V P K are umbrella terms. Go beyond them to where Ayurveda is practical and can answer your health questions.
The Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are labels or categories, not energetics themselves. These terms have been misrepresented and although commonly used can be a limiting way to approach your health. You'll get far more insight into what you need right now to be healthy if you apply the factors the Doshas refer to like the five elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) to your situation. The six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent). Or even better the 20 properties (gunas) - eg: light, heavy, liquid, solid, hot, cold. The gunas are things we understand and considering them makes for sustainable self-care.
For those new to Ayurveda: the 5 elements combine to become what're called 3 Doshas (V P K) when within our bodies, or that of a plant or animal, and they have logical properties called gunas. It's tricky to know what the elements 'fire' or 'earth' mean sometimes and the terms V P K are equally vague when we need instant understanding of what to eat for our next meal that will help us feel better!
Ayurveda is an amazing relief when we first encounter it because it makes sense through all the health fads and confusing information out there. For us to use Ayurvedic health science successfully at home is possible and practical when we take the right approach - not too general and with just the right amount of science where it meets our experience. It's important to view yourself as a changing being within your surrounds and to recognise you know what makes you feel good and what leaves you feeling crappy. You know these things!
A problem has arisen where we've become fixated on the terms V P K and it's limited the ability for us to tap into the very common sense and personable approach that the founders of Ayurveda intended we have. Our intuition is a vital communication between our physical, mental, breath body and our bliss.
When you complete a Dosha questionnaire to determine your body type, you're subjective. The result is likely your presenting health situation, what we call your Vikruti, rather than your well, balanced constitution (Prakruti). It takes time and experienced perspective to see under the layers of your presenting health situation to confidently assess your constitution. You already know how to be you! You know when you feel great and on reflection what food, exercise, attitude brought you there.
We want to know what to do when we feel off, bad and not good in our body.
Knowing your your body type can be helpful as you tend to your current health needs. It's good to consider your Prakruti while you address your Vikruti. But it can become very confusing and mislead you if you label your situation with a blanket V P K because there's a naturally occurring blend of everything that V P K refer to in your system. You're a wonderfully complex mix and you alter slightly every day depending on external influences like the weather and what you eat. Knowing what to do when a symptom or food type presents as dual Dosha (eg: VP) is simplified by using the 20 gunas to work out what we need or what effect it will have on our body. Like increases like - simple!
Your health needs are best met at any given moment by asking yourself how you feel right now. You know if you feel hot or cold, dry and light or damp and heavy. Once you recognize that, it becomes simple to recognize the property, called guna, in your food. Then you can reduce what you have too much of and regain balance through self-care. Trust yourself, try something and observe the response. If you're seriously unwell please see your health practitioner.
You can up-level your self care and how you care for your family everyday with some practical Ayurvedic principles.
When we take an Ayurvedic approach to what we feed ourselves, the sounds we take in, or the type of exercise we do we can develop a positive health cycle that's self-motivated because it's enjoyable and more sustainable. When we have the vocabulary to make sense of what we inherently know is good for us we can do those positive things consistently.
What are you allowing into your system? Choose that which nurtures clarity of body and mind.
Most of us have heard of the Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) the labels used to classify our foods and even our body types. Consider how the energetics of what you take in through your senses is affecting your nervous system. Choose to allow only what pleases you into your precious body and mind.
The three governing forces of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (the Gunas) are required to nurture a positive cycling of creation, sustenance and completion. These terms are often used to discuss the quality of the mind.
Too much of any one with lead us astray and the best way is take in mostly Sattvic, with some Rajasic and a little Tamasic things.
Sattvic - wholesome fresh food (eg: vegetables), uplifiting positive music.
Rajasic - stimulating food (eg: coffee, mustard), stimulating movies.
Tamasic - dulling (eg: mushrooms, food kept for days in the fridge), depressing music.
Get clear and reset your Agni so you can digest anything that enters your body through any of your five senses - do a live, fully supported Ayurvedic cleanse with us in October....we do it twice a year, each Spring and Autumn, enabling optimal clarity of our body-mind system.
Experience traditional intermittent fasting and sign up for our detox today.
Creating a balanced body-mind system that enables optimal immunity and a happy disposition relies on good digestive function. It's time to improve your appetite for all six tastes...
Digestive capacity is called Agni in Ayurveda and it incorporates the actions of enzymes along the GI tract and the integrity of the gut wall. One of the simplest ways to encourage great Agni is by including all six tastes (Rasa) in your meals:
The typical modern diet includes too much sweet, sour, salty tastes with some pungent foods. When we don't consume the bitter and astringent taste in our foods we rob ourselves of complete nutrition and the ability to trigger the production and release of good quality bile full of digestive enzymes. This results in undigested food which is toxic and what we call Ama in Ayurveda. This substance leads to disease if it's not expelled by your body. Ensuring you eat some bitter and astringent foods in your diet increases the likelihood your system is able to detoxify itself.
Instead of immediately reaching for probiotics or taking ferments like kombucha FIRST improve the balance of the foods you eat. Include spices in your diet like wonderful bitter TURMERIC to improve not only your gut health but the amount of nutrients you absorb. Spices are concentrated foods!
USING FOODS TO LULL TEEN FRUSTRATIONS
If you've got a teenager who's struggling along with you during these transition years you can help cool the Pitta excesses in them with spices. Sour, salty and pungent tasting foods increase heat in the body. Lots of stimulating Rajasic foods, like seasoned fast food, are sour, salty or pungent - reduce these especially at lunch time in Summer (all Pitta influenced) and reach for soothing naturally sweet foods like rice, fruit, and include some bitter turmeric, dark leafy greens (the best!) and some astringent foods (like tart apples).
TIP: Cacao doesn't stimulate the body like Cocoa does - for a teen get some Cacao, Maple syrup and Almond or Coconut mylk (not cold but cool is ok) for a delicious nutritious soothing choc mylk drink. Below is our latest video on helping your teen.
Learn more about helping your family in our Healthier Kids course - release date end of August 2017. If you want to know more about the Six Tastes and Digestion for body type now head to the Living Ayurveda Course 1 hour audio - still $29 until 15th August.
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The AyurB team and health professionals from our community. If you'd like to write a Blog post contact Jess.
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