Most diets nowadays focus mainly on our outer appearances, what is popular, and how to LOOK our best (which is the most important distinction to make). Ayurveda takes our minds, bodies, the elements of earth (fire, water, earth, air and space) and the six types of taste (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) to define and create three different body types to help us focus on our health from the inside out. There are three different body types in Ayurveda and these types are defined by energies (also known as Dashas): Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All three characters are found in each individual, however each person has a dominant energy and the idea is to create a balance within the Dashas to avoid disease or to correct oneself when falling out of balance.
The Dasha Vata is created from air and space, and its characteristics are created by dryness, coolness, light, movement, and the ability to change. People dominant in Vata can be compared to people of a small frame and prominent bone structure, with the ability to move quickly and become bored easily. When falling off balance as a person in Vata, it is important to seek warm and stable environments and foods.
Pitta is formed from fire and water. As a person of Pitta, your physical attributes are often of a medium built person, with a sharp mind. In Pitta, your metabolism is what defines you. From the food you eat to the emotions you feel, in Pitta the body and mind are always taking in and digesting their world. When out of sync, Pitta people seek coolness, which can be found by a summer breeze, a cool glass of water, or a crisp salad, to comfort their souls and bring them back to their center.
Kapha is the third and final Dasha body type. It is created by the elements of water and earth, and people of Kapha tend to be physically thicker in build and slower than the other energies. Kapha people are sound both emotionally and physically, and they tend to fall out of balance when life changes occur, and have difficulty with the challenge of letting things go. In search of balance, Kapha people find that exercise has the ability to bring peace back to life.
Diving into Ayurveda
Once you have figured out which energies best describes you, you have the ability to make conscious decisions on how to keep yourself in balance. It is important to know that all three Dashas strive off of healthy, organic and seasonal foods. Keep in mind unlike other diets where things are restricted or even banned, Ayurveda allows you to enjoy all tastes, but in a different order than what most of us traditionally practice. According to ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com, it is said that foods should be eaten in the order of the six tastes: sweet first because it is what the body digests the quickest, then to sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and lastly, astringent. Bitter and astringent flavours help curb the cravings of sweets and allow your body to feel in sync and balanced. When practicing Ayurveda, the diet requests a daily routine of eating habits, movement, and meditation.
Ayurveda is all about coming back to nature, enjoying what the earth is giving you and creating in you. It is about creating a balance from the inside out to the outside in.