So, after getting over the flu bug, cold bug, whatever it was bug, I was feeling okay, but not as great as I had before. My digestion was off, I was tired more easily, and even though I felt good my energy was tanking quickly. I knew that there had to be something I could do to set things right, but what? That was when I was listening to a podcast all about a topic I have been interested in on and off for about a year now, Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a sister science to yoga, and is a health care system based on the assumption that we are all different, so instead of trying to treat specific symptoms, you treat the person, and the reasons behind why they get the symptoms. These body types are called Doshas, and it’s simple to figure out which one you are. There are dozens of online tests, and mine is Vata, with a touch of Kapha. Vatas are high energy people, but this energy does not translate to their digestive tract. They often suffer from constipation (hello!), and sluggish systems. They also tend to get cold quickly (that’s me) and suffer from dry, itchy skin (again, me). As I started to delve further into Ayurveda study last night, I had a bunch of what I’ve come to know as “Ayurve-DUH” moments. When a two-by-four hits you over the head because you naturally do something to balance your system out, but you never know why, or you suddenly connect that when you eat raw vegetables and salads your stomach cramps and you bloat up like a balloon. Hello! That kind of food is not right for my type!
A lot of the information makes sense, some of it is totally new to me, a new concept, and a new way of doing things, but for every new concept, I am introduced to ideas that I’ve been putting into practice for years now, simply because it made me feel better. For instance, Vatas are mostly “wind” type people – light, flightly, and constantly moving – so when it’s windy out, Vatas should cover up vulnerable heat-losing areas of the body to avoid going out of balance. Well, I *hate* going out in the wind, I hate open car windows blowing air in my face, and I avoid it at all costs. I wrap up in scarves, hats, and windbreakers when I see the gusts, and I keep my car windows closed, even if I’m sweating profusely.
The diet is where I am concentrating most of my focus right now, since I’m pregnant. I’m taking the “cooked food” rule to heart, because I really do find I do better with hot food. I am also cutting out things that naturally make me constipated, like red meat, unless in small quantities, and I’m increasing my intake of warm herbal teas, like lemon and ginger with honey, which stimulates digestion and immune response, and doesn’t shock your system like iced drinks can.
I really encourage you to learn at least what your Dosha is, and how a few simple changes can really make a big difference in your life. Some great resources are:
Both are free (the first is an informative blog, complete with Dosha quiz and breakdown), and the second is a free website where you also can figure out your Dosha, but also find recipes tailored just for you and your personal health conditions. Both will teach you a lot, and there’s a lot of resource links from the two sites that you can also check out.
Right now, I’m balancing my Vata with a microwave-baked apple with cinnamon (cooked, warm, and cinnamon is a digestive-stimulating spice), and a cup of lemon ginger tea with honey, also great for digestion. So…what’s your Dosha, and what are some simple steps you can take to balance it?