Imbalance in your doshas can manifest health complications: Ayurvedic practitioner Ravi Ramakrishna

Determine your Ayurvedic dosha and heal everything, from lifestyle to chronic diseases
Delhi-based Ayurvedic practitioner Ravi R Ramakrishna.
Delhi-based Ayurvedic practitioner Ravi R Ramakrishna.

We’re a sum total of our doshas,” says Delhi-based Ayurvedic practitioner Ravi R Ramakrishna. “All individuals carry them as an indelible part of their DNA. One of the three doshas or central energies—Vata (wind), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth)—are generally dominant in any human being. Responsible for different body functions, an imbalance in any one (or all of the doshas) can manifest as health complications.

This Ayurvedic theory is fast-finding scientific validation among psychophysiologists, the branch concerned with the physiological reasons behind psychological processes. Just by looking at doshas closely, scientists have begun to understand epigenetics better. “It has helped comprehend the altering of DNA expressions better, as doshas are responsible for the ‘switch on and ‘switch off’ of DNA expressions through a person’s lifetime. Not just that, the dosha theory has allowed scientists to explain how cells in our body function and how the biochemical pathways—instrumental in human development and disease onset, modification and progression—operate,” says Gurugram-based internal medicine specialist Dr Saurabh Parthi.

One’s dosha type also indicates physiological triggers and emotional proclivities in a person, helping physicians predict the psychological patterns people may develop or are susceptible to in the future; for instance, over-thinking, catastrophising, displaying annoyance at little things, being pessimistic, hoarding, developing OCD, etc.

“Developing a systemic healthcare ecosystem for the screening of such doshas, right from the time of a child’s birth, can offer several preventative measures for a disease-free and emotionally empowered life,” says Ramakrishna. It’s still not too late. By identifying your doshas, you can rectify patterns causing distress to the body and the mind.

What it governs: Associated with the air element, Vata denotes flexibility and is essentially responsible for movements such as blood flow, breath, muscle contractions, the beating of the heart, brain waves and others. Those with a predominantly Vata constitution, think and talk lucidly, are incredibly agile, and get work done in a jiffy.

When it goes off-balance: Anxiety and restlessness are first to be noticed. Dryness takes place as well, which leads to bloating, gas, constipation and dehydration. It may also affect sleep. Course correction: Begin by cutting down on cold beverages and maintaining a warm body temperature. Include moist foods such as butter, ghee and cheese that lubricate the organs.

“Make sure to include different kinds of vegetables, while avoiding raw ones. Have mangoes and bananas. Even though Ayurveda promotes a vegetarian diet, non-vegetarian food is not off-limits, but lean meat and seafood should be preferred. Sleep at the same time every day and if you wake up feeling restless, meditation that involves deep breathing may help,” says Ramakrishna.

What it governs: Derived from the word tapa, Pitta is symbolic of heat or fire. In the body, it represents energy that is fluid. Pitta is known for its transformative qualities. It manifests as impatience, ego, instability and jealousy, but Pitta personalities are also known for doing things with precision. They are usually competitive and ambitious as well.

When it goes off-balance: Look out for signs such as heat generation in the body, hormonal imbalance, infection, gastrointestinal problems, excessive sweating, and others.

Course correction: Reduce the intake of preservatives. Sun exposure should also be limited, at least when Pitta energy is overactive. “Avoiding caffeine is a must. Dry foods help bring the dosha into balance. Stay away from bitter fruits and vegetables. Include apple, coconut, dates, papaya, melon and watermelon in your diet. Broccoli is one of the best Pitta-curbing foods,” says Ramakrishna. An easily available herb that can be added to almost any vegetable or daal is cilantro, he suggests. “Eat pumpkin and spinach at least twice a week. On the other hand, if you are consuming high quantities of corn, muesli or yeasted bread, it’s time to slow down. Cut out urad daal completely,” says the Ayurvedic practitioner.

What it governs: The structure of the body is governed by this Ayurvedic energy. It is responsible for proper cell function, which includes keeping them together to form muscle and fat among other things. Kapha people usually have poor metabolism and feel lethargic all the time. Even though they may look physically strong, they lack stamina.

When it goes off-balance: One of the first things to happen is a loss of energy, followed by a lack of appetite. Digestive issues are often a sign of Kapha imbalance and so is constipation or diarrhoea.
Course corrections: Begin by adding warm things to your diets such as herbal tea and soup. “You can also add warming spices to your beverages. Restrict fatty food and avoid fruits that are too sweet. Exercise can take you a long way,” says Ramakrishna.

In a Nutshell
According to Ayurveda, every human being is born with an individual constitution. It comprises a combination of three doshas or universal energies. These represent the five natural elements such as space, air, fire, water and earth. The three doshas are manifestations of these elements. Vata is the manifestation of space and air, Pitta is fire and water, and Kapha is water and earth.

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