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I Am Different But Who Am I
nature has blessed us with a body with which we can accomplish many tasks. Though, the external and internal anatomy of all bodies is the same but there is something due to which each individual behaves differently to different things. It thus becomes important for us to understand our body types and know what is it that makes us different from the rest.
Discovering your body type is the most important step towards achieving better health because your constitution tells you how nature in-tends you to eat and live. Just think about it.... Are there some 'body types' that are more cancer prone? Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer. Why do thin people have high cholesterol? Why do some people who eat calorie-rich food remain thin and others who barely eat gain weight? It must be something that goes beyond calories, beyond fattening food. Ayurveda tells you that by nature a Vata woman will be thin and a Kapha woman will be 'big' if not heavy.

The three body types
Ayurveda has identified three body types or doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), which we are born with. We inherit our body types, which govern our behaviour.

Each of the doshas demonstrates a certain behavioral pattern that is unique to that body type.

Vata types are usually thin-framed but sometimes overweight. They are prone to worry and may suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep). They are usually restless and almost always anxious. All body aches and joint pains, excessive gas are attributed to this dosha. Vata types should get sufficient rest and they should avoid overwork as it gets them out of balance. Vata types, when in balance, are perhaps the most adjustable as they are imaginative, sensitive, spontaneous, resilient and happy. They will never miss a chance to flash a huge smile and greet people with joy.

Anyone with a radiant complexion, shining hair and bursting with energy has a good deal of Pitta. Pitta types are warm, loving and have a happy disposition when in balance. They have a good appetite, are in total command of any situation, very intelligent and with good powers of concentration. When pitta goes out of balance, they are typically short-tempered, impatient and demanding. They like to argue and have a strong opinion about every topic. When in balance they are confident, enterprising and joyous.

They are the 'coolest' people you can meet. They have a sturdy frame and tend to put on weight easily. They remain calm, collected and relaxed even under stressful situations and therefore enjoy sound health. They are sensitive to others' feelings, take a long time to make a decision and seek emotional comfort from eating. They enjoy high carbohydrate meals and love to oversleep. When out of balance they tend to become very complacent, dull and thick-headed. When in balance they are loving, forgiving, courageous and sympathetic.

As doshas rule our behaviour, it is very important to make our doshas happy. Things could go haywire if the right balance is not struck and problems such as depression and insomnia will grow into our prakriti.

Know your imbalances
It is important to know the reasons that cause an imbalance in your doshas so that you can avoid them and stay healthy. Vata gets imbalanced when there is constant stress and mental strain, inadequate sleep, when you skip your meal or when your diet includes a great deal of cold raw foods. All these factors increase Vata. Pitta imbalances are caused when you try to fight stress with anger and frustration. Hot, oily and spicy foods, sour fermented foods, stale foods also lead to Pitta imbalance. Kapha imbalances are caused by excess weight. Consuming too much sugar, salt, fried food makes you feel heavy, lethargic and increases Kapha dosha.

The right diet for your body type
It is important to eat according to what your body requires rather than what your taste buds demand. Vata types should have hot meals like warm milk, soup, rice and dal. Spicy food is more satisfying to the Votes 'taste buds. Ginger is beneficial to improve their digestion. They should avoid raw salad and cold food. Pitta type should eat cold food, juices and salads. Pitta being a hot dosha gets balanced with cold temperatures, natural surroundings, raw fruits and juices. They need to avoid hot, spicy and oily foods. Kapha types do well with pungent food. Kapha types usually have mucous-related problems and consuming pungent food helps reduce mucous. They should avoid dairy foods as those make their system more congested. Raw fruits and vegetables are good for Kapha types and above all they should avoid sweets.

What we have from birth cannot change. However, we can have a life of good health and happiness by controlling the doshas that have a big effect on us. If prevention is better than cure, then balancing your doshas could be the best prevention ever.
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Posted on : 2/12/2005
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