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WHAT MODERN MOMS GOTTA KNOW ABOUT AYURVEDA

August 9th, 2019 | 6 comments
[Read time: 9 minutes]

“Yoga is part of Ayurveda…and Ayurveda is a part of yoga….

To achieve mind, body and soul balance. You can’t practice one without the other. If Ayurveda is the healing aspect, yoga is the spiritual/practical side of the Vedic teachings. Together they emphasize a complete approach to the wellbeing of the body, the mind, and the spirit.”

I’m pretty freakin’ sure you’ve heard about yoga and why it’s so darn good for you. Either you practice it, wanna get into it or you think  Omming and downward dogging is lame.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum here is the thing.

Going to a yoga class once a week or taking a few deep breaths when your kid throws crayons in the toliet or dabbling in the Headspace app doesn’t mean you are now leading a “yogic” lifestyle that will combat stress at the root.

If you walk out of a yoga class and head to Chik’fila, come home and yell at your kids for making a mess, then have a two glasses of pinot after putting them to bed as you complain text your mama bestie how your kids drive you nuts, eat nachos at midnight and scroll Instagram right before bed you quickly invite your mind and body accumulate stress again.

All the peace, lightness and tranquility you felt at the end of the yoga class is short lived and quickly gets replaced with compulsive thoughts, fried nerves and knee-jerk reactions.

You see, Savasana and Warrior poses are great but they are only tiny portions of yoga. They are just poses of asana. There is soooo much more!

It doesn’t matter where you are on your journey with yoga, meditation and mindful breathing. I wanna bust the most misleading AF myth around yogic practices to save you a lot of time or clear up a conundrum you may have – why is it that sometimes I stay calm and other times I completely lose it (even on days I exercise, mediated or did yoga)?

Yoga and meditation alone WILL NOT help you eliminate stress. 

Real yogic lifestyle is is how you behave the other 23 hours of your day outside of your class.

And that’s when Ayurveda comes in.

When you begin to wonder how you can build that end of yoga class tranquility into daily life like the midst of the meltdown and sibling fights…

Then you’re ready for Ayurveda.

I’m bold enough to say that yoga and meditation without Ayurveda will only give you temporary relief. It’s like having a peanut butter jelly sandwich with no jelly, bagel with no cream cheese, hot chocolate with no marshmallows.

Sure you can survive without it but to get the FULL scrumptiousness you need both.

But wait let me slow my roll for a moment.

NEW TO AYURVEDA?

Let me give you a 30 sec break down.

Ayurveda has been a tried and true holistic method for thousands of years. It’s the world’s oldest health system and as the lesser known sister science to yoga it’s a necessary and interdependent part to experience balance, lasting rejuvenation and wellness.

Ayurveda aka “the science of life and longevity” defines optimal wellbeing, health and joy through balancing your mind, body and soul.

From intermittent fasting, clean skincare to natural remedies and positive eating habits, Ayurveda teaches you everything you need to know to live your life in accordance with your body’s natural rhythm and the rhythm of the earth.

Ayurveda will tell you what your morning routine should look like, what the best breakfast for your body type is, what time you should eat, what time to sleep, how to schedule your day, what natural herbs will support you and what you should do before bed.

How does yoga fit into all this?

Yoga is the ideal ayurvedic exercise, because it rejuvenates the body, improves digestion and removes stress from the body.

Yogic practices like breathing (pranayama), postures (asanas) and meditation helps the mind get stronger and keep that monkey mind in check by connecting the mind to the higher true self aka your soul.

It helps you understand your parenting personality, your stress response type type, the right foods to get back into balance and how to prevent diseases you are naturally prone to.

In a nutshell it helps you learn the most important wisdom about YOU, so you can live the most fulfilling, joyful and thriving life.

What I love about Ayurveda?

It’s not a diet or temporary fad. Ayurveda has helped me better understand myself as a parent. How I respond when I’m stressed. How my chronic coldness wasn’t a weird quirk.

I felt safe in the knowledge that my chronic overthinking was a part of me and my true nature.

I began to embrace who I was than resist it.

By looking at how I ate, the things my kids did that triggers me, and how I lived my life I was able to feel more balanced and less stressed than ever before. My life has improved for the better. I  felt more grounded, had more energy and for the first time in my life, I felt joyful, well, and peaceful.

Your dosha imbalance determines the best yoga postures, meditations and breathing tools that will release stress and bring in more energy, ease and flow into your body, mind and soul. That’s why the cookie-cutter “take deep breaths” advice doesn’t always work.

The cornerstone of Ayurveda is the idea that our physical characteristics and personality are born from the doshas.

Now this is the fun part of Ayurveda.

BUT WHAT THE BONK ARE DOSHAS?

The word Dosha simply means the energies that create your unique physical, emotional and mental being. 

