Editor’s Note: Andrew Weil, M.D. is a world-renowned leader, best-selling author, and...
Question: I have taken the Chopra Center's Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz, and my scores tell me that I have a Pitta body and a Vata mind. Which lifestyle and diet do I need to follow in order to stay in balance?
Answer: It’s important to keep in mind that each of us has the elements of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in our mind-body system, for all three doshas are necessary to maintain life. Since it is common for one dosha to predominate in the body, while another predominates in the mind, it is useful to consider how the information we take in through the five senses affects the body and mind.
According to Ayurveda, the body is DNA woven with food, and therefore, the most direct way to affect the body is through what we take in through our mouth. Since your body is predominantly Pitta, you will want to focus on Pitta-balancing foods, spices, and teas.
Of course, whatever we ingest also affects the mind. In Ayurveda ingested food is divided into three categories: The most gross level becomes the products of elimination. The middle level of food nourishes the body. The most subtle level nourishes the mind.
For most people, the mind is most strongly influenced by sound and sensations. Therefore we recommend that you engage in regular meditation to calm your Vata mind, and immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of music and nature to soothe your inner physiology. Give yourself a daily self-massage using Vata-pacifying oils such as sesame or almond (preferably before bed), and employ Vata-pacifying aromas such as lavender, vanilla, and sandalwood. Following the above steps will help bring peace to the mental agitation to which the Vata mind is prone.
To learn more about Ayurveda and immerse yourself in mind-body wellness, join us at the Chopra Center for the Perfect Health program, a 6-day or 10-day experience that will help you restore your balance and vitality as you learn meditation, yoga, and other Ayurvedic practices that will allow you to live a Chopra Centered Lifestyle at home. Learn more about Perfect Health here.