How can you tell if you are out of balance? In this article, I’ll share with you how you can tell if each Dosha is balanced or imbalanced so you can assess and treat yourself.
When In Balance
When your mind and body are in balance, you are able to make the decision about what will make both feel better, not just one or the other.
Your mind will say, “I feel pretty crappy right now, but last time I felt this way and polished off a tub of ice cream, I felt even worse afterwards. This time I’m just going to pack up my mat and head to yoga.”
You’ll be able to recall the heavy, bloating after-effects of ice cream on the body and the guilt it left in your mind. Instead you’ll choose to sacrifice your immediate happiness to sweat it out a bit and feel the yoga high.
Once you are in balance, you’ll be able to be your own judge. Your mind and body will tell you how much to eat, work, sleep, socialize, exercise and rest. When you have been treating your body right, you will intuitively know what works for you and what does not. You’ll know when you need soup instead of salad, or when you need a piece of chocolate and a cup of tea. The more in touch you are with your body’s needs, the better you will be able to nourish it.
I want you to think of a pendulum swinging. On one side, you have balance and on the other, you have imbalance. A body in balance will further crave the foods that keep it in balance, while a body out of balance will further crave the foods that will knock it off balance.
The closer your body is towards balance, the more it will push to keep the momentum going. The more your body is imbalanced, the more it will try to continue with the unhealthy habits. If you are in the middle, it’s easy to stray either direction.
There are three primary doshic states:
- Balanced: All three doshas are present in their natural proportion
- Aggravated: A particular dosha is in excess
- Decreased: A particular dosha is depleted
Have you ever noticed that after a day of eating too many sweets, you may naturally crave something green? That’s your body trying to get back into balance.
If you notice that you now feel physically ill eating the same junky foods that you used to eat all the time without any issues, then that’s a sign you are in balance; you are subconsciously rejecting the foods that will throw you off balance.
Have you ever noticed that after a few days of eating healthy, you start feeling really good and want to keep it up? This is because your body is shifting towards the balanced side and is picking up momentum. You go body!
Have you ever had the feeling that after a weekend full of Friday drinks, Saturday night dinners and Sunday brunches, it’s basically impossible to go back to steamed veggies on a Monday? That’s because your body shifted into an imbalance and wants to continue indulging in these highly stimulating empty calories.
Have you ever opened up a chocolate bar and promised yourself you’ll only have one piece, but as soon as you take that first bite, you begin justifying to yourself that you deserve the entire thing? Then, within minutes it’s gone?
At that moment, your body was imbalanced. You may have under-slept, been undernourished, or been feeling overstressed. Instead of beating yourself up about it, notice when that happens. Is it after a tough day at work? Is it when loneliness, anxiety or depression comes up? Is it in the afternoon when your blood sugar level drops? Is it after a certain meal. For me, it’s onions; I’ve just got to get rid of that taste in my mouth!
By taking notice when we crave unhealthy foods, we will be supplied with the knowledge to help address the imbalance from the root cause. Now I know to brush my teeth after I eat onions, so I don’t polish off a Toblerone. Lesson learned.
Each dosha has particular symptoms when imbalanced.
Signs of Vata in balance: Excitable, creative, imaginative, spontaneous, adaptable
Signs of Vata Imbalance: Bloating, gas, constipation, chills, insomnia, weakness, anemia, malabsorption, PMS, missed/irregular periods, anxiety, lost appetite, nervousness, fatigue
Signs of Pitta in balance: Strong, intellectual, powerful, confident, strong digestion
Signs of Pitta imbalance: Heartburn, aversion to heat, hyperacidity, red flushed face, acne, anger, irritability, impatience, bossiness, competitiveness
Signs of Kapha in balance: Affectionate, sweet, calm, settled, strong endurance
Signs of Kapha Imbalance: asthma, allergies, depression, materialism, possession, jealousy, weight gain, procrastination, fluid retention.
Which type of imbalance relates to you?
Learn how to rebalance your Doshas with nutrition, lifestyle, herbs and self-care in my #1 best-selling book, Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda!
In the next article, I will share the causes of each Dosha’s imbalance!