You are interested in Ayurveda and you just have completed your Dosha Questionnaire?
You have received your result and your constitution is “tri-doshic”. This means, all 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are nearly equally represented in your body. So what does this mean? How is this relevant for you and what practical advice do we have for you?
As you probably know already, your unique Ayurveda body type or individual constitution (Prakriti) is one of the most important concepts of Ayurvedic medicine. According to the Ayurvedic doctrine, we all have a very unique constitution that determines how we “tick” or function metabolically and how we tend to respond to stimuli from the environment. Being someone with a tridosha (“3 doshas”) constitution means that your metabolism will react differently to stimuli from the environment than other constitutions. This means that there will be completely different dietary precautions that apply to you as compared to other constitutional types. You have certain strengths that you can use to your advantage and some challenges that you take into consideration when choosing your diet and lifestyle.
Here’s All You Need to Know
Congratulations! Having a tri-doshic constitution is quite rare. You can pride yourself on the fact that all 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are fairly equally presented in your body from the time of your birth and are influencing your physiology, anatomy as well as your emotional and mental states in a harmonious way – provided you do not have any imbalances accumulated of the years. It really is the best constitution (Prakriti) to have because of the fact that the different qualities of the three doshas that make up your constitution balance each other out nicely. For instance: Vata, just like the element wind, has drying (ruksho) and cooling (sheeta) qualities. A Vata person (or Vata constitution), who, by birth or genetically, already has a strong proclivity to accumulate and express these qualities, needs to be very careful not to increase these qualities further. But if we now also take Pitta’s warming (ushna) and Kapha’s lubricating (snigdha) qualities into consideration, then it becomes clear how the qualities of one dosha balance out or complement the qualities of other doshas. This is particularly beneficial when all 3 doshas and not just 2 doshas are present. There simply are more qualities at play or represented than in mono or dual-doshic constitutions and because of this, the likelihood of a natural balancing process occurring is simply much higher. In this sense, a tri-doshic constitution like yours is not only the most balanced constitution to start off with, it is also the most stable and most difficult one to bring out of balance. But, and this is a big “but”, when a tri-doshic constitution is out of balance, it becomes the most difficult one to work with and re-balance.
To illustrate our point further of why a tri-doshic constitution is so stable and beneficial, let us consult here for a moment one of the key authorities on Ayurvedic Medicine, the Ashtanga Hrydayam, a text written around 550-600 AC by Vagbhata.
This is what the text tells us about the qualities of the three doshas:
“Tatra ruksho laghu sheetah, khara sukshmaschalo nilah”
The qualities of Vata are:
“dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile”
(Ashtanga Hrdayam; Sutrasthana; Chapter 1;10.5)
“Pittam sasneha tikshnoshnam laghu visram saram dravam”
“Pitta is slightly oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy smelling, spreading and liquid”
(Ashtanga Hrdayam; Sutrasthana Chapter 1;11)
“Snigdhah sheeta gururmandah shlakshno mritsnah sthirah kaphah”
“Kapha is unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft and static”
(Ashtanga Hrdayam; Sutrasthana 1;12)
A quick look at these descriptions reveals exactly what we stated above already: qualities of one dosha oppose or balance qualities of another dosha. Once again, take for instance Vata’s dry, light and mobile qualities. These are opposed by Kapha’s unctuous, heavy and static qualities. Pitta’s hot and sharp qualities are balanced by Kapha’s cool, smooth and soft qualities and so on. This explains, why having a tri-doshic constitution is very beneficial:
Opposing qualities have the potential and ability to balance each other out and a tri-doshic constitution is genetically equipped with the whole range of different qualities.
We have already shared with you that a tri-doshic constitution is the most balanced constitution by birth. Having all these different qualities of the three doshas represented fairly equally in your body is a blessing and gives you incredible stability.
While it is generally quite difficult to bring your constitution out of balance, it is even more difficult to restore balance when things have gone wrong. Why is this so? Let’s just assume that one of your doshas is out of balance. When we talk about a dosha “being out of balance”, it always means that there is an increase of some (rarely all) of the qualities that are characteristic of that dosha. If, for instance, your Vata is increased, it might manifest as nervousness, restlessness or constipation. In order to bring this dosha back into balance, we have to not only avoid adding more of Vata’s qualities to the body but actively have to strengthen those qualities that directly oppose Vata’s qualities. On a practical level, this is difficult because an increase in the qualities that oppose and rebalance Vata’s qualities will negatively affect one or both of the other doshas, Pitta and Kapha. In other words, by trying to balance one dosha through diet, lifestyle changes and medicines, we might bring other doshas out of balance.
