Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Back to School...with Ayurveda

Understanding Your Child's Dosha Type

By Dr. Leena Athparia, BSc, BA, ND, AWC

Finding balance can be challenging. The return of school schedules and after-school activities adds further to the challenge. As in adults, children also have their own constitution, personality and daily imbalances. No two children are alike. Understanding your child's dosha type can go along way to maintain harmony at home and in school. Fortunately, children have the ability to return to a state of balance more easily than adults who have accumulated imbalances over the years.

Below is an outline of the 3 main dosha types according to Ayurveda (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and how you can recognize them in your child. By supporting balance, mentally, physically, and emotionally you can prevent common concerns such as colds & flu, worry, temper tantrums and more.

The Vata Child

Attributes: Creativity - Motivation - Dynamic
This type of child often has a thin frame and is very active. They can be more sensitive to external factors (sounds, smells, lights) or to what others say to them. They are often very creative and can be dreamers.  The vata child can be very active but tire quickly. Their nervous system can be more active and they might have trouble winding down. They are prone to digestive concerns such as tummy aches or elimination issues.

Needs: Grounding - Warming - Rejuvenating
A vata child does well with activities that help ground them, such as hugs, time outdoors and hands-on activities. These children need to sleep early and get enough sleep, and eat foods that are warming, moist and nourishing. Foods such as root vegetables and healthy oils (ghee, olive) are very grounding for these types. They do best when their schedules are not overpacked with activities.  Warm ayurvedic oil massage (abhyanga) is very beneficial for them - you can either do it for your child or speak to your Ayurvedic practitioner to customize what would be best for them.

The Pitta Child

Attributes: Organized - Determined - Strong
This type of child tends to be strong and determined, often finding themselves competing with others or putting pressure on themselves to do better. They often have a strong build and enjoy athletic activities. These types tend to be prone to skin issues and in teens, acne tends to affect pitta types more.  They generally have good appetites and digest well.  They are often outspoken and make good leaders. When unbalanced, they can get angry, frustrated or boss around others.

Needs: Relaxation - Cooling - Moderation
Pitta types do best with things and activities in moderation. They should not be pushed, and allowed activities that are more relaxing. They do best with foods that are more cooling such as cucumbers, mint, juicy fruits and reducing foods that are very spicy, sour or salty (such as potato chips). Cooling colours can be supportive as well in terms of clothing or bedroom decor. Aromatherapy oils, such as lavender, can be very beneficial for these children as well. Your naturopathic doctor/ayurvedic practitioner can suggest oils that are suitable for your child.

The Kapha Child

Attributes: Stable - Caring - Patient
This type of child can be very caring and patient. They are generally very stable and like structure. They may have a tendency to gain weight which can become an issue at school amongst peers. Kapha children like to sleep and find it hard to get motivated. These types are more prone to mucous production, sinus issues and asthma. They crave sweets and love cheese & milk which is heavy for them to digest and mucous producing.

Needs: Movement - Motivation - Warming
These types often appear to be in slow motions - they need motivation and movement. Encouraging early wake up times and physical important are crucial to your kids health. Excessive snacking can contribute to weight gain and sluggish digestion - healthy snacks for these types include raw veggies (carrots, celery) or healthy baked chips such as kale chips. They should avoid cold water or foods from the fridge and increase warming spices such as ginger and black pepper in their meals.

For all children, fresh air, wholesome food, exercise, minimal screen time, free play and a loving, nurturing environment is crucial to their development. No two children are alike nor are any children one fixed dosha type - it may fluctuate depending on time, season and other factors. Identifying how the 3 doshas and the 3 elements manifest in your child throughout the day and seasons, as well as observing within yourself can be a stepping stone to a more harmonious dynamic between you and your child, as well as everyone around. This is the foundation for their future.

Dr. Leena Athparia is a naturopathic doctor with extensive training in Ayurveda and can help identify your child's constitution and promote wellness in childhood and teenage years. To learn more, please contact Naturopathic Foundations at 905-940-2727 or email lathparia@naturopathicfoundations.ca to book an appointment with Dr. Leena Athparia ND.

No comments:

Post a Comment