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Balance Your Doshas : Ayurveda is the most unique form of curative and preventive medicinal system. Its principles are different and it is the only system that focuses on prevention of diseases too. One of the principles is that of doshas.
In this article, you will explore simple ways in which you can balance your doshas. This can maintain a good health and help in fighting against diseases.
Also Read : The Three Doshas in Ayurveda
Why need to Balance Your Doshas?
If you are following Ayurveda or you are on Ayurvedic prescription, then you must follow its principles too. The most important one is the principle of doshas. The Ayurvedic system of medicine revolves around doshas. If the tridoshas are stable, our health will be maintained. On the other hand, imbalance of tridoshas or any one of them will result in diseases.
How doshas are vitiated?
Nature follows a simple rule and so do doshas. If you add camphor to fire, the fire will increase. If you add water to it, it will be diminished. This is because of the similarities and differences between the properties of two. Camphor enhances the fire because it is inflammable while water diminishes it because it is non-flammable. Similarly, in the case of doshas, they increase if you eat or do the things in excess that are similar with their properties. And they decrease if you do or have a diet that is opposite to them. Ayurveda names this concept as Samanya and Vishesha.
Let’s have a quick look at this concept. Without application of this concept, doshas can’t be balanced.
Concept of Samanya and vishesha in Ayurveda
सर्वदा सर्वभावानाम् सामान्यं वृद्धिकारणम्।ह्रासहेतुर्विशेषश्च, प्रवृत्तिरुभयस्य तु।।
सामाण्यमेकत्वकरं विशेषस्तु पृथक्तवकृत। तुल्यार्थता हि सामान्यं, विशेषस्तु विपर्ययः।।
(Ref: Charak Samhita – 1/44- 45)
Samanya can be defined as oneness or uniformity while Vishesha can be defined as dissimilarity or non-uniformity in a substance.
“प्रवृत्तिरुभयस्य तु” refers to the relationship between Samanya and Vishesha. For functioning in the body, they need to establish a relationship amongst themselves.
Here, “सर्वदा” indicates both eternal and periodical time and “भाव” means existence which can be in the form of dravya, guna and karma. Therefore, Acharya Charak classified samanya and vishesha into 3 categories:
- Dravya Samanya/Vishesha
- Guna Samanya/Vishesha
- Karma Samanya/Vishesha
Clinical importance of Samanya Visesha concept
- For nourishing and maintaining health, Samanya theory is applicable
- The increment or vriddhi is the result of Samanya. Thus, any increase in dosha, dhatu or mala in our body is because of Samanya whereas when dosha, dhatu or mala are decreased, Samanya concept is clinically applied to maintain this. For example, if Vata dosha is decreased, you can have a diet which includes food which has similar properties as that of Vata.
- Doshas can be maintained primarily by Vishesha theory.
- Ayurveda along with medicinal herbs have Panchkarma theory to remove aama or toxins from our body. Panchkarma has two phases that are Shodhan and Shaman. This too is based upon the concept of Vishesha.
How doshas are imbalanced?
We need to know how doshas are imbalanced. For this, let’s know about each dosha separately:
How Vata is imbalanced?
There are some factors that cause vitiation of Vata. Some of them are:
- Excessive traveling
- Excessive exercise.
- Excessive mental pressure.
- Excessive coitus.
- Insufficient sleep and diet or sleeping late at night.
- Intake of food in excess that is pungent, astringent or bitter.
- Intake of food in excess that is dry, cold, rough, and raw in nature.
- Fear, grief and stress too can vitiate vata.
- Vata is imbalanced in old age and winter season.
How Pitta is imbalanced?
The factors that lead to Pitta imbalance are:
- Excessive talking
- Excessive fasting
- Excessive exposure to sun
- Excessive exertion
- Pressuring your eyes, especially on computer or mobile screens.
- Intake of food in excess that is hot, spicy, sour and salty.
- Jealousy, anger or hatred too can vitiate pitta.
- Pitta is imbalanced at middle age and summer season.
How kapha is imbalanced?
Factors that imbalance kapha are:
- Excessive sleep
- Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
- Over eating
- Not doing any mental work.
