When balanced, air makes one energetic, adaptable and cheerful. An excess of water creates moistness, coldness, and heaviness, leading to congestion, excess weight and mental lethargy. When balanced, water creates loyalty, consistency and comfort. The aim of Ayurveda is to create a balance between elements of air, water, fire and earth. To bring air into balance one needs to:
- Consume more cooked foods.
- Take herbs that help digest food
- Eat smaller meals, 3 -4 hours apart. Breakfast may be skipped if so desired.
- Eat mainly pungent, hot substances that reduce excessive air and water. Bitter foods are useful to reduce water but increase air. Sweet foods reduce air but increase water. So, one must monitor the effects of the foods eaten.
- Avoid nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, chilies) as they may cause allergic reactions.
- Don't combine milk with yeasted grains.
- Eat in a calm to celestial fame of mind.
Cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger help digestion.
The best fruits are lemons, limes, grapefruits, apricots, berries, baked apples, cherries, peaches. Because this is a dual dosha, all other fruit intake should be monitored.
The cabbage family causes gas(broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts). Cucumber , sprouts, celery, asparagus, spinach, and chard also increase air. Best are sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, cilantro, parsley, fresh corn, green beans (well cooked), fresh peas, squash, artichoke, kira, mustard greens, moderate amounts of fenugreek greens, cooked leeks, black and green olives, parsnips, and pumpkin.
Cooked whole grains are best. Bread is acceptable if toasted, but it is best avoided (it contains yeast - difficult to digest).
Basmati rice and barley (if it doesn't cause gas) are the best grains. All other grains should be monitored owing to your dual dosha.
Most beans cause gas, are drying and promote constipation. The best bean is mung. Tofu is also good, but may be hard to digest. If there is no gas or constipation problem then any bean is good to eat.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Raw or lightly roasted nuts are heavy, nourishing, and moistening. They are hard to digest , thus small amounts should be taken at any one time. The best is 3-5 almonds (soaked overnight and peeled), and sesame seeds.
Best is 2-3 teaspoons sesame oil or ghee per meal.
Is good for air constitution, though hard to digest. It should be taken with spices. Milk should be boiled. Lassi (1/2 cup yogurt to 1/2 cup water, or 1/4 cup yogurt to 3/4 cup water if Kapha is in excess) mixed with digestive herbs and taken at mealtime, aids digestion. Ghee is also excellent.
It is best not to combine sweets with other foods. Use only natural sugars which aid air types more than any other constitution on tissue and body fluid maintenance. Raw honey is best for Vata/Kapha. Turbinado sugar or sugar cane may be used if it does not cause congestion.
The best is cardamom, asafoetida and fennel. Next best is ginger, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, basil and fenugreek.
Generally is it better to avoid animal products except for strength when ill. It gives strength but is difficult to digest , is toxic and disharmonious on finer levels. Ghee and lassi are the best substitutes. Next best is eggs. Chicken and turkey (white meat) are also all right.
Herbal teas and vegetable or fruit juices should be taken using the recommended fruits and vegetables.
Sitting and prone positions are good. Shoulder stands and back bends are also good. Standing postures are good for Kapha. Deep breathing and alternate nostril pranayama are calming and balancing.
Meditation can be done anywhere, at any time; lying down, sitting, or walking. It can be with a mantra, a thought, feeling, looking at nature, or thinking about God or Universal Energy, or love. Virtually anything that doesn't cause strain or worry is useful. Practice giving up worry, fear, negativity, anxiety, lack of faith, attachment, or greed. Knowledge and devotion are the most important aspects.
Moderate to heavy; walking is best.
Do not force anything!
Listen to what your system tells you. One's intuition is the best doctor. Please enjoy these suggestions and feel an increasingly healthy and harmonious life.