Sunday, 29 April 2012

Dosha Taste and Texture Properties

| Discovering Myself in My Dosha |

Interestingly, the Ayurveda energies are affected by many different elements and properties- from sights, smells and sounds, to tastes and feelings. Each dosha responds in its own unique way to different senses.

Knowing what properties persist in your dosha will become important in knowing what foods, skin products and different environments should be avoided in order to refrain from perpetuating your current imbalance. It will also become extremely important in learning the different sights, smells, sounds tastes and feelings that are opposite of your dosha, because these are the properties that you will want to gravitate towards in order to balance your inner energy. In Ayurveda, the phrase “like increases like” is used quite frequently as a balancing principle for anything you may encounter in your day-to-day life. For instance, an “inflamed” pitta (experiencing rosacea, anger spurts and hot flashes), will want to avoid all the properties of things that resemble pitta (spicy foods, heated arguments, exercising in the sun). Because I seem to have an extreme kapha imbalance and slight pitta imbalance, here are the tastes and textures I need to be aware of:

Because kapha (oily skin) is made of:
-Sweet, salty and sour tastes
-Heavy, cold, oily, slow, dense and static textures and feelings

Kapha (oily skin) needs:
-Pungent, bitter, astringent tastes
-Hot, light, dry textures and feelings

Because pitta (sensitive skin) is made of:
-Acidic, spicy and pungent tastes
-Hot, light, sharp, acidic, fluid and slightly oily textures and feelings

Pitta (sensitive skin) needs:
-Bitter, sweet, astringent tastes
-Cold and heavy textures and feelings

And for you dry-skinned people:

Because vata (dry skin) is made of:
-Crisp and astringent tastes
-Dry, cold, light, rough, dispersing, quick and astringent textures and feelings

Vata (dry skin) needs:
-Oily and salty tastes
-Hot, heavy, lubricating, dense and stable textures and feelings

Whichever dosha I am experiencing the most imbalances with, I will need to focus on increasing those tastes, textures and feelings that are opposite of the dosha’s makeup and which will restore balance. Because kapha and pitta need opposite properties sometimes, I will just need to focus on balancing one of the doshas, in this case, kapha, since it is more prevalent in my body.

Keys to Determining My Imbalance

| Discovering Myself in My Dosha |

Face Location

If my skin problems persist on my…
Nose and cheeks: pitta imbalance
Mouth, chin and neck: kapha imbalance

Emotional and Physical Links

If I see symptoms of…
Crow’s feet à weak eyesight, weak liver
Purple discoloration under eyes à poor blood circulation
Red nose tip à overworked heart
Deep vertical line in chin à grief, frustration, high sex drive

Growth, Illness and Drug Usage

How drugs that I use affect my symptoms…
Aspirin results in reduced blood volumes à aggravates vata
Coffee and alcohol expand blood vessels, causing acne, a red nose and swollen capillaries à aggravates pitta

* Please reference Absolute Beauty by Dr. Raichur to discover the physical keys to your skin imbalance. 

The Results of My Skin Imbalance Quiz

 | Discovering Myself in My Dosha |

My skin condition is described as: large, whitish, pussy eruptions; sometimes with itching and scarring.
·      Kapha quality

The problem appears primarily on my: T-zone and/or cheeks/mouth, chin and neck area.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities

My skin imbalance falls into the: Kapha-pitta category

My problem tends to recur or get worse when: my period is due.
·      Kapha quality

My problem is affected when the weather is: hot/ cold and damp.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities

My problem tends to recur or get worse under stress, especially when I feel: anxious, worried and fearful/frustrated/sad, depressed and overly attached
·      Vata, pitta and kapha qualities

I tend to eat or drink a lot of: caffeine/juice, sweets, fatty or fried foods, dairy and cheese.
·      Vata and kapha qualities

My behaviors are aggravating: kapha

My problem appeared or worsened at the time of: puberty.

I use drugs and/or stimulants, including: antibiotics, aspirin, alcohol, coffee, decongestants.

My dosha group is: (2) problem due to an imbalance of two doshas

This quiz helps narrow down some of the cause and effect factors in any imbalance you may be experiencing. It further solidifies what dosha your body may contain the most of, presuming an imbalance of it, however, sometimes a person can be predominately one dosha, say vata, but may be experiencing symptoms of a, say, pitta imbalance from overconsumption of spicy foods or emotional tendencies to act out in anger and frustration. Thus, that person would want to consider the next steps to take in pacifying the excess pitta. Your plan of action for healing will depend on what your body is telling you. Listen to it.

* Please reference Absolute Beauty by Dr. Raichur to discover your skin imbalance. 

