The Simple Things


Which element is ruling your life? The dosha that dominates in your mind-body gives rise to your prakruti, or body type

- * Try Pukka’s quiz to discover your dosha at thesimplet­hings. com/ blog/dosha

VATA Ether and air

Characteri­stics: Slim, light bones, prominent joints and tendons. Rarely gains weight. Skin dry and easily affected by weather. Hands are cold with little perspirati­on. Nails are brittle, appetite irregular. Walks quickly, always in a hurry.

Emotions: Enthusiast­ic, outgoing and talkative, with changeable moods. Creative. Quickly bored with routine. Easily stressed. Dreams often but can’t remember them on waking.

When vata is unbalanced: Can cause constipati­on, bloating and wind, aching joints, dry skin and hair, brittle nails, headaches, sharp pains, eczema or dry rashes, nervous disorders, failing memory, confusion.

Diet: Soothe vata with warm comfort food – pasta, porridge, fruit puddings. Natural sweetness and oiliness (sweet fruit, butter, oil, maple syrup) is good for vata. Avoid cold, dry or frozen foods and leftovers. Raw food and juices are a no-no for vata, too.

Exercise: Vatas enjoy high- energy activities – running, spinning, fastpaced classes. To soothe vata, slow the pace – hill-walking, yoga, Pilates or tai chi are ideal.

Lifestyle: Regularity is key. Slow down, practise meditation. Vata is easily chilled so keep warm (in all senses) – a safe, caring environmen­t, steams and saunas. Hygge is made for vata. Avoid late nights.

PITTA Fire and water

Characteri­stics: Average build and bone structure. Can easily gain and lose weight. Skin soft and reddish or freckled. Hands often perspire; nails are flexible but strong. Appetite is good. Loves high-protein foods. Pitta walks purposeful­ly.

Emotions: Strong-minded, thrives on challenges, natural leader with a keen intellect. Efficient and perfection­ist, likes well planned routines. Becomes irritable under stress. Dreams vividly, often in colour – remembers dreams.

When pitta is unbalanced: Can cause rashes and allergies, inflammati­on, heartburn, ulcers, acidity, feverish complaints, sore throats, intense feelings of frustratio­n or jealousy.

Diet: Pitta usually loves hot spicy foods, meat and alcohol but watch excess of these foods. Cutting back on greasy foods, caffeine, salt, red meat, alcohol and spiced foods soothes pitta. Cooling foods – fresh fruit and veg, milk, wholegrain­s and bitter greens will help balance.

Exercise: Pitta adores competitiv­e sport. Water sports calm and soothe while winter sports in the snow and ice also help cool the pitta fire.

Lifestyle: Keeping cool (in all ways) is key to balancing pitta. Avoiding heat, eg, the sun, steams and saunas will help, as will steering clear of conflicts. A cool shower or bath is ideal. Doing nothing is highly therapeuti­c for pitta.

KAPHA Earth and water

Characteri­stics: Large-boned, heavy build with broad shoulders and hips. Finds it hard to lose weight. Skin can be oily but is cool. Nails thick and strong, hair oily. Loves fatty, starchy foods. Walks slowly and steadily.

Emotions: Easy- going, reliable, calm. Thrives on routine. A team player. Avoids stress at all costs. Remembers only very clear or significan­t dreams.

When kapha is unbalanced: Can become prone to excess weight, fluid retention, excess mucus, bronchitis, sinus problems, asthma, congestion, frequent colds, depression.

Diet: Light, warm, dry foods suit – nothing stodgy or greasy. Avoid iced food and drinks, cut down on sugar, bread and dairy (gluten and dairy can aggravate). Some carbohydra­te is fine – light grains such as millet, barley, rye work well. Fresh vegetables are healing. Use herbs and spices liberally.

Exercise: Kapha types are happy to lounge but stamina makes them great at endurance sports and they need plenty of exercise. Try activities that stimulate both mind and body – Zumba, kickboxing, martial arts. Try to incorporat­e activity into every day.

Lifestyle: Kapha feels safe when things stays the same, so shake things up a little. Vary the route to work or try a new evening class. Letting go is key. Kapha clings onto things – be it people, emotions, physical weight.

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