monica's blog

Ayurvedic Approach to Mamsa (Muscles)

by Susan O Connor, ERYT, Ayurveda Wellness Practitioner
Founder of Haven Yoga
Teacher: Yoga Therapy (San Diego College of Ayurveda)

Mamsa dhatu like all things in nature is influenced by the mahabhuts. When muscle tissue is balanced the three elements of earth, fire and water are present. When mamsa is aggravated due to vitiation of the doshas it will reflect the qualities of the dosha causing the aggravation.

Vata in mamsa provides nutrients to the muscles through prana and contraction and relaxation of the muscles and of the heart through vyana. Udana provides expression through the facial muscles and samana vata allows the stomach muscles to contract for digestion.

When vata vitiation takes place in mamsa, pain in the joints along with tremor and dry skin will be present due to vata’s qualities of cold, dry, light and rough.

Pitta, with its qualities of hot, sharp, light and oily will vitiate with diseases like, fibromyalgia, abcess and burning of the skin.

Pachak pitta is considered responsible for the formation of the dhatus through digestion and bhrajak for the skin color while sadhak pitta governs the emotions in relation to storing emotions in mamsa. Vitiation of Pitta in these areas will present according to the dosha qualities of pitta.

Kapha vitiation because of its heavy, soft, slow, cold and oily properties will present with diseases such as fibroids and muscle hypertrophy.

Basic protocols to address the dosha imbalance of mamsa would require balancing the vitiated dosha along with appropriate cleansing, diet and lifestyle recommendations and herbs for the specific vitiation.

Vata would require more earth element once toxicity is removed through cleansing and a stoking of jatharagni and masagni through herbs like raw ginger and sweet, sour and salty tasting foods.

Pitta vitiation would require balancing the fire element with cooling foods and herbs like trikatu, and drying herbs like turmeric.

Kapha vitiation balancing would require, Pungent, bitter and astringent food to increase the agni. Herbs like trikutu, kutaki and ginger.

Blog Entry Number 2 - Nicole Gleave (Kallari Teacher), AWP 500 Student

Emaciation, and Weight loss are a symptom of inbalanced mamsa dhatu, or muscle tissue. It is a case of mamsa kshaya wich is caused by excess vata moving into the digestive kala present in mamsa agni. When mamsa agni is effected by excess vata we will see emaciation, and weight loss because of the mobile and light qualities that are found in vata.

If vata is showing up in mamsa dahtu agni, you will surley want to look at the rakta, and rasa, and treat the rasa. What is this person eating? when are they eating? Have they been exposed to a terrible virus where the digestive fire has become so strong to try to burn out the virus that it just burns all the food leaving no sara for development of dhatus.

In such a case it seems important to do some kind of a cleanse. "to wipe the slate clean" Something like panchakarma, or liver cleansing, and ama detoxifying herbs like, trikitu, amalaki, triphhala, compfrey, followed by shatavari, or ashwaganda for building tissue coupled with a kapha diet of heavy cooked warm foods with ghee!

Mamsa Dhatu - Muscle System in Ayurveda

Blog Entry by Rishi Forrester, and, Danae Delaney

Mamsa Dhatu refers to the 3rd tissue in the evolution of the dhatus in Ayurveda. This tissue governs muscles, tendons, skins, and various excretions of the body. Our focus is on the increase and decrease of the mamsa dhatu in relation to emaciation, weight loss, and weight gain. emaciation and weight loss can be closely tied to Mamsa dhatu because it is closely tied with Earth and Fire and its manifestation in the body.

With emaciation and weight loss there is a loss or decrease of Mamsa Dhatu. This is called Mamsa Kshaya and is characterized by thinness, exposed bones, sunken eyes, and wasted muscles. Weight loss in general is a less severe form of emaciation of Mamsa Kshaya. In order to increase Mamsa dhatu, consume heavier nuts, grains, and legumes along with sweet and salty tastes. In addition, creating a stable routine that contains grounding and muscle building practices are appropriate as well, but only if the vitality supports that. Care should be taken to make sure that the Jatharanagi and subsequent agnis are strong and not Manda causing poor formation of the preceding tissues (rasa and rakhta). warming spices that are not drying and reducing are appropriate along with sweet and building herbs such as Bala, Ashwagandha, and Licorice. Focusing on improving strength and density are ideal along with balanced grounding attitudes.

