Ayurvedic principles for a vibrant life
February 09, 2024

Ayurvedic principles for a vibrant life

Ancient wisdom for modern wellness.

The missing piece in moving toward a balanced and vibrant life? Seed cycling aside, say hello to the medicinal world of Ayurveda

If the term “Ayurveda” is new to you, welcome. This time-honored system has deep roots. Think: ancient secrets delivering modern solutions. In essence, Ayurveda isn’t merely a system of medicine. It’s a holistic philosophy. 

Whether you’re seeking a unique wellness perspective—or are in need of inner-harmony—empowerment is within reach. Today, we’re taking an introductory journey to Ayurveda, sharing its foundational principles and practices. And spoiler alert: it can help with stabilizing hormones.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is often called the science of life. It’s a holistic healing system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. As mentioned, it’s not just a medical system—it's a way of life. Integrating body, mind, and spirit, Ayurveda recognizes that we’re all unique. In turn, our health is correlated to our specific constitution, or dosha.

What are the three doshas?

Speaking of doshas, Ayurveda categorizes all humans into three primary doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These represent the energies that govern our physical and mental well-being. Additionally, each dosha designates a specific combination of the five fundamental elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. 

Not sure what your dosha is? Take this quiz!

  1. Vata:

Elements: Air and Ether
Qualities: Light, dry, cold, subtle, mobile
Characteristics: Those with a predominant Vata dosha tend to be creative, energetic, and quick-thinking. They may, however, experience challenges related to anxiety, irregular digestion, and sensitivity to cold due to the airy and mobile nature of Vata.

  1. Pitta:

Elements: Fire and Water
Qualities: Sharp, hot, oily, light
Characteristics: Pitta-dominant individuals are often characterized by their intensity, ambition, and strong digestion. While they display leadership qualities, imbalances in Pitta can lead to issues like irritability, inflammation, and digestive disturbances due to the fiery nature of this dosha.

  1. Kapha:

Elements: Earth and Water
Qualities: Heavy, cool, moist, stable
Characteristics: Those with a dominant Kapha dosha are typically stable, nurturing, and possess a strong constitution. However, imbalances may lead to tendencies for lethargy, weight gain, and attachment. The earthy and stable qualities of Kapha contribute to a grounded and calm demeanor.

Keeping your dosha in check

In Ayurveda, optimal health is achieved by balancing these doshas. So, how can you do that? Once you know your unique constitution, you can begin making lifestyle choices that counterbalance any excesses (or deficiencies) in the doshas! This is central to Ayurvedic practice. Through diet, daily routines, and mindfulness, you can cultivate optimal health and longevity.

Eating for your dosha type

Ultimately, Ayurvedic medicine teaches us that health is more than the absence of disease. It’s a dynamic state of stability. One of the most supportive ways to achieve this? Through proper nourishment. Below is a breakdown of dietary suggestions for each dosha:

  1. VATA

Balancing principles:

  • Warm and nourishing: Opt for warm, cooked foods that are grounding and easy to digest.
  • Moist and oily: Include healthy fats like ghee or sesame oil to counteract Vata's dryness.
  • Sweet, sour, and salty tastes: Emphasize these tastes to pacify Vata's airy and erratic nature.
  • Avoid cold and dry foods: Minimize raw vegetables and favor well-cooked meals.

Vata-loving foods:

  • Warm soups and stews
  • Cooked grains, like rice or quinoa
  • Root vegetables
  • Herbal teas, especially warming blends
  1. PITTA

Balancing principles:

  • Cooling and hydrating: Opt for foods that have a cooling effect to balance Pitta's heat.
  • Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes: These tastes help pacify Pitta's intensity.
  • Moderate portions: Try to avoid overeating to prevent excess heat in the digestive system.
  • Limit spicy and sour foods: Reduce hot spices and acidic foods (like tomatoes).

Pitta-loving foods:

  • Cucumbers and melons
  • Leafy greens
  • Dairy alternatives, like coconut milk
  • Sweet fruits, like grapes and mangoes
  1. KAPHA

Balancing principles:

  • Light and energizing: Choose foods that are light and easy to digest to counteract Kapha's heaviness.
  • Pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes: These tastes help balance Kapha's tendency towards congestion.
  • Limit sweet and heavy foods: Minimize dairy, sweets, and excessive oil.
  • Include warm and spicy flavors: Stimulate digestion with ginger and black pepper.

Kapha-loving foods:

  • Steamed veggies
  • Legumes
  • Turmeric and cumin
  • Light, warming soups

Ayurvedic practices for happy hormones

By applying Ayurvedic principles, you can support your hard-working hormones (especially helpful if you struggle with intense PMS, long cycles, short cycles, or an absent cycle!):

  1. Dietary choices: Ayurveda recognizes the impact of food on our doshas. For hormonal balance, focus on nourishing, whole foods. When possible, favor foods that pacify your dominant dosha.
  2. Herbal support: Ayurvedic herbs, like Ashwagandha and Shatavari, are renowned for their hormone-balancing properties. These adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to stress.
  3. Lifestyle practices: Establishing a daily routine—aligned with your dosha—can have a profound impact on hormonal balance. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and stress management are fundamental.
  4. Yoga and meditation: Incorporating yoga postures and meditation into your routine can help regulate hormonal fluctuations. These practices are known to reduce stress, a major disruptor of hormonal balance. Here’s how you can choose a meditation practice for your specific dosha type!