There are three primary dosha’s at work in all of us: vata, pitta, and kapha.

The Dosha’s consist of the five elements we experience around us which also make up our body: water, fire, air, earth and ether (space). These elements come together to create the three Doshas which are the energies that make up the fabric of our personality and how we respond when we are stressed.

These elements manifest in our bodies.

1. Vata Dosha

The qualities of Vata are cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick and changeable. Think of the unpredictable wind. Vata mamas are lively, slim, have on-and-off appetites and think, speak and act quickly.

Vata on a good day are creative geniuses, outgoing and on a natural energy high.

On a bad day they are worry-warts and judgmental Judy’s.  Their mind is their own enemy.

Vatas are prone to #MentalStress like nervous disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks and their digestion will become erratic aka bloating, constipation or stinky “rotten eggs” toots.

2. Pitta Dosha

The qualities of Pitta are hot, light, intense, pungent, sharp and acidic. Think fire!  The Pitta dosha controls our digestion, metabolism and energy production. Pitta are those fit mamas we feel jelly off. They build muscle  and are toned. They have a sharp mind and piercing gaze.

Pitta on good days are #mombosses. You are content, clear-headed, organized and breeze through to-do’s without breaking sweat (literally).

Steer clear of Pitta mamas on bad days. They are short-tempered hot potatoes. They shout before they think, get easily annoyed when things don’t go their way and don’t even bother thinkin’ you can win an argument with them. They get into power struggles because they would rather be right than be peaceful. 

All that anger creates a lot of toxic fire that’s why #EmotionalStress induces indigestion, excessive body heat, heartburn or acne.

3. Kapha Dosha

The qualities of Kapha are heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, and oily. Think of the strong and dense earth. They have a strong built, steady determination but there is also a softness to them.

Kapha on a good day is a happy, bubbly and cuddly panda bear. They embody all the qualities of an ideal nurturing mama bear- steady, forgiving, courageous, generous, affectionate, calm, thoughtful, loving, loyal, patient and supportive.

Kapha on a bad day will eat their feelings, only want to Netflix and chill and have a tough time waking up earlier than 9AM.

#PhysicalStress induces weight gain, fluid retention, allergies, depression and lethargy, as well as being resistant to change.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRAKRUTI AND VIKRUTI

Prakruti is our baseline constitution, or dosha balance, at birth. We were all born with our own specific and unique physical, emotional and mental constitution from the moment we are born.

Your prakruti is established for a combo of your parents’ prakruti, their mental and emotional state at the time of your conception and your mother’s diet and lifestyle through pregnancy.

So this is all the more reason to be mindful what you eat and think during pregnancy!

This is your natural state of balance and is your personal key to health, harmony and happiness. 

Your prakruti determines traits like your body frame, temperament, digestion, sleep patterns, personality, how you response to stress and approach life and certain illness you are prone to.

It gives you an understanding of what your body is naturally prone toward. If you were born with many Vata traits like me (I’m a Virgo + Vata AF), you are more likely to suffer more Vata imbalances like mental stress, especially during the Fall and Winter.

Think Kourney Kardashian, Melissa Gorga, Halle Berry. Stay warm and cozy #VataMama .

If you’re born with Pitta traits you have a firey personality and short temper. Think Bethany Frankel, Theresa Guidice, Tamra Judge.

Think of all the firey and dramatic Housewives whose tempers are good for ratings.  You’re prone to emotional stress, especially during the hot summer months.  Keep your cool and chill the off out #PittaMama. 

If you’re born with Kapha traits you are more likely to suffer Kapha imbalances you’ll like eat, drink, sleep or try to Netflix your problems away. You’ll especially feel more lethargic and sluggish during Winter and Spring. Think Oprah, Beyonce or Chrissy Tiegen. – Put the dark chocolate away, get your butt off the couch and move it  #KaphaMama.

This explains that age old question of why two children born from the same parent have different personalities, body types, eating habits, sleep habits and different responses to stressful situations.

figuring out your prakruti

To know your prakruti think about your body, mind and personality when you were a child and your personality. Your prakruti, like your DNA, does not change. 

Check all that apply in each category.

HOW VATA ARE YOU?

  • I ’m always effin cold and you’ll find me sitting next to the space heater or fuzzy blanket even in 75 degree weather
  • My skin is on the dry side.
  • I am the creative type and love to think outside the box.
  • I’m either excited or anxious.
  • I am on the petite side, small bones and have tough time gaining muscle.  
  • Tend to have cracking bones and something is always popping when I get up. (Aka the obnoxious person who is cracking their knuckles, back, neck, wrists basically any body part that I can get a sound out of it. I’m on it. )
  • When I wrap my hand around my wrist, my fingers overlap.
  • I have a hard time focusing and change my mind every 5 minutes
  • I’ve got 20 diff tabs open on the Mac at all times
  • Hate routine (even though my filled-to-the-brim brain needs it)

HOW PITTA ARE YOU?