With weight gain, there can be an issue of excessive Mamsa Dhatus calld Mamsa Vruddhi. (Increase)

This will cause excessive and undue growth of the Mamsa Dhatu and reveal itself in fibrotic tissues, enlarged facial muscles, muscle flaccidity, and excessive muscle formation. Herbs that increase agni such as trikatu or any pepper/ginger combination are good as well as aerobic exercise to increase movement and reduce density. Focusing on improving flexibility and movement are key and includes cultivating flexible attitudes as well.

By Rishi Forrester
Ayurveda Wellness Practitioner Student

Entry Number 2- By Danae Daleney
Mamsa Dhatu: Increase, Decrease & Dushti

Mamsa Dhatu vitiation is caused by “the intake of heavy, gross food, food with deliquescent properties, and sleeping after meals.” (“Mamsa Dhatu,” Dr. K.S. Pingle)

The properties of Mamsa sara include: well-covered joints, a plump and beautiful appearance of the forehead, temples, cheeks, jaws and abdomen. The person is stable, heavy, and the forgives easily with much patience. If mamsa dhatu is increased, there will be weight gain, due to the extra thickness of the tissue and the increased amount of asthayi meda dhatu. The face will be round and plump, as will the joints on the body. Additionally, the skin will be thicker and the person will be less flexible. If mamsa dhatu is decreased, the skin will become thin, weight loss and even emaciation can occur. The cheeks and forehead, temples and eyes and even the abdomen will become sunken is due to the loss of mamsa dhatu.

The doshas can also travel into mamsa dhatu and create tissue changes to the quality of mamsa dhatu, called dushti. If Vata dosha travels into the mamsa in excess, there will be acute pain in the muscles, spasms, tremors, fatigue, and a wasting of the muscle with dry skin. If Pitta dosha travels into mamsa, boils or red skin will appear and there will be inflammation, fibromyalgia, fatigue, and tendonitis. Kapha in the mamsa dhatu will show as swelling, flaccidity, excess ear wax and nasal crust with possible uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, heavy and “sticky” muscles, inflexibility.

For increased mamsa dhatu, a basic protocol is a Kapha pacifying diet, including, light foods, Trikatu, Kutaki, Ginger, Yoga with movement that can increase the heart rate and warm the muscles, and aerobic exercise. Decreased mamsa dhatu can be helped by a Vata pacifying diet with the herbs: Bala, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, milk, wheat, meat, weigh lifting, and easy yoga, holding a few poses and relaxation. Kapha imbalance needs increase in agni and heat to the body to melt bodily tissues. Vata imbalance also needs warmth. Vata imbalance needs a nurturing warmth and heavy foods to encourage tissue growth.

Ayurveda and Macronutrients - Student Blog

Western Nutrition focuses mainly on macronutrients that provide calories or energy to the body. It is believed that the macronutrients are needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. Macro means large and so macronutrients are nutrients that are needed in large amounts. The three macronutrients include: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. According to Western Dietary guidelines, 45% to 65% of a person's calories should come from carbohydrates, 10% to 35% should come from protein, and 20% to 35% should come from fat. Western nutrition also is based on the idea that everyone should eat the same way.

Ayurveda nutrition is quite different fron Western nutrition. Ayurveda recognizes that everyone is different and unique. Just as humans have a unique gentetic makeup, Ayurveda recognizes that everyone is born with a unique individual birth constitution known as a Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha. When examining the doshas, it's important to make a distinction between a balanced versus an imbalanced state. Ayurveda classifies food according to the six tastes, not by carbohydrates, proteins or fats. Ayurveda also considers the potency of the six tastes, which is named virya and the post-digestive effect, which is named vipak. According to Ayurveda nutrition the six tastes each have a warmling or cooling effect on the body. The virya refers to the immediate heating or cooling effect that a particular food has on our physiology. Foods that are predominantly cooling include: sweet, bitter and astringent and pungent, salty and sour foods contain heating qualities or viryas.

Ayurveda also recognizes that tastes transform during the course of digestion and the effects of the final tastes are consistent with the six tastes. Food effects our mental and emotional state by using sweet tastes to calm the Vata mind and cool the Pitta mind. Sour tastes can sharpen the mind. Salty tastes can calm an anxious mind and easily excite a Pitta mind. When used in excess by Kapha types, it promotes greed. A bitter taste can be cooling and clearing of the mind. Pungent taste enlivens the Kapha mind and causes all doshas to become more extroverted. Astingent taste tames the over-confidence of Pitta types and over-complacenty of Kapha types.

