How Your Ayurvedic Dosha Impacts Your Wellbeing

By Ashleigh Cometti
A brush with poor health and imbalance within her body saw Sattva Soul founder Celine Wallace turn to Ayurvedic practices. Photo / @celine_wallace

Everything from your mood to your body type to your sleep patterns is governed by your dominant dosha, according to the tenets of this ancient practice.

As humans, we’ve always known we’re all wired differently.

A centuries-old practice identifies these inherent differences within us, and ways to achieve an optimum

Proponents of Ayurveda, the alternative medicinal practice with roots in ancient India, believe that aspects of humanity can be identified via an individual’s dosha, or the energy patterns within the body.

This includes vata (wind), pitta (fire) and kapha (water) — each of which are said to have certain qualities that are expressed in physical, emotional and mental aspects of an individual’s being. They are believed to be constantly in flux while a person moves through different emotions, environments and thoughts.

For Sattva Soul founder Celine Wallace, Ayurveda dramatically changed the course of her life. After a bout of stress-related illness and exhaustion, the budding actor left Hollywood for the Himalayas, in pursuit of improved health and balance within her body.

“Ayurvedic medicine healed me and my body, and I am so excited to share these offerings with the world before someone gets to a state of disease or needs to fly to the other side of the world for answers,” Celine says.

Underpinned by this belief in the power of Ayurvedic healing herbs, Celine has formulated three new therapeutic-grade tinctures to offer support that’s unique to each dosha.

For pitta, this means healing inflammation, supporting digestive health and alleviating restlessness, for a healthier response to stress and bloating; kapha is designed to help restore energy and improve metabolism function while soothing the mind and gut; while vata is a calming blend to support digestion, mental focus and sleep.

Unsure which dosha describes you best? To cut through the confusion, Celine has developed an online quiz to discover your dominant dosha — with questions spanning energy levels and sleep quality through to personality traits.

Sattva Soul founder Celine Wallace. Photo / Supplied
Sattva Soul founder Celine Wallace. Photo / Supplied

ASHLEIGH COMETTI: For many people, this will be the first time they’ve heard about doshas. Can you explain to me (in layman’s terms) the tenets of the three different doshas and how they impact your state of wellbeing?

CELINE WALLACE: In Ayurvedic medicine, a 3000-year-old Indian healing system, we use a system called the doshas which identifies your mind and body type to promote preventive healing as a way of living.

The word dosha means “default” in Sanskrit, as we all have a default state of being that we naturally lean toward in life. By understanding this default state, we can learn how to use that information to help create more balance in our daily lives and create more “sattva” which means balance and harmony.

Doshas are like energy types in your body — once you know yours you can understand how you thrive and how you survive. There are three different dosha mind and body types: vata, pitta, and kapha.

Vata is wind energy, based on the elements of nature air and space. It’s linked with movement, creativity, and flexibility. When it’s in balance, you feel lively and alert. Out of balance, you might feel anxious or have digestion issues.

Pitta has fiery energy based on the element of fire and heat in the body, which controls digestion, metabolism and energy production. Balanced pitta means you’re focused and determined. Too much can lead to irritability, anger or inflammation.

Kapha has earth and water energy combined, based on the element of earth is responsible for strength, immunity, and stability. Balanced kapha energy brings calmness and compassion. Too much kapha heaviness might make you feel sluggish or possessive.

Knowing your dominant dosha helps you understand your body and mind better, so you can make lifestyle choices like which herbs to take, which foods to eat, and what energy types of people to surround yourself with to help stay healthy and balanced.

Each mood supporting tincture is designed to balance an individual's dominant dosha. Photo / Supplied
Each mood supporting tincture is designed to balance an individual's dominant dosha. Photo / Supplied

AC: Alongside the dosha tinctures, you’ve launched a bespoke quiz for people to determine their dosha. Do you believe this self-selecting option is better than a consultation with a naturopath or an Ayurvedic practitioner?

CW: I wanted to bring Ayurveda’s individualised approach to mind and body healing to a wider audience and make it more accessible for those who need it.

Some of our Ayurvedic dosha quiz questions are those I would ask as part of a full consultation (a 90-minute process), which involves health history questions, followed by a physical evaluation of face, tongue and eye mapping, reading some radial arteries and a dosha diagnosis.

Unfortunately, 90-minute consultations are timely (and costly!) but I would always recommend a personalised consultation to anyone if they have the means. [The quiz] is an amazing option for the Ayurvedic beginner to start their journey without the bigger commitment.

AC: Why did you decide tinctures would be more beneficial than a capsule? Are tinctures more bioavailable to the body?

CW: Since tinctures are in liquid format, they allow for faster absorption compared to capsules (which need to dissolve first before the body can absorb their contents).

Depending on the active ingredients in the tincture (some have sugar or synthetic fillers to make them taste good — something to steer clear of) we add bioperine in all our blends as an absorption aid, which is derived from natural black pepper.

It helps increase the absorption of nutrients in the body by 30%, leading to better overall bioavailability of the supplement’s active ingredients.

AC: How long have these tinctures been in the pipeline for? Who did you align with to bring your vision to life?

CW: We spent two years in research and development to create the first organic Ayurvedic dosha tinctures. It was an exciting time formulating, which involved selecting high-quality organic ingredients, determining their proportions, extracting active compounds, mixing them, testing for quality and ensuring regulatory compliance.

We worked extensively with our manufacturers in America to test every bottle. We sent samples back and forth over the two years to achieve the highest potency and efficacy and to make sure the tinctures tasted amazing without sugars, fillers or synthetics.

AC: Ingredients in each tincture are sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas — can you talk me through this process? Is the soil richer there than in other parts of the world?

CW: These Ayurvedic herbs are native to Southeast Asia, such as India and Sri Lanka. Harvesting herbs in their natural environment is important because the biology of these plants thrive in their original environments.

When harvesting them in this way, we are ensuring they are at their peak potency and freshness, with optimal levels of active compounds and nutrients, which preserves their natural function and molecular structure.

Our farms are also certified organic (and where I first studied Ayurvedic herbal medicine) so I love to support the local farmers and agriculture who have been on this journey with me from the beginning.

It is part of my mission to use regenerative farming practices and give back to those farms that have been growing these herbs for thousands of years.

AC: You mentioned that most people would only need to take a tincture for roughly two months before stopping. How can someone know if it’s time to stop taking it?

CW: In Ayurveda, a supplement and herbal formulation are there to support the body through its current state of imbalance and support the mind and body to heal.

We use supplements as a healing aid, so if the supplement is bioavailable and therapeutic grade it should be healing the body of whatever root cause the customers are taking it for.

Taking a supplement for about two months or so helps prevent the body from becoming too reliant on it and then it allows for a periodic break to assess whether it’s still needed.

If we create a space for the body to heal itself then the medicine will eventually be of no use, because the body is designed to heal itself and sometimes we just need a little bit of support to do so.

AC: What do you believe is the biggest barrier to achieving optimum wellness in the present day?

CW: We all live such a fast-paced lifestyle with so many everyday stressors — from access to technology 24/7 to sleep deprivation, poor dietary choices, lack of exercise and inadequate self-care practices.

We need greater education about how to create a new model for our health — one that is based on self-health and empowerment. A model to understand how to regulate our nervous systems, when to step back and create space, how to learn to be in nature and find more moments of stillness in daily life.

Our minds and bodies aren’t machines; if we keep treating them as such we are inviting disease (and dis-ease) into our lives.

Let’s start redefining our health journeys as a lifestyle of continually coming back to ourselves to create sattva (or balance and harmony) not just for ourselves, but for our children and future generations.

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