About Ayurvedic Cooking

 
 
 

VATA PITTA KAPHA


Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means “science of life” - Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning science or knowledge. Ayurvedic medicine has its roots in India and it is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world.

Ayurveda is a sister science to Yoga, and one can find true liberation when they are practiced side by side. Ayurveda categorizes everything – our minds, bodies, food, energy – as comprised of a mix of five basic elements. Earth, water, fire, air and space or ether.

Each of us is born with a unique combination of the elements in our body and mind known as Prakruti. These combinations are categorized into the three Doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Often an individual will present just one dominant dosha or one dominant and one secondary dosha, that governs the functioning of their bodies and minds. Occasionally an individual may be Tridoshic, which means that they have equal presentations of all three doshas in their Prakruti.

Ayurveda teaches us that we often go out of balance when our dominant or secondary dosha increases in our system. If these doshas increase too much, it fosters an environment where disease can take hold. Our current state is called Vikruti and through the practice of Ayurveda and Yoga, we strive to maintain a balance as close to our Prakruti as possible.

The Doshas in a Nutshell...


 
 

VATA - Air+Ether


Vata is the dosha of movement and governs bodily functions like thought, movement of food through the intestines, elimination, expression of emotion, maintenance of prana and more.

Vata individuals are physically characterized by their thin build, dry skin and hair, and sharp facial features. They tend to feel cold easily and prefer warm environments. They are also known for their creativity, happiness, imagination, and artistic ability. When out of balance, Vata individuals may become anxious, nervous, and fearful. Their digestion is also affected, resulting in bloating, gas, and constipation.


 
 

PITTA - Fire+Water


Pitta is the dosha of transformation and governs bodily functions like digestion of food, regulating body heat, creation of hunger and thirst and more.

Pitta individuals are physically characterized by their medium build, lustrous skin that is prone to redness or rashes, and bright eyes. They tend to feel hot and prefer cooler environments. They are also known for their leadership, discipline, and wisdom. When out of balance, Pitta individuals may become angry, critical, and perfectionistic. Their digestion is also affected, resulting in loose stools, heartburn, and reflux.


 
 

KAPHA - Water+Earth


Kapha is the dosha of stability and growth and governs bodily functions like lubrication of the joints, strength and stamina, long term memory and more.

Kapha individuals are physically characterized by their larger build, oily skin, and thick hair. They tend to retain a lot of moisture and prefer warm, dry environments. They are also known for their compassion, contentment, and patience. When out of balance, Kapha individuals may become greedy, ignorant, and lazy. Their digestion is also affected, resulting in slow, sluggish bowel movements, excessive congestion and mucus buildup.


References: Textbook of Ayurveda, Vasant Lad. The Book of Ayurveda, Judith H. Morrison.