According to Ayurveda health begins with proper digestion. The primary function of the digestive system is to bring essential nutriants into the body's internal environment. In the Western culture the importance of proper digestion is widely neglected. Symtoms such as indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and constipation are treated as normal occurances. According to Ayurvedic beliefs digestion refers to the individual's overall agni. After assessing a person's current doshic state, agni is the most important factor in determining dietary needs. It is a fact that everyone digests food differently. Ayurveda identifies improving agni by using spices.

Ayurveda teaches that proper digestion eventually leads to the production of ojas, which directly influences physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life.

Western culture states how food is required for life, energy and feeding the body, but it neglects to describe how food becomes your body.

Gretchen Pound
AWP Practitioner Program, Block 2

What is Nutrition? Student Blog Part 3

First let us look at the word nutrition. What does it mean? Nu-tri-tion- The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. - nourishment

American nutrition has a long history of over coming hardships from the effects of being such a new country, war, and natural disasters. When settlers first came to america they were faced with many challenges. Unless settling near port cities one would find them selves eating off the land and followed more of a seasonal diet. In more populated communities with a diverse amount of people you could find a diverse diet similar to the homelands from which they came.

After WW2 The american economy had tanked. Through the process of solving how to feed the troops abroad the processed foods industry was born. Finding that by processing foods, heating them to extremes and adding chemical derivatives the shelf life of a product was prolonged by a considerable amount, and can be sold for very little money.

There was also a campaign to popularize the consumption of meat and dairy in the late 40's. This created factory farming and therefor many jobs, which is why there is so much marketing, and support from the government to keep the people consuming mass amounts of meat and dairy. It is interesting that some of the largest government subsidiaries are corn, sugar, dairy, and beef. The FDA even ran campaign saying that high fructose corn syrup is a healthy source of sugar. High fructose has been proven to cause cancer, as well as over consumption of meat,and dairy products.

Growing up a meal just wasn't complete with out a serving of meat (protein + fat ), a generous portion of some kind of starch like potatoes or bread (carbohydrate) a small amount a vegetables (micronutrients), and of course there was always dessert.

It seems to me that American diet is heavily influenced by big business, marketing companies, and in turn government. There is an idea that a calorie is a calorie, and all foods effect all people the same. Ayurveda sees the intake of food as a means to create and sustain harmony and balance in the individual, as well as the collective. Not eating foods that are harmfully produced, that negatively effect the planet and our selves.

Ayurveda- life science, knowledge, intelligence. Ayurvedic philosophy looks at many things when recommending a diet for an individual. Acknowledging that we are all pranic beings vibrating within different frequencies. Ayurveda also acknowledges that plants and animals are also pranic beings vibrating at different frequencies. Depending on your prakruti, vikruti, digestive movements, amount of acidity in the body, clarity in thought process, emotional state of being, quality of relationships, and many many more factors are considered when recommending a diet. But it is not just a diet it is an act of healing and self love. Food is a manifestation of Gods love, our relationship with food is a reflection of our love for self and God. An Ayurvedic diet encourages eating local, organic whole foods, to avoid creating negative karma. Everything that you ingest has a vibration or karma be it negative or positive. You ingest all the karma that the food has absorbed. The main focus of Ayurvedic diet is to balance the rasa for your individual experience.

In all I would say that Ayurveda is a science that uses intelligence rooted deep in Love, to create healing meals for the individual. Ayurveda says that what nourishes and is good for me may actually put you out of balance. Ayurveda looks to treat the whole being as a unique phenomenon. Where as western nutrition says what is good for one is good for all. Just count your calories.

I realize that with change comes some amount of fear but there can also be great excitement. Changing our concepts, ideas,and relationship with the foods we eat can be a challenge. But you do not have to take it all on at once. It is your inherent nature to be drawn towards balance, and Ayurveda is here to show you the way.

By Nicole Gleave
AWP BLOCK 2 Student

Ayurveda and Western Nutrition - Student Blog part 2


Dietary management in western nutrition follows the US food guidelines, set forth by the FDA. Nutritionists help clients these guidelines to maintain healthy eating. The diet consists of various portions from different food groups. The good groups include “protein, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy. Modifications are made to the guideline as needed to help patients manage several diseases. For example, for patients with diabetes, modification may include changes in rations of carbohydrates to proteins, with an overall daily intake of decreased carbohydrates and increased proteins. Based on the western concepts of nutrition, calorie intake is seen as significant and as a culture facing diseases like obesity and other “food related” disorders (metabolic syndromes), lower calorie intake is usually recommended.

