Doshas and Soil: Key Ingredients to a Balanced Life

I will begin by prefacing that I am not a Yogi—or that cool term Yoga aficionados use to describe themselves. But I have to say that I am pretty fascinated by the notion of doshas. Let me back up...

A few weeks ago, I was at Saturday brunch with two of my girlfriends. There’s something about brunch that gets me jazzed and inspired every time. For some reason, dining over omelets, coffee and maple syrup goodness promotes wonderful dialogue and the exploration of fruitful topics. Lunch, I’ve found, surprisingly enough does not result in the same experience.

Lo and behold during our brunch we got on the topic of cycles and seasons as it relates to inspiration. I was lamenting to my girlfriends that I simply don’t feel the motivation I typically have to tackle my passion projects this month. A type-A, deadline-driven individual, I feel I’ve been unusually quiet this summer—preferring walks with my dog and catching up on HGTV’s “House Hunters” than taking on the world.

“I also just really need it to be fall,” I add. “This 95-degree weather kills me.”

“I bet your dominant dosha is Pitta,” says my friend Eliza.

“Huh!?”

Eliza—a true Yogi—begins explaining. In Ayurveda, a system of medicine and methodology followed by many Yogis, the building blocks of life are comprised of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. The three doshas—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—are derived from the five elements. Each person has a unique composition with one of the three doshas being more dominant and impacting our physical, emotional and mental characteristics. (You can learn more here.)

She tells me that my dominant dosha is likely Pitta, meaning that the summer months are simply too much for my already competitive, warm and passionate energy. A 95-degree day to someone who has a “fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind” can overwhelm and irritate the Pitta. Alas, my distaste for summer is finally explained! (Fun fact: Eliza was right, I am almost 100 percent fueled by Pitta!)

Then my friend Teresa chimes in. She starts talking about soil. I know what you are thinking… you wish you had girlfriends like mine—and you would be right!

Having grown up in rural Pennsylvania, Teresa begins talking about the process of crop rotation, explaining that farmers cannot plant the same crops back-to-back seasons as the soil is not ready to support that harvest. In addition to the hot summer months de-motivating my Pitta, she suggests that my “soil” may also not be ready for catapulting my passion projects to the next level.

Like anyone, my journey as of late has been both wonderfully rewarding and challenging at times. And, the ever-achiever, I feel any minute spent not moving my life goals along is a minute I fall behind. What Teresa advises is that I grant myself permission to pause—not forever, but for right now. She explains,
“There is nothing you are going to do in the next 30 days to move your dream forward that you can’t also do 30 days from now. So rest… give your soil the chance to breathe.”

I walk away from this brunch with two major realizations:

  • There is a Season for Everyone: I fiercely believe in the notion of knowing your season. Some people head into winter knowing they will need a light therapy box to counter their seasonal depression. Others, like me, feel the first hint of autumn breeze and receive a jolt of energy. Pay attention to when you feel your best, most inspired and most creative and lean into that feeling. You have just uncovered your season. My season is around the corner. I can feel it, it’s within grasp and I will wait out the next few weeks until my Pitta is more in balance.
  • Sometimes, Your Soil Needs Time: Our personal journeys are full of hurdles and milestones and sometimes the journey leaves our soil in need of nourishment. Our soil can feel heavy, as if we are slogging through life. Or it can feel waterlogged, or too delicate to step on at the moment. Recognize when your soil is not ready for the next crop and take the necessary steps to restore it—feed it the right nutrients, give it air and allow it room to grow.

I also leave brunch having been reminded of the importance of continuing to get to know yourself.  Sometimes, it’s learning a little thing like your dosha, which helps you make more sense of the way you are. Other times you learn something more powerful, like what you need out of friendship or what you want out of your next job. No matter the discovery, celebrate the realization. It’s a beautiful thing.


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Carrie Majewski is committed to affecting change. As Founder of the Women in Leadership Nexus, Carrie is fueled by a desire to create safe space for female luminaries to convene to redefine the notion of leadership. She has forged a career around strategic writing and storytelling, having led a digital marketing agency for almost three years and today working as Marketing Principal for Trilix Tech. Carrie was named to the 2017 Rhode Island “40 Under 40” list and is a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. In her spare time you'll find her trying out a local hip-hop class, exploring parks with her rescue dog Tori, and sipping coffee with other powerhouse women.