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Home / Articles / Columnists / Fitness by Larisa /  Ayurveda Yoga’s Sister Science
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Wednesday, September 5,2018

Ayurveda Yoga’s Sister Science

By Larisa Klein  

Ayurveda means “science of life” or “the knowledge of life.” This system has been used for 3-5,000 years to maintain health. It includes following a healthy, individualized diet, meditation, massage and Yoga. It places strong emphasis on good digestion, eating foods according to the six tastes rather than a food pyramid, and balancing the “doshas,” a concept akin to a genetic predisposition. It is believed that imbalances in the doshas can predict predispositions to diseases and allow for making mitigating lifestyle changes.

The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and their blend make up a person’s constitution. One tends to dominate and indicates physiological and psychological tendencies and disease susceptibility. A dosha can then be thought of as a genotype with particular metabolic pathways, inherited protein enzymes, immunological make up, etc; it is a snapshot of the chemical makeup of an individual. According to Ayurveda, for optimal health the dosha/genotype should be determined at birth and maintained in the same state throughout the lifetime.

Generally speaking, Vata individuals are tall, lean, alert, creative, and active. They like to move and travel, and are aggravated by worry, cold, dry, and windy weather. Imbalances lead to inconsistent sleep and eating, weight loss, mood swings, dry skin and anxiety. Vatta is balanced by eating regularly and specifically warm, heavy, oily, sweet, sour and salty foods. Bitter, pungent or astringent tastes aggravate Vata. Vata is predominant below the navel and responsible for input/output processes which involve movement such as cell division, excretion of waste, etc. Vatas lean towards nerve disorders of movement or speech, dementia and neurological disorders.

Pitta individuals have a medium built, reddish or thin hair, and light eyes. They need to eat regularly, don’t like hot weather, are intelligent, assertive, well organized and demanding. Pitta is balanced by cool, sweet, bitter and astringent foods and aggravated by hot, sour, salty or pungent foods. Imbalances manifest as skin rashes, sweating. Pittas age the fastest due to emotional explosions, excessive high metabolic rates and faster tissue destruction. This dosha is related to turnover and transformation; it is fast. It is predominant between the neck and the navel and responsible for processes related to heat such as digestion, metabolism and homeostasis. Pittas tend to suffer from bleeding disorders, ulcers and skin conditions.

Kapha individuals are big boned with thick hair and big eyes. They are slow, calm, sleep well, are intelligent, and dependable; they age the slowest. Kapha is related to storage and stabilizing. It is predominant above the neck and responsible for growth, storage, and stability such as adipose deposits and bone structures; it is slow. Kapha is balanced by pungent, bitter and astringent foods and aggravated by sweet, sour or salty foods. When imbalanced, Kaphas gain weight easily, get sinus congestion, head colds, and depression. during winter or when eating too Imbalances happen more frequently towards conditions such as heart dis- many cold foods. Kaphas lean ease, hypertension and diabetes.

Generally Ayurveda emphasizes moderation in all things, eating fresh but cooked foods (easier to digest) which are not extreme in flavor, and The six tastes of food are sweet, sour, takes the environment into account. salty, bitter, and pungent (garlic, ginger, etc.) Sour, salty and pungent sweet, bitter and astringent foods are foods are considered heating, while six hours after previous meal. Meals cooling. Food should be eaten four to should be light, and sweet food should be eaten at the beginning of the meal. Ayurveda can be used to determine the constitution of a person, which diseases the body may lean towards, and propose changes to lessen risks. These assessments can be tricky and >> require a long interview, as Eastern traditions base their healing techniques heavily on the individual, subtle symptoms, and understanding complicated, intertwining relationships between the organs, blood, water, energy, etc. Furthermore, changes are often hard to make and take time. These healing methods are often discarded due to this slow but deeply rooted way to maintain or return to well-being.

However, our bodies don’t know or care about our lack of time; things take as long as they take. True healing takes a pointing in the right direction and commitment of time, energy and discipline.

Larisa Klein • Wellness Achieved Studios • 3000 E Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33308 • • 954-600-9828 Larisa has been training in Yoga, Pilates, and functional weight training for 20 years since. 1997. She has extensive experience working with cancer survivors, people with various physical special conditions (joint/spinal injuries/operations/replacements/MS/etc.), internal special conditions (schizophrenia, drug/alcohol addictions) as well as triatheletes and Olympians. She is a black belt with full competition experience, a current practitioner of Kung Fu, and has an MA in Mathematics and a second BS in Alternative Medicine.


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