Read More

Importance of Protein - Ayurveda and Western Perspectives

Over the decades, Western Nutrition has become increasingly influenced by powerful agribusinesses. Meat, dairy, and grain lobbyists have become formidable forces that have shaped food guidelines and government policies.

Even more sinister perhaps, are drug companies that work hand-in-hand with meat, egg, and dairy farms. Together, these industries have done a phenomenal job of marketing the importance of their products in the diet of every American. Therefore, the Western diet places a heavy emphasis on protein, especially in the form of animal products—fish, dairy, eggs, and meat (marketed as the only complete sources of protein) as well as carbohydrates from breads and grains. Vegetables and fruits are given secondary importance. Furthermore, the Western diet is one that is “one-size-fits-all”. There is little to no attention paid to an individual’s unique physical characteristics, state of mind, age or gender.

Any variation of the Western diet that touts a novel approach to nutrition usually ends up in retrospect, as being labeled a crazy fad diet of yesteryear. Such diets push their own agendas, present skewed arguments and interpretations of science, and hawk their own dietary supplements, videos, and recipe books. At first, such diets are phenomenally successful. They create miraculous results for the small segment of society that can afford to buy into their philosophy and purchase their products. But this fame is short-lived as these diets’ serious scientific flaws are discovered--causing their failure, and rapid downfall. They quickly fade into obsolescence as they are deserted by even the most loyal devotees.

The final indignity dealt to these once-elite diets can be seen when their literature remains unclaimed at the bottom of the bin marked “FREE” at any neighborhood garage sale.

Ayurvedic Nutrition, on the other hand, is highly individualized. It takes into account the fact that each person has a specific prakruti, vikruti, personality, and distinct level of spiritual awareness. In addition to these factors, age, regionality, and season also function as modifiers of the Ayurvedic diet.

The tenets of Western diet have been pushed deeply into the collective psyche of the American people, starting with the introduction of the Food Pyramid at a young age. The modern twist of the pyramid, “My Plate” is hardly different in its dogmatic approach. Therefore, it is very difficult to convince the average Western diet that massive protein intake and animal products are not necessary for good health. However, as Ayurvedic Practitioners, we must take this challenge upon ourselves to change these ways of thinking by becoming tireless in our repetition of the eternal truths behind Ayurvedic principles and Vedic philosophy.

By Aparna Dandekar, D.O.

Ayurvedic Diet Principles Differ from Western Nutrition

In terms of differences, Western nutrition is focused on the mechanical composition of food and classifying those components. The emphasis is the amount of energy needed from a mechanical standpoint to combust food and is applied as a standard to how much energy the body will derive from food. The componentization of food starts at the macro to micro level and includes the derivation of very subtle components and their application toward disease and health. The effect of food is considered to be uniform for each individual regardless of additives and preparation.

Ayurveda, by contrast, is focused on the composition of foods from the cosmological and the effect of that food on all levels of the body including the various digestive affects, inner state, and physical manifestations. The componentization of food is derived from the taste of the food and its effects on the body instead of externalization in a lab. The environment, individual impact, and preparation is of vital importance to the effect of the food itself.

Since the emphasis of these two perspectives is so different, there can be challenges when presenting Ayurvedic Nutrition to Westerners who know nothing but Western nutrition. One of the challenges is the simple acceptance of the model itself. Telling Vata-types to eat a heavier grounding foods that may be very sattvic, grounding, and Vata-reducing is hard to accept when the Western nutrition mindset typically says that fats are not great for health. This requires a delicate, but intentional presentation of Ayurveda concepts in a way that educates, but doesn’t overwhelm. One can’t argue with results.

Another challenge that arises is the patience and motivation necessary to follow a food based Ayurveda Nutrition path than the almost prescription model of nutrition in the West. This is an extension of the magic potion mentality prevalent in Western thought that one can take a pill, not make any lifestyle evaluation or changes, and still achieve health.

By contrast, the Ayurveda nutrition model can be seen as more difficult because it asks that not only you examine what you eat and evaluate its impact, but that you must look at its preparation and the environment in which it is consumed. One of the keys to attending to this is to start slowly with the suggested changes so as to not overwhelm and let the results build and motivate (and create trust) as you continue to add additional changes.

