Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic health system, it is the sister science of Yoga based on the mind-body connection. It is a complete way of life that guides you on how to achieve optimal health through lifestyle, nutrition, herbs, self-care, yoga, spiritual healing and more. The word Ayurveda in Sanskrit translates to the ‘science of life’, where ‘ayur’ means life and ‘veda’ stands for science, knowledge or wisdom, as in order to achieve true health, one must know and apply the appropriate knowledge to do so.
Providing timeless wisdom and holistic health solutions, Ayurveda has been proving the test of time for over 5,000 years. Its focus on mental health and the mind-body connection is the missing piece of the puzzle in confusing modern times where we are more overstimulated, overworked and over-exhausted than we have ever been. With not nearly enough mental health awareness or education on how to truly look after our minds and emotional landscape, Ayurveda encourages you to take action in simple yet transformational ways to connect to yourself and understand your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health as a whole.
To know how Ayurveda can support your mental health starts with understanding your unique mind-body type! According to Ayurveda, we are born with a unique ratio of the three doshas or mind-body energy types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We are mainly dominated by one or two of the doshas. Each governs unique biophysical characteristics and mental qualities, that are always adapting and changing in relation to our lifestyles, stress, environments, experiences and nutritional choices.
By understanding all three doshas and their mind types, we can recognise which dosha is out of balance and needs gently restoring back into equilibrium, all by using personalised approach. The safest and most reliable way to discover your dosha is to work with an Ayurvedic professional.
Vata dosha is compromised of the elements ether and air and governs qualities that are light, cold, dry, rough, irregular and moving. Vata types have very active minds that can be restless but are creative with imaginative ideas. When in balance they are easily excited, friendly, enthusiastic, joyful, flexible, embrace change, open-minded and tolerant towards others.
When vata dosha in the mind is out of balance you will experience mental imbalances such as anxiety, mood swings, fearfulness, panic, nervousness, tiredness, fatigue, over-worrying, over-thinking about the future, insomnia, fear, lack of focus, impatient, restless, ADD/ADHD. Vata types are prone to feeling ‘wired’, stressed and often don’t stop until they burn themselves out, usually feeling tiered or crash in the late afternoon from 3 pm-5 pm.
Vata dosha needs lifestyle, nutritional and a holistic balancing regime that grounds its irregular and always moving energy. Qualities within everything from food to self-care to exercise should be warming, grounding, balancing, soothing and nourishing for the mind and body.
Mental health tips for Vata types:
- Create a regular daily routine and schedule with consistent meal times.
- Practice a daily morning routine and bedtime routine or dinacharya.
- Practice abhyanga pada ritual every night before bed: massaging the soles of the feet with warm sesame oil to restore the nervous system and nourish the body.
- Take time to calm the mind with a daily meditation practice. Guided visualisation meditations are great for vatas imagination.
- Journal for 10 minutes every day to take back the power over your mind which tends to be in the future and anchor it into calm in the present moment. Free owing journaling, storytelling or poetry work well for the vata doshas creative and expressive mind.
Pitta dosha is compromised of the elements water and re and govern qualities that are hot, sharp, dry, light, oily, pungent and sour. Pitta mind types when in balance are ambitious, passionate, con dent, organised, courageous, intelligent, decisive, conversationalist, understand- ing, goal-orientated focused and precise.
A person with dominant pitta in their constitution will be more prone to pitta goverened mental imbalances such as stress, anger, rage, jealousy, ery tempered, short-tempered, irritable, quick to snap, OCD, controlling, judgemental, defensive, sarcastic, competitive, critical and the tendency to overwork.
The pitta dosha needs a lifestyle and nutritional regime to balance its hot and ery qualities with foods, rituals and daily practices that cool and calm the mind. To balance pitta, you need to make choices that are cooling and stabilizing.
Mental health tips for Pitta types:
- Schedule time to unwind, relax and have fun. Pittas tend to overwork and forget to prioritise their happiness and wellbeing.
- Practice an Ayurvedic daily morning and bedtime routine – dinacharya – that brings you balance and tranquility.
- Practice daily self-massage of the shoulders, neck, heart and temples with warm coconut oil to release tension and stress and restore the nervous system.
- Take time each day to go for a walk outside in the fresh air and in nature. Time near bodies of natural water such as lakes or ponds and in green spaces is very cooling for pitta.
- Spend 10 minutes journaling every day about your gratitudes, positive re ections and connecting to any emotions that need to be felt and released. Journal prompts work well for the pitta doshas logical and analytical mind.
Kapha dosha is compromised of the elements water and earth and governs qualities that are cold, heavy, dense, static and dull. Kapha’s mind types when in balance are grounded, calm, mindful and slow. They are loyal, reliable, patient and truthful. Kaphas are the most grounded and stable out of the dosas. They have a stable emotional temperament with the ability to remain calm and collected in most situations.
A person with dominant Kapha in their constitution will be more prone to Kapha mental imbalances such as greediness, attachment and laziness. Kapha types are prone to depression with attachment to the past and attachment to material possessions.
The key to balancing Kapha is stimulation and to favour qualities that are light, warm, dry and rough. Kapha needs stimulation and change to balance their stable and static nature.
Mental health tips for Kapha types:
- Schedule time in your life for adventure, trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone. Stimulation is key for balancing kaphas heavy earth energy.
- Practice an Ayurvedic daily morning routine. Avoid oversleeping the morning, excess sleep and napping in the day.
- Practice exercise that is vigorous and gets you sweating! Kapha needs movement and regular exercise activity to avoid feelings of lethargy and laziness.
- Practice meditations about letting go, leave the past behind and attachments so you can move forward in your life.
- Spend 10 minutes journaling every day about your gratitude and self-love; Kaphas often put others’ needs before their own so practicing more self-love is important for their healing. Journal prompts that provoke self-discovery and deep thinking work well for the Kapha doshas mind that needs stimulating.
About the author
Carina Talla, the founder of CiCis Ayurveda, is an Ayurvedic Health Coach and Energy Healer, who guides women to restore the balance of their mind, body and spirit through Ayurveda. Her approach to healing is holistic, empowering and heart-led, as she guides you through a journey of transformation to reclaim your power. Carina specialises in mental, emotional, and spiritual health and uses practical tools to guide you to heal naturally.