WHAT IS "VATA KAPHA ?"
Vata-Kapha is your dosha type. Well, in your case you are a mix of two doshas. Vata and Kapha. What is a dosha? It's simply the Ayurvedic definition for your bio-individuality. In other words it's your body type, which includes your metabolic constitution, your personality, and your physical characteristics. By understanding what makes us unique, we can make better decisions as they relate to our diet, our lifestyle, and our mental health. EMBODIED BY AIR AND EARTH, WARMTH IS OFTEN LACKING IN THE VATA–KAPHA INDIVIDUAL. BECAUSE OF THIS LACK OF INNATE WARMTH, YOU ARE IMBALANCED BY EATING COLD FOOD AND DRINK, FASTING, UNDER- AND OVEREATING, AND EXPOSURE TO COLD WET WINDY WEATHER. BUT THEN, YOU KNOW THIS! OTHER CHALLENGES INCLUDE DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS, MOST NOTABLY CONSTIPATION, RESPIRATORY AILMENTS, GENERALLY LOW IMMUNITY, OVER SENSITIVITY, AND RESTLESS SLEEP. TYPICAL VATA-KAPHA CHARACTERISTICS: • Slender body frame (Vata) • Prominent joints with little adipose tissue (Vata) • Large facial features – in this case, large eyes (Kapha) • Moderately full lips (Kapha) • Large white square teeth (Kapha)
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE PUSHED YOUR LIMITS? We often think of our health in terms of symptoms. We have a headache, or indigestion, or skin irritation. However, symptoms are just that, symptoms of an underlying problem or imbalance. At The Holistic Highway we work with patients to treat the underlying cause of their imbalance and not just their symptoms. To use an analogy, if you have a headache, we want to determine and treat the cause of your headaches, not just prescribe Tylenol for the pain. This is health-care, not sick-care, and it's the key to long term health, energy and vitality. SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF IMBALANCE: • Digestive System: Both the Kapha and Vata constitutions are cold in nature which is opposite to the digestive fire (metabolism); this disturbs the digestive system and shows up as gas, bloating and indigestion. • Respiratory System: Kapha Dosha produces too much mucus while the Vata Dosha causes dryness. This results in a blockage in the respiratory system and asthmatic conditions. • Immune System: The dominance of the Kapha and Vata Dosha affects the immune system adversely and makes you prone to immunity related problems. • Kidneys and Urinary System: The activities of the Kidneys and urinary system are regulated by the Vata Dosha but the association of Kapha Dosha makes you prone to kidney stones and other urinary problems. • Muscles and Joints: The cold nature of dominant Kapha and Vata Dosha causes spasms and difficulty in movements. • Metabolic System: Kapha Vata cause low metabolic rate making you prone to diabetes, obesity and liver problems. • Body Weight: Because of these two Doshas it is easy for you to gain weight. LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS TO GET YOU BACK IN BALANCE: • Wake up before sunrise and get moving. Kapha’s have a tendency towards sluggishness and exercise first thing in the morning will get your lymphatic system moving, and clear away any brain fog.
• Drink a full glass of warm water to sooth any digestive problems.
• Clean your face, mouth and nasal passages, and gargle with salt water to remove any mucus build-up.
• To pamper dry, rough skin that can also be oily, indulge in an ayurvedic massage every morning before you bathe or shower. Use mustard oil as this oil is known to improve cardiac health, has antibacterial properties and is an anti-fungal too. Its also great as a blood stimulant – all things that Kapha’s need. If you like, you can add 3-4 drops of a pure essential oil such as bergamot which is antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s uplifting, improves your digestion and keeps your system working properly or camphor which has properties as a stimulant, its antispasmodic, antiseptic, is a decongestant, an anesthetic, a sedative and a nervous pacifier, its anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, a disinfectant, and an insecticide substance. to 2 oz. of massage oil. Mix well before use. Two or three times a week, massage your scalp with warm oil, and let the oil stay for an hour or two before you shampoo. After your shower or bath, apply a generous coating of a pure, gentle moisturizer all over your body to keep your skin feeling smooth and warm all day long.
• Protect yourself from the cold and wind. Stay warm and toasty in cold weather by wearing several layers of clothing. Wear a cap and scarf when you go out to protect your ears and throat. Wear lip balm to prevent lips from getting dry and chafed.
• Take any opportunity to sunbathe, the warmth of the sun is rejuvenating for you.
• Talk a walk every day in nature, walking is the ideal exercise for balancing you. Walk in the early morning, for about 20 minutes every day.
• Do not skip meals. Eat a nourishing breakfast and lunch at mid-day and a lighter meal in the evening. Sit down to eat each meal, eat in a peaceful atmosphere with your attention on your food, and sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal. If your digestive fire is irregular, practicing these eating habits will help make it more regular.
• Daily elimination is very important to prevent digestive toxins from accumulating in the body. Triphala (a mixture of fruits) helps promote regularity as well as toning the digestive system. Triphala is made up of three fruits and is most commonly purchased as a powder: Triphala has the following effects:
Assists natural internal cleansing Gently maintains regularity Nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues Supports healthy digestion and absorption Natural antioxidant Triphala is most commonly known for its use as a gentle bowel tonic, being helpful in digestion, and supporting regular bowel movements. The combination of the three fruits has a synergistic effect to bolster many other systems as well. In addition to the GI tract, Ayurveda uses triphala to support healthy respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive, and nervous systems. Triphala has also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. The three fruits involved in making triphala are also known for their individual effects:
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis): Has a cooling effect that manages pitta, supporting the natural functions of the liver and the immune system. Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica): Is particularly good for kapha, supporting the respiratory system as well as kapha accumulations in all systems. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): Though having a heating nature, it is still good for all three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). Is known for its “scraping” effect, which removes toxins and helps maintain healthy levels of weight.
• Go to bed early to promote vitality but also wake early – watch you do not sleep too much.
• Stay light emotionally by being with those who you love and who love you. A GREAT VATA-KAPHA PACIFYING LUNCH FOR YOU: Red Lentil Dahl with Beets and Coriander
Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied. Lentils also increase steady, slow-burning energy due its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism. This power packed lunch will keep you energized and trim.
Ingredients: 2 cups lentils, rinsed 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 3 cups filtered water 2 teaspoons ground coriander ¼ teaspoon asafetida or hing ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon dried sage ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt to taste 1. Rinse the beans and soak in 4 cups cold filtered water for 30 minutes and strain. 2. Put the beans, beets, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. 3. Meanwhile, put the coriander in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until it darkens slightly and you can smell the fragrance, about 1 minute. Stir in the asafetida, remove the skillet from heat, and stir the spices into the lentil mixture along with the turmeric, sage, pepper and lemon juice. 4. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, 45-60 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.