Rishi Forrester
Ayurveda and Holistic Herbs Practitioner
(AWP Block 2 Student)

Ayurvedic Nutrition and Diet - Student Blog

Western nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition have definite differences about how people nourish themselves. Western nutrition concerns itself with the amount of calories, amount of macronutrients, carbs, proteins and fats, and micronutrients, vitamin and mineral content, and an ingredient list. Of course, western people are obsessed with being thin, so of course, calories is the first thing listed on western food labels.

Calories do not exist in Ayurvedic nutrition. Another Western nutrition concept is the food pyramid. Mrs. Obama recently reorganized the traditional food pyramid with Choose My Plate, a visual learning tool to incorporate what foods to eat in what proportion. In Ayurvedic nutrition, the amount of food needed for each meal is one anjali, prayer pose hands, opened to form a little bowl or cup, definitely unique to the individual.

An interesting side note on Western food labels is that the ingredient list is last and often in the smallest print possible on. In western nutrition, 45-65% of calories should be carbohydrates, 10-35% of calories should be proteins, and fats should be a small portion. For me, this is a very big bunch of math that I have to figure out on a calculator and would take away from the enjoyment of the food. In Ayurvedic nutrition, a “basic rule is simple, to give the body all six rasas each day so that it can respond to feed completely.” (,”Ayurvedic Nutrition”, Deepak Chopra, M.D.) Dr. Bhatia has said in a lecture,” In Ayurveda, we are what we digest.” Conversely, in Western nutrition, the saying is,” You are what you eat.”

In Ayurvedic nutrition, the goal of food is to achieve balance in the dosha, dhatu, agni and mala. To quote from our lecture, ”Food is the medicine and the healer. Food connects you with the divine.” Deepak Chopra M.D. says,” For the most part, western nutrition comes out of the laboratory. Ayurvedic nutrition comes directly from nature.” Paraphrasing Dr. Chopra, ‘food talks to your doshas,’it is correct to say that food has an energetic influence on the person consuming it. The preparation, intention and mood with which food is prepared and eaten also infuse food with subtle qualities. Ayurvedic nutrition acknowledges Prana, and promotes one to mindfully, with full attention, eat fresh food with Prana - organic, local grown, without genetic modification, herbicides or pesticides is best.

Ayurveda considers eating as a ritual, nourishing body, mind and soul. For that matter, life and living is a ritual in Ayurveda. Fresh food that is well prepared and eaten in a calm environment equals OJAS. Ghee, honey, dates, figs, and mung beans are foods that have ojas. Ojas is the juice of life, it is the elixir of immunity and results in perfect digestion and elimination, while also influencing the physical, mental and emotional life of a person.

High ojas can allow us to have a better life experience in every realm. In Ayurvedic nutrition, we use the six rasas, tastes, for the balance of agni, doshas, and dhatus. Rasas are panchamahabhutic and affect the doshas in our bodies when we eat. Every rasa has a virya, a potency, either Shita, cooling, or Ushna, heating. Rasas also have a post digestive effect, Vipaka, which comes after the Pitta stage of digestion, beginning in the small intestine, the Vata stage of digestion.

There are three Vipakas: Sweet, Madhura Vipaka, coming from sweet and salty rasas, Sour, Amla Vipaka, coming from sour tastes, and Pungent, Katu Vipaka, coming from bitter, pungent and astringent rasas. The Vipakas are how the dhatus experience digested rasa.

There is also a post digestive action or what the rasa does to the dhatus, called Prabhava. The Prabhava can be changed according to the preparation; sauté, steam, or fresh, the addition of spices and herbs, and types of oil, and water used while cooking. If a person is sama, balanced, all six rasa in balance will help the body maintain its equilibrium. If a person is imbalanced, the rasas can be eaten in a way to bring the body back to balance and allow ojas to increase bringing immunity and healing to the tissues. Ayurvedic nutrition can maintain balance and bring balance to every person's dosha, dhatu, agni and mala in a way unique to that person's composition.

Western nutrition has complex mathematical formulations focused on calories, proteins, carbohydrates, micronutrients and fats to make sure we get correct portions for health and wellness, without actually taking into account that our body responds, or reacts, to the food and how the tissues can change according to the properties of the foods.

It seems to me that most Westerners eat for the goal, for many, that is to just be thin. There may be a thin looking woman, ideal in the west, who is pale with brittle hair and nails, who may rely on using make up and hair products for the look of sara rasa, sara mamsa, and sara asthi. Ayurvedic nutrition teaches us how to eat in a more substantial way: what is the food doing, how is our body going to respond to the food, how can we eat for the tissues to have a positive response, to be nourished, to bring happiness. When we are sama, balanced, in all ways, then happiness comes, the body is happy, the mind is happy, the soul is peaceful, happy to be in that body, in that mind, to dwell in that place. Sama brings Sattva. Sattva brings sama.