  • I’m always hot and prefer cool weather and need the AC blasting.
  • I  have a reddish tint to my skin
  • My skin is on the oil side, prone to acne and redness
  • I’m competitive and love leading aka I’m a bossy pants. 
  • Naturally athletic and toned. I’m able to put on muscle if I try.
  • When I  wrap my hadn’t around my writs, my fingers exactly touch.
  • Type A AF
  • Coffee runs through my blood
  • Always-on-the-go, go, go. Your life motto is so much to do, so little time. 
  • Always pre-plans and has a game-plan

HOW KAPHA ARE YOU?

  • I tend to run cool and prefer hot, dry weather.
  • I  have thick, lustrous Princess Jasmine kinda hair.
  • I  have glowing dewy skin, sometimes with an oil T-zone. I’ve got rockin’ VS model skin.
  • I  have a calm, peaceful personality and love working with my hands.
  • I  have always struggled with my weight
  • When I wrap my hand around my wrist, my fingers don’t touch.
  • Would rather be napping (any day)
  • Real life teddy bear
  • Will never say no to dessert. Esp if it’s chocolate. 
  • Your definition of a romantic date night- Netflix and cuddlying on the couch with chocolate ice cream. 

Alright count up your scores and that gives you a good baseline of your dosha prakruti.

Remember- No one is entirely one Dosha, but rather we are a combo of all three.

For clarity’s sake of course if you want a super in-depth analysis you gotta go to an Ayurveda practitioner for that.

*Here’s the thing your body and mind are connected so your mind dosha can be one type and your body dosha can be another.

Now that you know your Prakruti, I’m gonna spice things up a bit.

Your Dosha’s aren’t set in stone. Enter to the stage: Vikruti…

What’s Your Vikruti?

Over time, lifestyle, diet, age and habits can change our Doshic constitution. The Doshic constitution that’s out of wack today is called your Vikruti.

Our dosha’s are constantly changing and can get imbalanced as they respond to your actions, thoughts and emotions, age, environment, to the time of day, the season, the foods that you eat- all of which influence the function of your mind and body.

Ayurveda is a system of regaining balance, so we always treat the Dosha that is out of balance. 

Knowing your Vikruti helps you know what yogic and Ayurvedic practices (postures, breath and meditation, diet, herbs, self-care) will treat your imbalance and will eliminate the stress the imbalance is creating so you can experience more ease, balance and peace in mind, body and soul.

Bringing Vikruti back to a normal state is the key of Ayurveda and living your best life. 

In Ayurveda, stress is a red flag there is a dosha imbalance in our body and mind. This manifests either as mental, emotional or physical stress. Clearly knowing these signs helps us reset without the stress manifesting into illnesses and dis-ease. 

The tendency is to become imbalanced in our natural dominant dosha. For example someone like me who is a vata dominant prakruti is likely to see an imbalance in this dosha first.

But that’s not always the case.

For example, lets say you are a Vata Prakruti but lately you have been eating tons of sweets, dairy, and bread, all of which induce Kapha. You’re likely to get Kapha imbalance, feel physical stress, lethargy, heaviness ,weight gain even thought you may not naturally be a Kapha. You have to balance out the Kapha to feel good in your skin, mind and soul. 

Figuring Out Your Vikruti

As you take the quiz, think of how you feel today. Check all that apply in each category.

VATA IMBALANCED AF : MENTALLY STRESSED

  • I blame my constant tooting on my toddler.
  • The post-meal bloat is real. Can I just live in maternity pants?
  • Wait when was the last time I pooped? Yup I suffer from chronic constipation
  • Anxious, Nervous, Shy, Insecure, Self-Pity
  • Cold all the freakin time
  • Burned out- extreme fatigue 
  • Insomnia or restless sleep- I wake up at 3AM  every night and can’t go back to sleep.
  • Restlessness -inability to sit still and mind is always future-tripping and worried about worst-case scenerios and what-ifs. Quick to interrupt and easily loses interest in convos.

PITTA IMBALANCED AF : EMOTIONAL STRESS

  • Acid Reflux or Heartburn 
  • Loosey Goosey Stools
  • Acne (At 34? What the bonk?)
  • Foul Smelling Odor (That natural deodorant ain’t workin for you girl)
  • Inflammation
  • Hot headed, easily annoyed and irritated about the smallest shit (aka channeling your table flipping Theresa Guidice)
  • Argumentative, loud, domineering: won’t listen to others and speaks without thinking how it will affect others. 
  • Overly craves coffee, garlic, onions or spicy foods.

