Best-selling author Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf M.D. has been an Ayurvedic practitioner for more than 30 years and is recognized as one of the nation’s most prominent Ayurvedic doctors. She teaches Maharishi AyurVeda® in affiliation with the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine. A frequent speaker on national media, she continues her private practice in integrative medicine and Ayurveda, including Wellness Consultations in person or by phone.
Have you been searching for easy, at-home tips for optimum health of mind and body? Well, look no further. Maharishi AyurVeda is a natural system of holistic wellness from the ancient Vedic Tradition of knowledge that gave birth to both the Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) technique and Yoga.
Maharishi AyurVeda recognizes that our imbalances often arise from a deep level. According to Ayurveda, there are three Supersystems or Doshas, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, that govern the functioning of our physiology on every level. For an overview of these three Supersystems and their qualities, see my earlier article.
Find out how balanced your Supersystems are by taking the following quiz. Then you’ll know which tips to follow to balance your particular system. This could help to remove the underlying cause of whatever expressions of imbalance you may be experiencing. Read further about your Doshas at my website or in my book, The Ageless Woman.
How to Balance Your Supersystems
To start gaining more balance and wellness in your own life, all you need to do is make a few easy changes in your diet and routine. But first, you need to figure out which Supersystem (Dosha) may be out of balance in your life. Simply fill out the following short quiz to find out.
Taking this quiz and regularly following the tips for a few weeks to balance your Doshas can make a remarkable difference. Give it a try!
Check each description below that applies to you, and the interactive form will sum your score. View the balancing tips for any Supersystem or Dosha that scores 3 or above.
Are You an Airy or Vata Type?
3 Total — 3 or more means you're Vata
Show Hide TIPS for Vata Type
7 Tips for Balancing Vata, the Airy Type
TIP 1 How to balance your tendency to worry, which can accelerate aging: Practice yoga, deep breathing, and be regular in your practice of Transcendental Meditation® to reduce your stress level.
TIP 2 How to balance the dryness within your body, which can contribute to stiffness, memory issues, and poor elimination: Include healthy, organic fats in your daily diet (for vata balance, favor olive oil, sesame oil, and ghee, if your cholesterol is not too high), and favor warm, cooked foods rather than cold or raw foods.
TIP 3 How to soothe your dry skin, which can contribute to early wrinkling and a dull complexion: Give yourself an oil massage each day before your bath or shower. For more detailed instructions, see this page.
TIP 4 Routine: Keep a regular routine of sleeping and eating—this is very important for your type.
TIP 5 Spices: Favor fennel, cumin, ajwan, and fresh ginger root.
TIP 6 Work and Communication: Do one thing at a time, in a settled, quiet environment. Take an extra moment to organize your thoughts before you talk.
TIP 7 Travel: When traveling, give yourself an oil massage and take a warm bath before bed to balance the effects of travel. Favor hot drinks. Sleep in a silk “sleeping bag.” (Silk is particularly soft and soothing to always active vata, and is purported to protect your mind and nervous system from outside disturbance.)
Are You a Fiery or Pitta Type?
3 Total — 3 or more means you're Pitta
Show Hide TIPS for Pitta Type
7 Tips for Balancing Pitta, the Fiery Type
TIP 1 How to balance a tendency towards frustration, resentment, and anger, which can contribute to early aging of the skin and body: Exercise every day, preferably in a natural setting. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
TIP 2 How to nurture your skin, if it easily becomes inflamed, irritated, sunburned, or freckled: Protect yourself carefully from the sun and drink plenty of pure spring water daily.
TIP 3 How to balance inflammation and an acidic system, which can promote early aging: Every day, eat 6–8 servings of fresh organic vegetables and sweet juicy fruits. Strictly avoid smoking, alcohol, vinegar, sour condiments, excess caffeine, and hot, spicy, acidic, sugary, or fermented foods.
TIP 4 Routine: Eat your meals on time, especially lunch.
TIP 5 Spices and Foods: Favor fennel, coriander, cilantro, parsley, rosewater, coconut water, pears, zucchini, and cucumber.
TIP 6 Work and Communication: Make sure you have eaten a meal or snack before engaging in important or contentious conversations.
TIP 7 Lifestyle: Take time outdoors in nature and with family and friends to avoid overworking and reduce stress.
Are You an Earthy or Kapha Type?
3 Total — 3 or more means you're Kapha
Show Hide TIPS for Kapha Type
7 Tips for Balancing Kapha, the Earthy Type
TIP 1 How to balance a tendency to gain weight, which may lead to obesity and early aging: Exercise every day, no matter what, with a friend or a personal trainer. Give up sugar entirely.
TIP 2 How to reduce a tendency to puffiness in your face and eyes: Eat your heaviest meal at noontime, and a lighter, vegetarian evening meal, without cheese or yogurt, by 7:00 p.m. Drink boiled hot water frequently during the day.
TIP 3 How to balance a predisposition to feeling blue or to hanging on to the past, which may accelerate aging: Get involved with helping others, and don’t spend much time alone. Learn to “let go” and move on.
TIP 4 Routine: Be sure to get up early, ideally by 6:00 a.m., for more energy and lightness during the day.
TIP 5 Spices: Favor stimulating spices such as ginger, black pepper, mustard seed, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fresh Italian herbs.
TIP 6 Foods: Eat a lower carbohydrate diet, strictly avoiding the “whites”—white flour, rice, potatoes, and sugar.
TIP 7 Lifestyle and Communication: While you enjoy giving solace to others who need your comforting presence, be sure to stay physically active and spend time with friends who energize and uplift you, not only those who draw on your nurturing instincts.
Are you wondering what to do if you have the same score for two different Supersystems or Doshas? Good question! It’s fine to follow tips for more than one Supersystem at a time. Simply choose the tips for the concerns that you find more bothersome.
If you scored less than 3 under each of the mind-body types, you are enjoying a balanced state of your Doshas. Congratulations! But you would still benefit from any of the tips that apply to the points you checked. Following these tips will help prevent imbalance from arising.
If you have continuing health concerns, being evaluated by a physician trained in Maharishi AyurVeda can provide you with more detailed and personalized recommendations, as well as follow-up, to ensure you’re gaining maximum benefit.
More Tips Coming Soon
In my next article, look for tips to balance Kapha, our “structure and substance” supersystem that keeps our immunity and body strong. In the spring, Kapha can get imbalanced, leading to cough, colds, flu, or the lethargy that some call “spring fever.” I’ll be sharing some simple dietary adjustments that can help you stay healthy and feel great all season long.
See you again soon!
*If you have a health condition or take medication, please consult your physician before adopting any new dietary recommendations. Although unlikely, if any discomfort occurs, stop the above recommendations.
For more information on Dr. Lonsdorf’s practice, visit www.drlonsdorf.com. To schedule an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation by phone or teleconference, please contact Dr. Lonsdorf’s office at 641-469-3174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2017, Nancy K. Lonsdorf, M.D. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission of the author.