A challenge in teaching clients that only know of Western nutrition will be teaching them and having them trust that with good food combinations, we can attain our recommended daily allowance of protein without eating meat.

Another personal challenge for me may be in giving a client too much information too soon, thus, overwhelming them with information. I want to share everything! A good thing for me will be to first talk about balancing the one person, the foods to eat and how to cook them, then, after a time, find out what protocols are working for them. When the person achieves better balance, share with them the six rasas, how each meal can have all rasas, and what each rasa does. If I give too much information, it may overwhelm the client like the Western math formula overwhelms me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed in the class and have to go back later and study notes and books and online. A client may not do that. They want “Ayurveda Easy,” until they are ready for more. That is what I would like to give so that they can begin a journey to a healthy, happy, balanced life. I’m on this journey and would like to share it successfully with others.

Danae Delaney - AWP Block 2 Student
Massage Therapist, Colon Hydrotherapist

Ayurvedic and Western Nutrition

As I meditate on the many differences between Western Nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition, I am overwhelmed at the numbers. The difference that is impacting me the most right now is the difference in living and lifeless food. In western nutrition the focus on calories and nutrients relies on over processed over packaged “food” that contains no familiarity to the food this product used to be. If you go to the grocery stores you can see “whole grain” cereals or breads.

Where is the whole grain after it has been genetically modified, harvested months or years in advance, bleached, processed, enriched, colored, molded and made into “low calorie”? The same can be said of fruits and legumes canned, of homogenized, pasteurized milks and juices, dessert yogurt! The list obviously goes on and on. Parents are routinely feeding their children breakfast cereals and chicken fingers. The point is the food is dead. Western nutrition may have ways of adding nutrients back into a box of chocolate cereal for your kids, but at the end of the day it is still empty calories, where is the Rasa? The nourishment? How can we expect to receive satiation from lifeless food?

Leah Jones
SDCOA 500 HR Course

Read More

Meditation Techniques

Meditation is an essential tool for bringing a person’s mind back into balance and should be incorporated into everyone’s health regimen. There are varying types of meditation available depending on a person’s prakruti and depending on if a person’s mind is in a state of rajas, tamas, or sattva. For example, a kapha mind should be kept busy. Conversely, a vata mind should be quieted and kept still. A pitta mind should be calmed. So an appropriate meditation technique should be chosen based on a person’s manasa prakruti and what state it is in.

Vata energy and rajas are similar because both have the qualities of irregularity and movement. Any mediation that aids in stillness will benefit vata minds and minds in the rajas state. Pranayama is an excellent exercise to balance vatas minds and rajasika states. A pranayama practice should be built up gradually, adding a round of breathing each day for about one month. Like any meditation practice, it is ideal to practice daily. Astanga yoga helps to focus the mind and is also beneficial for a vata mind or a mind in rajas. Any mediation practice that helps to ground the airy vata mind will be beneficial, sitting meditations are encouraged.

Kapha minds tend to have the opposite problem from vata minds. Kapha minds are slow and need a kick start. Meditation practices for kapha minds should keep the mind engaged. Guided visualization, contemplative questions, tai chi, or walking meditation would be a great meditative tool for kaphas, or minds that are in a tamasika state. All four methods focus the mind while tai chi, chi kung and walking meditation engage the body while keeping the mind focused.

Pitta minds often need to be calmed. Pranayama is excellent for calming a mind. Alternate nostril breathing and shitali pranayama (breathing through a curled tongue) are cooling and can calm a heated or agitated pitta mind.

A mind that is in the sattva state is a balanced mind. A daily meditation, a diet suited to your prakruti, a healthy lifestyle, balanced elimination and senses will keep a mind in balance.

Many meditations are good for balancing all states of mind and can be adapted to suit the manasa prakruti of a specific individual (for example, walking vs. sitting meditations). Mantra meditation is also an excellent example on how different mantras can bring different doshas back into balance. There are mantras that are good for pacifying pitta, and mantras that increase a person’s purity and goodness (sattva). In summary, there are various meditation techniques and adaptations to suit each individual person and their current state of mind. The best way to keep a mind in balance is to practice meditation daily and have a healthy lifestyle.

by Laurel Hricik,
Student: San Diego College of Ayurveda

Syndicate content