WHY HONORING YOUR DOSHA IS THE KEY TO RADICAL SELF-LOVE
Wellness pro Sahara Rose on how Ayurveda’s mind-body types play out in our lives — and soulcare.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Sahara Rose Ketabi’s Ayurvedic journey was decades in the making. From a young age, she’d been intensely focused on an idealized vision of helping others, from volunteering throughout India to working in human rights law throughout school in pursuit of ultimately becoming a lawyer.
At 21, Ketabi was burnt out and facing a health crisis in the form of perimenopause: a hormonal state that, while normal in women twice that age, would have debilitating physical effects on someone so young.
So, she pored over every piece of health knowledge that she could get her hands on. After studying Ayurveda in India for two years, she continued on a wellness journey that includes having ongoing convos with Deepak Chopra, launching a top-rated podcast called The Highest Self, and publishing bestselling books like Discover Your Dharma: A Vedic Guide to Finding Your Purpose.
Here’s why her Ayurvedic journey has left her feeling better than ever — and how it can help elevate your soulcare, too.
What resonated with you once you found Ayurveda?
Everything that was happening in my health — from digestion and skin, to my mind and personality — were there. I felt so understood.
Before that, I was going from one doctor to the next. Each was like, “Here’s this pill for this one thing, but don’t talk to me about everything else, because I am not able to support you with that.” Ayurveda allowed me to see that I’m this whole being. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with me, but that I wasn’t living in alignment with my doshas — my mind, body, and self.
How does Ayurveda align our minds, bodies, spirits, and purpose?
Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system. It’s the sister science of yoga, based on the mind-body connection. The word yoga means “to go become one with” a universal source. Ayurveda is how to become one with the universe when your digestion is out of whack, when you have anxiety, or when your back hurts. Doshas — or energy types — provide us with language to understand that. Each dosha is a reflection of natural elements in all of us, and everything.
How are doshas categorized?
Vata is air energy. Pitta is fire energy. Kapha is earth energy. Many of us think of each archetype as being static and all-defining. Our bodies and minds each have unique combinations of all three — and each is fluid. We’re born with a mix, but life and circumstances can shift their balances.
It’s also key to remember that doshas have a shadow side. For pitta, that might be erupting like a volcano. For vata, it could be the archetypes of flightiness or being a “space cadet.” While for kapha, that could be a loss of boundaries or feeling “stuck.”
What are the gifts of each dosha?
Pittas get things done. They have an organized way of seeing the world. They like to use their physical bodies, through exercise and sweat. Vattas can see really big-picture and even the “unseen.” They’re creative ideators who channel ideas through stories and vision. Kaphas have “Oprah” energy! They’re anchored, nurturing, and space-holding.
Love that. What else is good to know when ritualizing our doshas?
There is actually a 24-hour circadian rhythm [dosha] cycle that we go through naturally. Between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.— when the sun is rising — kapha is the highest. That’s when you might have a light breakfast, start your day, and be gentle on yourself. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is pitta time, when the sun’s highest in the sky. This is your time to get things done and use that pitta, fiery energy. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., vata is highest. It’s a really good time to get creative in the afternoon, before sunset.
How do we care for ourselves with these qualities in mind?
There’s a saying that “like builds like.” Many times, balance looks like pacifying our doshas, rather than leaning into them at all times.
We’re often tempted to add fire to fiery feelings — through action and intense release. But when there’s already a lot of “heat” in our emotions, we’re actually craving the opposite. Something cooling and calming. It does pittas well to practice trust and surrender. Take a shower. Go near water or even run your hands through some.
Vatas can get anxious, so seeing things to completion — even in small ways — before jumping into the next does so much. Get grounded. Focus on your root chakra. Bring in warmth, moisture, and stability. [Moisturize] your skin with an oil like sesame after you take a shower or drink ginger or lavender teas.
Kaphas can give, and give, and give until they’re depleted. They take on energy and weight easily, and it can create a perpetual cycle of feeling stagnant and sluggish. So establishing boundaries, maintaining them, and movement on their [own] behalf is important. Remind yourself, “My energy is mine and sacred.” Close a door. Do a skincare routine. Remind yourself that you and your energy are sacred.
What’s your highest vision for the work that you’re doing?
My highest vision for my work is to remind people of their innate gifts, so they can blossom as their fullest expressions and raise the vibration of the planet at this crucial time. I see us as sun-beings, embodiments of the radiant sun, here to shine our radiant light freely with the world.
What dosha learnings can you use to learn and love yourself better going forward?