Ayurveda and the Three Biological Managers
Ayurveda is known for the three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha - but rarely is it clearly stated what these three Doshas are all about. Ayurveda sees the three Doshas as important and intelligent pillars of support for our biological system: they help regulate our physiology. They also form a buffer if something goes wrong with their regulation or if external influences try to infringe on our vital tissues.
Important to notice: All of us – yes, all of us – have these three Doshas, these three managers, inside of us - regardless of which so-called Dosha-type you are.
Ensuring a good balance of these Doshas - or managers of our biology - is a priority in Ayurveda. This helps to treat "diseases that have not yet arisen"; a beautiful description in Ayurveda of what we would, nowadays, call "prevention". If this is not done adequately, then all kinds of different disorders (and eventually, diseases) can arise.
Ayurveda is not primarily interested in the names of disorders; these are the ultimate manifestations of something that also has a beginning or a cause. Ayurveda is interested precisely in the beginning and in that cause, which lies in the imbalance of the 'biological managers' - the three Doshas.
Vata Dosha – is the manager, within us, of inner communication, transport and movement
Pitta Dosha – is the manager of all digestive and metabolic processes, transformation, also within us all
Kapha Dosha – is our manager which feeds, builds, and protects and supports our tissues. Since we all have a body, we all need this manager, especially to make sure we continue existing with and in a body! Our Kapha also provides us with Ojas to sustain our immunity.
Ayurveda is very precise about what can bring the Doshas out of balance, and how you can prevent that. This knowledge and the resulting guidelines are universal and timeless, also with regard to contemporary disorders.
Therefore, we all have to take care of all three Doshas, and we all have to take care of Kapha in order to keep giving our bodies good (re-)building substances, regardless of which constitutional type we are.
How To Do That – The Main Guidelines
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as an Ayurvedic diet for each type, but rather, we all have to eat to nourish our tissues well, since we all have a body and we all have to maintain our immunity.
General agni (digestive fire) supporting guidelines for everyone’s meal:
- Make sure you eat a meal consisting of all six tastes, but with a high amount (90% +) of Madhura taste, which is a sweet-neutral taste (e.g. dairy, grains, beans, meat, fruits, many vegetables).
- All of the above need to be of a lighter kind, and prepared in such a way that they can be easily digested. So, add spices and herbs to support that.
- Eat a quantity that you can digest easily: not too much (but also not too little).
- Choose ingredients that are fresh - preferably organic - and prepare them fresh and correctly (notice that cooking is a science and an art).
- Avoid non-compatible food combinations: this might produce Ama (toxins) in your system, and you do not want that.
- Avoid in-digestion, and if it does occur (there are many reasons that can cause this), wait to eat a next full meal until the indigestion has passed.
- Keep liquid intake around one cup during meals, preferably just some warm water to sip.
- Avoid drinking anything for one hour after food
-For Vata types: Consume a bit more of the above with heavier, smoother and oily food, but also take superb care of Agni (digestion and metabolism).
-For Pitta types: Follow a medium approach of the above, with milder and more cooling spices.
-For Kapha types: Consume the lightest version of the above, with occasionally smaller meals and more and warmer spices and herbs.
As this is a beautiful starting point, it is valuable to remember that it is essential to always feed your body – whatever type – with good Kapha. How we can modify the above, is a topic for a later time. How we can feed and cleanse or detox at the same time - especially in Kapha season, the upcoming spring period - will also be discussed in our Kapha Lifestyle Program in the next coming weeks. So much to discover!
Let’s celebrate healthy Kapha!
We now offer an Ayurvedic Care Package for those who want to treat themselves or a loved one to personalised, holistic self-care.