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Here is the good thing: in comparison to mono-doshic and dual-doshic constitutions, there are no specific guidelines that you need to follow. It is important though that you are aware of Ayurveda’s general lifestyle recommendations, which include seasonal routines, daily activities and information on nutrition, and follow them as closely as possible to stay in good health and maintain your equilibrium. These are some of the recommendations we have for you:
Just as every dosha has its unique qualities, so does every herb and every ingredient that you eat or use for cooking. Sticking to a balanced diet means that you cover all 6 tastes (bitter, salty, astringent, sweet, pungent, sour) in your diet without giving preference to any particular one. If you, for example, eat a lot of spicy (pungent) and oily food over a prolonged period of time, you would most likely increase Pitta in your body. If unchecked and untreated, the imbalance will manifest in the form of symptoms and can develop into a disease. The Pitta imbalance might later on also affect the other 2 doshas of your constitution and bring these out of balance as well.
Hunger is a natural urge that should be always respected and satisfied by all Ayurvedic constitutional types, whether mono-doshic (Vata; Pitta; Kapha), dual-doshic (Pitta-Vata; Kapha-Pitta; Vata-Kapha) or tri-doshic. Your Kapha aspect will forgive you for skipping a meal here and there but neither your Vata nor your Pitta part of your constitution is happy with this. For Pitta, it is particularly important to eat when you are hungry because your digestive fire, which is directly connected to Pitta, is very active at this point in time and needs to be pacified with food. This explains why people with a Pitta dominant constitution are difficult to be around when they are hungry. They are impatient and get angry easily since their Pitta, like a fire, is looking for something to consume. Vata, too, has some objections if you skip meals frequently and its qualities will increase over time, leading to a Vata imbalance.
Exercising is a good way to remove mental and emotional stress and reduce body heat. It will satisfy Pitta’s natural tendency for competition, counter Kapha’s tendency for stagnancy and allow Vata to express its natural desire for movement. So go out and exercise and alter the intensity from moderately to sometimes high intensity!
Our grandmothers already knew that it is important to adapt our eating habits to the climate we live in and to the change of the seasons. Since our physiology is influenced by the climate we live in and since food likewise affects our body and mind, we should always choose food items and ingredients that neutralize or counter-balance the negative influences the climate has on us. For example, during hot summer days, we should focus on eating light food that cools the body, like fruits and salads, and stay away from heavy food and drinks and spices that increase body heat. Our body reacts (compensates) to external heat by reducing digestive functions (it slows down Agni). That is why your appetite is generally reduced during the hot season and heavy food should be consumed only in moderation. The opposite is the case during winter. Here, the body naturally balances the coldness from the environment through an increase in digestive functions. This means a stronger Agni and more heat in the body. While it is good to eat heavier, warming food during this time and consume products that increase circulation, it is not recommended to eat food items that increase phlegm and stagnation. So avoid cold drinks, milk products and raw food during this time and stay physically active. Alcohol in moderation is beneficial in winter, especially red wine.
As you probably know, sleep is very important for our physical and mental well-being. While we sleep, our body repairs tissues, restores energy levels, builds hormones and other substances, repairs cells and does many more essential things to maintain our health on a physiological as well as psychological level. On a mental level, sleep increases concentration and memory, the ability to think, decide, discriminate, analyse and it reduces stress levels. The time from 11 pm onwards to about 2 am in the morning is what Ayurveda has long ago identified as “Pitta time”. Pitta, with its transformative power, is extremely active during this period and will, if allowed, drive essential processes that are related to repair, detoxification and rejuvenation. And the way we allow it to do its job properly is by being passive (sleep). If we do go against this natural rhythm, Pitta’s energy will turn against us and show its destructive side. While your tri-doshic nature protects you somewhat from the destructive processes that get triggered when you go to bed late, you should avoid it as much as possible.
Fasting once a month will give your digestive system a temporary rest and will allow your body to complete unfinished digestive processes. Depending on your body type and strength, we recommend either dry-fasting or fasting just on water, vegetable broth, or clear vegetable soups. Ayurveda recommends fasting particularly on the 11th day of the Hindu calendar (Ekadashi).
In order to make sure your constitution stays balanced, Ayurveda recommends a procedure (or rather procedures) called Panchakarma. The 5 techniques that are collectively called “Panchakarma”, remove excess dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) and restore a physiological balance. Once you have restored a new equilibrium you should ensure that you do not again progressively accumulate any of the three doshas in your body. At our Ayurvedic Health Centre, we teach you how to do so and offer Ayurvedic treatments and programs that are specifically tailored to your constitution. Our treatment plans include a food menu that is adapted to your individual constitution and imbalances, as well as herbal medications, yoga and meditation and a whole range of amazing Ayurvedic protocols. We also offer professional and authentic Panchakarma procedures to remove excess dosha from your body and bring you back to a deeply balanced state of well being.
Rebalance your constitution, increase your energy levels, improve your well-being and prevent future health problems at AmrtaSiddhi Ayurvedic Centre with a professional team and in an environment that is caring and inspiring.
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