Balancing Your Dosha During COVID-19

03/24/2020 Personal Growth Doshas Kapha Pitta Vata Personal Growth

Are you a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha? By knowing your dosha, these Ayurvedic teachings can help you stay balanced, especially in times of stress.

morning meditation

You’ve probably noticed that during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people have been responding differently to their abrupt life changes. Since we all are very unique in our mind-body types, we will absolutely have varying responses to what is happening around us, and may need to focus on different practices to stay healthy—in addition to the typical preventive practices that are recommended.

Consider taking this Mind-Body Type assessment to learn more about yourself and which dosha you are. Then, read up on how you can stay balanced depending on your dosha.

Vata

vataSome people have a natural tendency toward anxiety during times of stress. These people are Vata types. When Vata types are balanced, they may find the most creative solutions to all of the changes, but when out of balance, the current situation may create a little more anxiety and sleep disruption for people who are already prone to this response.

Although social gatherings are important to all types, Vatas are particularly susceptible to imbalance if their social connections and routines are disrupted. In that regard, if you are feeling ungrounded due to lack of routine, make sure you establish a regular daily routine, albeit a new one. For example, try to wake up at the same time every day, eat regular healthy meals, and go to bed by 10 p.m. Doing a warm oil massage before bed will help calm you and allow you to sleep better.

Vatas also feel grounded by connecting to their friends, family, and community groups, so they may be feeling especially disconnected from the social distancing recommendations. Remember to connect to your family and friends via new channels. You may even find that you are connecting more than you previously did and want to continue frequent check-ins with your community even after things return to normal.

Pitta

pittaSome people are solution-oriented, and in times of uncertainty when there aren’t firm answers to many questions, they may be feeling frustrated with the current situation. These are Pitta types. When Pittas are balanced, they will come up with strategic solutions to the new challenges and rise to the occasion, but if out of balance, they may be feeling irritated and cranky.

They especially may be feeling frustrated that they cannot engage in their usual activities right now, as Pittas like to “do” and feel productive. Finding things to do in a new way will help:

  • Look for online courses
  • Take virtual museum tours
  • Watch that documentary you’ve been meaning to watch
  • Find ways to help others in the context of social distancing, such as teaching loved ones how to use technology to connect virtually

Or better yet, take this time to slow down a bit and rebalance. This is an especially important time to pay attention to the balance of activity and rest. If you are an over doer, take the opportunity right now to reconnect to self-care practices. If you tend to short-change on sleep, be sure to get 7-8 hours of natural, restful sleep to stay balanced and healthy and keep your immune system strong. You may find that by taking time to reconnect to your practices right now, you can be more productive overall while maintaining balance.

Kapha

kaphaSome people may be seemingly more relaxed about what is going on and have a tendency to withdraw during times of stress. These are Kapha types. When in balance, Kaphas do not feel the panic as some may be feeling, as they are quite grounded and calm at baseline. However, if out of balance, they may be feeling complacent about taking precautions or creating healthy habits while homebound.

Be sure to follow the recommended precautions, as well as taking this time to develop healthy movement practices that you can continue beyond the current time. Having less opportunity to move—as work is moving home for many—may lead to further imbalance. Pull up some online yoga classes or quick fitness apps. If weather permits and you can follow social distancing recommendations, consider establishing a walking routine now. You may find the healthy exercise habits you create right now will stick moving forward.

And remember that although you may have a predominance of one or two of the mind-body types, we have aspects of all the mind-body types within us, so you may be feeling a combination of effects. In addition, there are practices that will help all of the mind-body types, such as regular meditation.

It’s of vital importance during this time to check in with yourself—to connect with how you’re feeling and identify what would be best for you. Also, recognize that others may be handling the current circumstances differently and need to find what works for them. This time gives us all an opportunity to learn more about ourselves (and the people around us) as we aim to honor our individual needs.

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About the Author

Sheila Patel, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer
Sheila Patel, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer for Chopra Global and a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. She earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages. As an integrative medical provider, Sheila currently offers medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. Her special interests include...Read more