V-P-K Imbalances

Posted by Lala Naidu on

According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe is made up of a unique ratio of the 5 elements, in the human mind-body organism the elements show up as vata, pitta, and kapha. The aim is to live in alignment with one’s constitutional make-up, from-where the elements’ positive qualities shine forth. When vata, pitta, kapha either increase or decrease imbalance follows, and can cause disease.

Vata Qualities ~

Vata embodies the energy of movement and is therefore often associated with wind (and the air element). Vata is linked to creativity and flexibility; it governs all movement—the flow of the breath, the pulsation of the heart, all muscle contractions, tissue movements, cellular mobility—and communication throughout the mind and the nervous system.

Petite woman

Signs and Symptoms of Vata Imbalance:

  • nervousness, anxiety, panic, fear
  • low body weight
  • twitches, tics, tremors, spasms
  • dislike of cold and wind
  • dry or chapped skin
  • light interrupted sleep
  • constipation, gas, bloating, dry, hard stools
  • spacey, scattered feeling
  • difficulty tolerating loud noises
  • excess thinking or worrying

To decrease vata, Ayurveda offers specific lifestyle and dietary shifts, these are some of the underlying themes:

  • Routine
  • Warmth
  • Serenity
  • Nourishment

Pitta Qualities ~

Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. But in living organisms, pitta is largely liquid, which is why water is its secondary element. Pitta is neither mobile nor stable but spreads—much as the warmth of a fire permeates its surroundings, or as water flows in the direction dictated by the terrain. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding.

Athletic male

Signs and Symptoms of Pitta Imbalance:

  • red, inflamed rash, acne, cold sores
  • loose stools
  • acute inflammation in body or joints
  • nausea or discomfort upon missing meals
  • acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
  • frustration, anger, irritability
  • judgment, impatience, criticism, intolerance
  • uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
  • red, inflamed or light-sensitive eyes
  • excessive perfectionist tendencies

To decrease pitta, Ayurveda offers specific lifestyle and dietary shifts, these are some of the underlying themes:

  • Cooling
  • Surrendering
  • Moderation

Kapha Qualities ~

Kapha lends structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things, and is therefore associated primarily with the earth and water elements. Kapha also embodies the watery energies of love and compassion. This dosha hydrates all cells and systems, lubricates the joints, moisturizes the skin, maintains immunity, and protects the tissues.

Larger woman

Signs and Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance:

  • excess mucus
  • difficulty rising in the morning
  • thick, white tongue coat
  • feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic or heavy
  • slow, sticky, sluggish bowel movements
  • easily attached or possessive
  • high body weight
  • overly sentimental
  • complacent or stubborn
  • tendency for “emotional overeating”

To reduce or pacify kapha, Ayurveda offers specific lifestyle and dietary shifts, these are some of the underlying themes:

  • Stimulation
  • Exercise
  • Lightening
  • Warming
  • Drying
Ayurveda Kapha pacifying Pitta pacifying Self-care Vata pacifying

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