How to Activate Each Ayurveda Dosha

Restoring balance through a customized wellness routine.

Balance your Ayurveda doshas.

(Igor Chus /

A healthy, happy life starts with balance. That is the guiding principle of Ayurveda, an ancient medicinal practice from India and one of the world’s oldest healing systems. Ayurveda provides guidelines to bring balance to both mental and physical health as part of your overall well-being.

Maintaining a healthy mind and body means balancing the doshas; the three main element combinations that determine how you feel. By tuning into your body, you’ll notice when you feel off-balance.

With mindful awareness, you attune to your mind-body, and notice when something feels out of balance. Then you can create a customized wellness treatment to restore balance  to your doshas and feel your best.

What Are the Doshas?
According to Ayurveda, each living being consists of a unique combination of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Everyone has a combination of the three main doshas: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. The Vata dosha consists of space and air, the Pitta dosha of fire and water, and the Kapha dosha of water and earth. 

When in balance, the body feels healthy and strong, the mind peaceful and at ease. But as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad. Johns Hopkins Medicine reported that imbalances of the doshas may lead to disease. So when you feel under the weather, you can consider which dosha is out of balance and activate that dosha with the right treatment, like exercise, nutrition, and other lifestyle habits.

Wake up Kapha when feeling tired and uninspired
Do you have low energy levels? You may need to wake up your Kapha, the dosha that consists of earth and water. Too much Kapha feels heavy in the mind-body. Chopra suggests that you may feel sluggish, tired, congested, or unmotivated. You might even have a hard time getting out of bed. 

A Kapha imbalance often happens because of lack of exercise or mental activity. You might also be eating too many heavy, oily, cold, sweet, sour, and salty foods. These are foods that retain the damp, cold aspects of water and earth.

When you want to balance Kapha, think the opposite of that damp, cold, slow-moving earth and water combination. Switch up your daily routine to stimulate excitement and motivation. Try invigorating exercises, like jogging or hot yoga, to sweat out the excess Kapha. Choose light, airy foods like fresh greens or fruits. Consume invigorating spices, like fresh ginger or chili. Drink warming beverages like chai tea. If you have a hard time getting out of bed, wake up early, before 6 Aam. 

Chill out Pitta when feeling irritated
The fiery Pitta dosha mixes fire and water. And what happens with too much of both? The water comes to boil! Both physically and mentally, a Pitta imbalance feels like irritation: heartburn, impatience, anger, inflammation, fever, and excess sweating. That fiery feeling comes from too many spicy foods, overworking, or heated emotions like anger, jealousy, and passion.

When the pot overheats, turn down the heat! According to Yoga Journal, a Pitta imbalance means it’s time to cool things down. Think about moderation. Burn off a little steam with moderate exercise, like walking, yoga, or swimming, while avoiding anything too competitive. 

You should also consume sweet, bitter, and dry flavors to calm Pitta. Eat cooling, sweet foods made of fruits, grains, and dairy. Cut back on caffeine or alcohol. You should also pass on spicy foods like chilies, radishes, and raw onions as well as salt and sour ingredients like vinegar or fermented foods, as these only activate fiery Pitta even more!

Calm down Vata when feeling anxious
The Vata dosha blends air and ether. It represents movement. Like that airy element, a Vata imbalance feels like you’re all over the place, manifesting in restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, and cold hands and feet, according to Mind Body Green.

When feeling uneasy, balance Vata with warming foods, like hot stews and soups. Wear warm clothing, too and practice abhyanga massage to enhance circulation. Vata imbalance needs stability to feel at peace, so stick to a routine. Waking up, eating, exercising, and going to bed at the same time each day will help feel more stable and grounded. Try a little moderate exercise, like yoga, to feel peaceful.  

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