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According to the principles of Ayurveda, the ancient holistic medicine of India, the mind and body follow the flow of nature and must adapt accordingly throughout our lifetime. The three doshas that make up our constitution are effected by our diet, exercise, lifestyle, and also by our environment. When the doshas are in balance, we are happy and healthy, whereas if they are disturbed and in disharmony with nature, discomfort and illness will follow. Knowing the environmental factors that are best for your dominant dosha body type will help you to maintain balance and good health.
The Vata dosha consists of the elements of air and ether. Any climate that reflects these elements will cause it to be out of balance. A dry and cold environment, such as the high desert or the northern plains, creates a challenge for Vata people. This climate is the opposite of what they need and, if they live in such a climate, they must then strive to find warmth and moisture in all that they do. The perfect climate to soothe the Vata dosha is moist and tropical where temperatures do not fluctuate greatly. An ideal environment for Vata would be that of Hawaii or the Gulf Coast.
As Pitta is made up of fire and water, it will become easily out of balance in any climate which is hot and humid, such as the tropics. Although Pitta people do well with the dryness of the desert, its intense sunlight would cause them problems. Their ideal environment is cool and wet, such as that found in Washington State and Oregon.
Kapha consists of the elements of earth and water. The dry, warm and clear air of the Western desert is well suited to Kapha people, whereas cool and damp climates will disturb them the most.
If your environment is one that has four seasons, seasonal adjustments in diet and lifestyle become very important to keep the doshas in balance. In general, note that each dosha needs the following climate factors:
Vata – warm and moist
Pitta – Cool and a little dry
Kapha – Warm and dry
Not only must we be in harmony with our outdoor environment, but also attention should be paid to the temperature and humidity factor when we spend time indoors. Cool air conditioning in summer, as well as dry heat in winter can be very problematic for Vata people.
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