire easily. Usually they are not very strong-willed and lack stability and self-confidence. When Vata is out of balance, an individual tends to become frightened, nervous and especially anxious. Persons with a Vata constitution are more susceptible to health problems related to the principle of air, such as emphysema and arthritis. Other Vata imbalances are weight loss, flatulence, insomnia, dry skin and hair, and confusion. Vata imbalances tend to increase with age.
Pitta – Metabolism and Digestion
An individual with a Pitta constitution possesses the qualities of fire and water. He has a warm body, a sharp mind, piercing eyes and penetrating intelligence. He may also tend to become impatient and angry without much provocation. Pitta types are of medium built with a fair or ruddy complexion, freckled, and they sunburn easily. They often have red hair that turns easily to grey, and are vulnerable to premature baldness. Pitta individuals are often described as being intense.
Pittas have good appetites and digestion, in spite of their difficulty in digesting fried foods. Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes are beneficial for them. They have frequent bowel movements and perspire easily. Their feet and hands are warm. They do not tolerate heat easily and have little resistance for physical work. Pittas also have difficulty coping with delayed mealtimes. Their mind is quick and intelligent, and they display an acute sense of organization. When Pitta is out of balance, the individual tends toward irritability and can become easily angered and aggressive. Pitta types are usually leaders; they are ambitious and love luxurious objects. Health problems for Pittas usually relate to the element of fire: fevers, inflammations of all kinds—ulcers, skin eruptions, conjunctivitis—and jaundice.
Kapha – Structure and Lubrication
An individual with a Kapha constitution is endowed with endurance and vitality. Composed of water and earth, Kapha is resistant and stable. Kapha types are tolerant, generous and patient. They tend to be portly and have slow metabolisms. They have thick, oily, smooth skin, and their body and muscles are well developed. Kaphas have large, quiet, seductive eyes with very long, bushy eyelashes and brows. Kapha bowel movements are soft and oily, and elimination is rather slow. They sleep soundly and abundantly. They like fried, sweet and salty foods, although their constitution requires bitter, astringent and spicy foods.
Individuals of this type are usually slow to understand, but otherwise have excellent memories. Peaceful and indulgent, Kapha becomes lethargic, greedy, jealous and possessive when out of balance. Health problems for Kaphas are often related to the principle of water: sinus congestion, all kinds of mucus, obesity, water retention, diabetes, etc.
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