- Intake of food in excess that heavy, oily, sugary, salty.
- Kapha is imbalanced in childhood and in seasons like spring.
Besides these, there are some common factors that affect the stability of all three doshas that are:
- Supressing natural urges like sneezing, urinating and so on.
- Drinking alcohol or smoking.
The necessary thing you must know before balancing your doshas
For maintenance of doshas, Ayurveda suggests simple rules. But before you follow them, you must know your prakriti (body type). Are you a Vata prakriti, Pitta prakriti, Kapha prakriti, or your body type is the combination of all three together (Tridoshaj). You may belong to bi- doshic prakriti too as this is the most common body type among all. If your body type falls into this category, you can be Vataj-Pittaj, Pittaj-Kaphaj, Kaphaj-Vataj and more. The bi-doshic prakriti is the result of combinations of the tridoshas.
How to balance your doshas
For the maintenance of health and recovering fast from any disease, doshas need to be in their natural state. They should never be too much or too less in the body. They should be at a normal level.
Apart from taking medicines and therapies like panchkarma, you can also help yourself in managing your doshas. Ayurveda suggests some dietary and lifestyle changes that can help you in managing the vitiated doshas. Let’s discover them.
Managing vitiated vata
Vata is the most superior and important among the three doshas. It is the factor that provides movement in our body. The movement of fluids, the movement of limbs, the movement of air through nose, and many other necessary functions of your body depend on vata. Therefore, imbalanced Vata can hinder these functions. For balancing this important dosha you should:
- Maintain regular diet.
- Follow a diet that doesn’t aggravate vata.
- You can include foods that are warm and are freshly prepared. Add little oil or ghee in your foods. You can have beverages that are warm.
- Avoid foods or vegetables that form bloating.
- Get to your bed early at night.
- Meditate; specifically transcendental meditation.
In transcendental meditation, you mediate with eyes closed and recite mantras in low voice. This can be done for around 14-20 minutes.
- Practice Yoga, especially the one that focuses on breathing pranayam.
Managing vitiated pitta
All the metabolism and transformation in our body comes under pitta. It is responsible for regulation of body temperature, helps in digestion and much more. In imbalanced state, it can hinder all these functions. To balance Pitta, you can:
- Try to live stress free.
- Wear cotton clothes or such fabrics that produce cooling effect.
- Take foods which do not aggravate pitta.
- You can include foods like apple or cucumber.
- Avoid eating heavy meal
- Don’t overstress yourself. Try not to indulge too much on computer or mobile screens
- Listen to soothing and calming music like that of flute
- Practicing yoga techniques like corpse pose (Shavaasana) or techniques like sitkari and sitali.
In Sitali, you sit in a comfortable position and make an O shape with your mouth. Then you curl your tongue and breathe in fresh air through mouth till it fills your lungs completely. Now, hold it for a few seconds. After that, exhale through your nose.
If you are unable to roll your tongue, you can do sitkari. Both are same except in positioning your tongue. In Sitali, the tongue is rolled while in sitkari it is kept flat.
Managing vitiated kapha
Kapha provides stability to our body. Among all, it is slow and resistant to change. But because of this reason, its imbalance can cause some serious issues. Its imbalance can result in obesity, poor digestion and can lead to depression too. So for maintaining kapha levels you can:
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid heavy food
- Try to sleep and wake up early
- Prefer light food before you go to bed
- Add more juicy and fibrous fruits in your diet
- Don’t indulge yourself in lethargic activities.
- Fasting in a week can help.
- Practice yoga. You can do Mountain pose (Tadasna) or Chair pose (Uttanasna). Planks can help you too.
All these above things help you in coping with vitiated tridoshas. If 2 doshas are imbalanced, you can combine the do’s and don’ts of those 2 particular doshas. These will help in maintaining the doshas in the body. But one should always keep few things in mind:
- Practicing the above mentioned things will surely help you out. But in diseased conditions you need to take medicines too.
- These things are to maintain the level of Tridoshas and to maintain your health.
- Always analyze your body type first and then follow up.
That’s all about how to balance your doshas. Always take advice from Vaidya (doctor) before you follow up.