The Results of My Dosha Skin Type Quiz

| Discovering Myself in My Dosha |

This quiz was created by: Dr. Pratima Raichur

·      The symbol  “/”  denotes a separation in between kapha, pitta and vata qualities

·      Questions can be answered with more than one dosha quality

My skin feels: oily, moist, thick and cold.
·      Kapha quality
The pores on my face appear: large and open.
·      Kapha quality
My skin tone is best described as: reddish/yellowish.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My complexion is marked by: broken capillaries/ blackheads, and excessive oiliness.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My skin appears discolored in spots, such as: reddish pigmentation all over/white or brown pigmentation
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My skin is generally healthy, but prone to: inflammation, rashes and sunburn/acne and pimples on mouth, chin and neck area.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My face is: large, round or square with soft contours.
·      Kapha quality
My eyes are: wide, big, blue, with thick lashes and brows.
·      Kapha quality
My lips are: thick, large, even, firm.
·      Kapha quality
My nose is: average and prone to broken capillaries/thick, large, even and firm.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My hair is: moderate, fine, soft and reddish/thick, oily, abundant, dark or light.
·      Pitta and kapha qualities
My fingernails are: thick, oily, smooth, white, strong.
·      Kapha quality
My perspiration is: moderate and cold with sweet smell.
·      Kapha quality
My physical build is: large, well-developed, firm, prone to overweight.
·      Kapha quality
In physical activity, I tend to be: lethargic or slow to start, but strong, with good endurance when I do.
·      Kapha quality
In mental activity, I tend to be: restless, very creative/ambitious, motivated, purposeful, strong-minded, intelligent, disciplined/insightful, slow to grasp, but with good long-term recall.
·      Vata, pitta and kapha qualities
My normal temperament is: changeable, anxious, insecure/quick in passion and attachment, irritable, jealous/calm, romantic, sad, overly attached.
·      Vata, pitta and kapha qualities.
Under stress, I am prone to: fear and worry, hysteria/frustration, jealousy/depression, unresponsiveness, possessiveness.
·      Vata, pitta and kapha qualities
I am particularly sensitive to: cold and damp.
·      Kapha quality
I sometimes suffer from: menstrual cramps, constipation, lower back pain, intestinal gas/sinus congestion, colds, drowsiness, weight gain.
·      Vata and kapha qualities
I currently have one or more of the following skin problems: wrinkles on forehead when anxious/burning of face, eyes or feet/whiteheads, premature lines under eyes, excessive oiliness, cystic acne, deep scars, weight gain, loss of skin tone.
·      Vata, pitta and kapha qualities

As you can see from my answers, I am overwhelmingly a kapha-saturated individual (I will explain more in-depthly what the kapha dosha encompasses in subsequent posts). However, my results also reveal some pitta imbalance in my physical body and a heavy vata influence in my mind and brain activity.
In summary, here is what my quiz results reveal (after tallying the frequency each dosha score appears):

My leading dosha: kapha

My dosha imbalance: kapha-pitta

My normal skin type: oily

My skin condition: imbalanced

Some of your “results” may express physical traits of yourself that you are already familiar with, such as having dry, sensitive or oily skin. However, the quiz allows you to look more closely at your body’s natural processes and perhaps learn things about yourself that you have never paid attention to. One of the major reasons I looked to Ayurveda for skin care was because all my life I have battled what I have always known and experienced: oily, acne-prone skin. I have discovered that it’s not just oily, acne-prone skin that I have, but kapha-influenced skin, in which I need a kapha-pacifying skin regimen and diet to balance the excess that is already present. You will soon see what that looks like.

* Please click here to take the dosha quiz. . This quiz was developed by Dr. Pratima Raichur. Reference Absolute Beauty by Dr. Raichur for a more in-depth quiz and analysis.


"The journey to absolute beauty is a “pathless path” because perfection always lies in the present."

Welcome to my personal journey with Ayurveda, the ancient Indian tradition of holistic healing practices and science of life. As I am learning and integrating the principles of this age-old medicine into my daily life, I have noted my thoughts, experiences, struggles and accomplishments related to my endeavors. This is my story.

I owe most of my research and knowledge of the practice to Dr. Pratima Raichur, author of Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. It is through this book that I was initially exposed to the practice of Ayurveda and gathered the necessary materials to begin my own practice. I also rely on much of Dr. Raichur’s original research, as well as the research of other world-renowned Ayurveda practitioners, for my own personal study and refer to their developed materials for structure of my own program. As well, I rely on these materials to communicate background information related to each discovery I make about my own self in order for readers to learn how to discover their own selves. I link to or credit these practitioners’ work within or at the end of each post.

Furthermore, it should be understood that these posts are a reflection of my experience only, and not an overall expression of every person’s experience with Ayurveda, or the Ayurveda practice in general, as each of our bodies reacts differently to new or foreign foods and substances.

Finally, I want to add that the majority of my personal documentation applies to the kapha dosha, only one of the three major life energies that make up prana, since that is the dosha with the most influence in my body. I begin my journey with looking at Ayurvedic skin care and overall, introducing each dosha and its relationship to the human body. I slowly move towards a more all-encompassing approach to the practice by incorporating other lifestyle changes in my diet and spiritual life and record my experiences. You can find more information about the influences of the other two doshas in many of the links to Ayurveda sources that I provide in-text, as well in some other articles I have written on various websites. To begin familiarizing yourself with Ayurveda as a medicinal practice, here are a few informative websites and articles: 

I would also HIGHLY recommend following Dr. Raichur’s diet and skincare regimens in Absolute Beauty, if you want to begin your own Ayurveda journey or if you just want to learn more about the practice. I hope that recording my journey with Ayurveda will be a useful tool for anyone interested in pursuing the practice or in seeing simply how it can be integrated into daily life. My goal in this blog is to be positive and encouraging, but also honest in both my struggles and successes. My goal is also to learn more about myself in relation to my dosha as I record my experiences and informational findings. You can follow along in my journey by accessing the links to general information and develop your own Ayurveda skincare and diet journey. Thanks for joining me!