When the body is looked at with an Ayurvedic 'eye' the symptoms of imbalance and disease are the results of imbalance of dosha.
But, the initial symptoms of imbalance can be quite subtle albeit easy to fix and quite 'logical' in your response to them.
Ayurveda teaches that the first symptoms of doshic imbalance are a desire for foods and activities which bring the dosha back into balance. The foods and activities that you are craving are those that have the opposite qualities to the Dosha that has been affected. Most times, you don't really feel that you are 'out of whack' or under duress from the beginnings of imbalance. You simply feel really attracted to a certain way of being and eating.
Initially, with Vata dosha aggravation there may be a desire to go somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and rest and there is no time where you'll want your comfort foods more. Oily, salty, sour (vinegar/tomatoes/etc) and sweet foods such as a high carb blast will really appeal as will soupy meals that are full of hydration and nourishment. You’ll probably feel the need to sleep more and you’ll want to limit the information coming in via the senses by hiding away in your own private Idaho. If you do crave company it will be with someone that you don't have to say a word to and someone who makes you feel safe and secure. You are definitely not up for drama, noise, erratic routines, neediness or being dragged outside to 'enjoy yourself'.
Although you may not have noticed it, during the initial stages of Vata increase the abdomen does feel ever so slightly bloated. The abdomen may also feel too 'still' with a barely noticable lack of (normal) motion and movement of the intestines. As the Vata increase rises the abdomen becomes more noticably bloated and other symptoms start to occur (next blog).
Initially, Pitta dosha aggravation may cause a desire for time off work to decompress. There will be the thought that a holiday would just be the perfect medicine right now. You’ll want to retreat to a cool, calm, serene environment and have cooling, hydrating, foods and drinks. You’ll want to seek out the friends who are funny, silly and bring you back to your fun and playful self.
Although you may not have noticed it, during the initial stages of Pitta increase there is a mild rise in body temperature that makes you feel very mildly irritated (somewhere in the back of your brain, you know something is annoying you but you can't put your finger on it).
Initially, in Kapha dosha aggravation may produce a desire to get out into Nature and ‘blow away the cobwebs’ with a brisk walk with the thought that you should lose weight and get fit. You’ll find yourself wanting to limit the amount of oily, salty, sweet foods in the diet and the idea of a detox retreat with fresh juices, salads, finely made vegan foods and lots of activities will take on a new kind of interest for you.
Although you may not have noticed it, during the initial stages of Kapha there is a general feeling of heaviness and lethargy. You still feel yourself really, but you are not as enthusiastic as you are expecting to be....and you put it down to other things.
More about signs of imbalance and how to help them in the next blog.