KAPHA IMBALANCED AF : PHYSICAL STRESS

  • Excess mucus and phlegm. (Girl that smokers soundin; cough ain’t sexy)
  • Easily put on weight just lookin’ at a TB Mexican Pizza
  • Water retention- the bloat game is real my friend.
  • Waking up earlier than 9AM is too early? Sluggish and tired in the morning even after 8 hours of sleep.
  • Frequent colds, coughs and congestion
  • Feelings of loneliness, sadness or depression.
  • Feel lethargic and lack of motivation to move, get out and try new things.
  • Possessive, holds on to grudges and is always thinking about the past.

Tally up the scores to see what kind of dosha imbalances your mind and body are experiencing. That’s what we need to balance out.

I KNOW I’M IMBALANCED AF… NOW WHAT?

First off the goal is not to NEVER get imbalanced.

That is unless you want to live in some Ashram alone on some mountain top away from your family, civilization and kids. And even then you’ll find something to obsess about.

This is about owning we are going to get imbalanced and experience stress in the noisy, uncertain world we live in and making it our priority to be mindful enough everyday to notice when things are starting to feel “off”.

The problem is we haven’t taken the red flags our mind and body have been sending us for so long that we think that our out imbalanced state is our natural state.

LIKE FOR EXAMPLE: 

Pizza gives me acid reflux so I need to drink soda with it. Umm nope chugging soda with spicy food or poppin’ a Tums isn’t the solution) You have too much fire (agni) burning in your system and a pitta issue that needs to be dealt with. 

Flying just makes me constipating. Well that’s cause we have a Vata imbalance on our hands. Drinking those green juices and eating salads because that’s the healthy choice is only gonna make your constipation worse. Take your Triphala babe.

Ever since I became a mom I ’m just a Netflix and chill night owl, who has to snooze 5 times before I  can get out of bed. Hmmm don’t blame that on motherhood, let’s check for Kapha imbalances shall we..

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT STRESS YOU EXPERIENCING, IT’S TIME TO PRACTICE  YOGIC AND AYURVEDIC TOOLS….

your next steps…

IF YOU ARE #VATAIMBALANCEDAF >> GET YOUR TOOLS HERE

IF YOU ARE #PITTAIMBALANCEDAF >> GET YOUR TOOLS HERE

IF YOU ARE #KAPHAIMBALANCEDAF >> GET YOUR TOOLS HERE

****Also stay tuned to my Time-In Talks Podcast launching this Fall on September 20th which will have tons of Modern Ayurveda tips to help you build practices into your life.  

now i want to hear from you…

Leave a comment below or on my Insta post and let me know if your Prakruti is a #VataMama #PittaMama or #KaphaMama…

And then let me know what your Vikruti is: are you #VataImbalancedAF #PittaImbalancedAF or #KaphaImbalancedAF

Bonus points—- take the quiz and try to figure out what your partners Prakruti and Vikruti is. 

You maybe wondering, I wanna know what my kids dosha type is.  Don’t worry I’ll do a whole separate blog on that next week. So stay tuned.

In mindfulness + motherhood,

Tejal

P.S.- if you know any yogi or spiritual mamas who would jive with this, please forward this article to them.

Thank you soo soo much.

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6 people have commented
  1. I couldn’t figure out if I was Vata or Kapha! I felt like I had mixture of both…any suggestions? Also, what would be a good intro book to Aryuveda that I can get my feet wet with?!

    • Good Books would be Healthy Happy Sexy and Idiots Guide to Ayurveda.

      Do you mean your Dosha constitution or your current imbalance?

      We have all three doshas within our constitution in varying amounts. Sometimes people can be duel dosha and equally be both!

  2. Hi Tejal, this short summary to explain the dosha prakruti and figuring out one’s vikruti was very good. Thank you for doing this post. I have been following Sahara Rose for a while and have been reading her book “Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda” for a while now (still havent finished it yet) but hopefully soon and have been trying to adapt more of the Ayurvedic lifestyle. I am also always cold as well and am a Vatta Prakruti but I find my imbalance is a combination of Vatta and Pitta. Thank you for doing this post, it was very relatable and easy to understand for someone who is beginning the Ayurvedic journey. I look forward to more posts on this topic 🙂

    • So glad it served you Lesley! I know it can be SOO confusing in the beginning. It was for me too. Trying to make it the least complex as possible. So def stay tuned I have some new things coming out =)

      I also find the Vikruti for all of us can be any of them depending on the time of year or what we are going through. So I like to think of it as what is my imbalance at any moment and even though have a tendency towards one or two, they really could be any of the three and we should know the right tools to get all of them in balance

    • Depending on where you live if the summer is hot than pitta is easy to get out of balance because that is the seasons we are in. And if you have a Kapha constitution than Kapha is more prone to getting off balance.

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