#12 Vata – The King of Doshas

#12 Vata – The King of Doshas

naturopath paris carina greweling
THRIVE Podcast by : Carina Greweling on

#12 Vata – The King of Doshas

#12 Autumn is known to be dominated by Vata Dosha, which can strongly stimulate this Dosha’s energy. For many people this can lead to a (relative) excess of Vata and we can literally lose our grounding, feel more anxious, nervous and overwhelmed.

In this podcast interview with Vata expert Kay Hebbourn we’ll go deeper into the understanding of Vata Dosha.

Tune in and discover:

  • Vata and why Kay decided to write a book about it.
  • What does Vata look like out of control?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of high Vata / Vata imbalances
  • What does Vata look like in control?
  • Why is high Vata often not seen?
  • Self-care practices to pacify Vata 
  • How to create an Ayurvedic ADHD toolkit

Connect with Kay on IG: @freshstartayurveda

Discover Kay’s work on ADHD: https://freshstartayurveda.com/

I hope you enjoyed the episode. Join the THRIVE community and hit subscribe!

Connect with me on IG @carina.greweling

High Sensitivity: How Ayurveda can gently help you

High Sensitivity: How Ayurveda can gently help you

Highly Sensitive Person (HSP): What is behind it?

Are you just sensitive or highly sensitive? Do you perceive sensory stimuli and emotions much more than others? Do you experience your environment as too loud, too bright, too hectic, too many impressions and too strong smells? Do you sometimes prefer to hide or withdraw into your cocoon?

Highly sensitive people react more strongly to stimuli than other people, they perceive them more intensively and therefore need more time to process them.

Neurobiological studies show that in highly sensitive people, the areas in the brain where sensory information is processed are more active than normal. You can think of it as a kind of data overload pouring into the brain without interruption. That means, the “upstream filter” works differently and less selectively with highly sensitive people. As a result, the increased receptivity to internal and external stimuli sometimes causes sensory overload and earlier exhaustion. Furthermore, the environment and its stimuli are not only perceived more deeply, but also stored in a wider range.

What is high sensitivity?

The term high sensitivity comes from the American psychology professor Elaine Aron. She estimates that this applies to 15-20% of people, but to widely varying degrees. Some only perceive smells particularly intensively, others visual stimuli or noises. In the more pronounced frame, there are fewer people.

They also perceive feelings more strongly, their own as well as those of those around them. Some are unable to differentiate whose feelings they feel so intensely, their own or those of others. Furthermore, they almost often look “behind the scenes”, have thinner skin and intense intuition, sense subliminal conflicts in their surroundings. In addition to that, they often have the impression of being different, they were often the dreamers when they were children and also later, absorbing more and thinking and feeling more.

Highly sensitive people have a particularly rich inner world, their talents include pronounced creativity, a sense of aesthetics, great empathy and differentiated and comprehensive thinking.

High sensitivity and Vata Dosha in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda we speak of the three vital energies Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are very different in each of us (our constitution). In highly sensitive people, the Vata dosha dominates, which is made up of the subtle elements ether (space) and air. Highly sensitive people have a high proportion of Vata, especially in the mental and spiritual aspects of their constitution. Often also on a physical level, they are naturally delicate and sensitive personality types, which are characterized by a slim physique, dry skin and artistic and sensitive abilities. However, the physical appearance can vary.

Dominated by the air and ether elements, Vata represents the principle of movement, characterized by a multifaceted personality with many different interests, talents and a pronounced sense of perception. Typical mental Vata traits are indecisiveness, a strong imagination, changing preferences, anxious and worried with many circling thoughts. Vata personalities are prone to mental and psychosomatic illnesses, problems with the musculoskeletal system, digestive problems, states of exhaustion, sleep disorders and tinnitus.

The sensitive Vata life energy

The sensitive Vata Dosha can already be influenced by small influences such as noise, smells and visual stimuli. This also means that highly sensitive people, i.e. people with a very high proportion of Vata, suffer particularly from our increasingly overstimulated Vata environment and society and the lifestyle that goes with it. Because this, together with our environment and working world, contributes to an imbalance of the Vata Dosha: Enormous speed, sensory overstimulation, stress, travel, strong insecurity (economic, professional, personal), etc. aggravate Vata. If the “daily battery” is used up, the life energy is tapped, which leads to health problems.

How to ground and nourish yourself with Ayurveda

  • Create places of well-being and oases of peace: Create your snuggly cave, your retreat or your creative space, according to your individual needs. It is important to recognize and use your own feel-good areas, places and times for relaxation and rest, as free as possible from additional environmental stimuli. This can be when you are in nature with a lot of “Prana” (fresh life force), at your home or together with people who give you strength and have a positive effect on you.
  • Warming and grounding foods on the plate: three warm meals a day, enjoyed in peace and quiet. The menu includes grounding and nourishing foods such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, whole grains as well as enough healthy high-quality fats such as ghee, the Ayurvedic butterfat, avocados, sesame oil (use carefully when you’ve a Pitta imbalance), extra virgin olive oil, coconut milk and others. And of course, warming and digestive spices like ginger, fennel, cinnamon, cumin, basil and saffron. Also golden milk nourishes and provides afternoon indulgence.
  • Get out of your head and into your body more often: Warm, grounding oil massages, meditation and gentle body movements allow us to calm down. Likewise, a relaxed yoga practice with asanas where you have contact with the earth with both feet and where you firmly root yourself. Or just do nothing and enjoying the moment ;o)

And ultimately listen to your own distinct intuition in order to be able to live your own strength! Check out my online group program for women HORMONE THRIVE that is highly Vata pacifying or book a 1-1 session with me to adjust your daily routine and lifestyle to feel calm, grounded and centered.

Hormone Yoga Therapy: Balance your Hormones for Optimal Health

Hormone Yoga Therapy: Balance your Hormones for Optimal Health

History of Hormone Yoga Therapy

Hormone Yoga Therapy is a form of yoga developed by Dinah Rodriguez, a Brazilian author and yoga teacher. Her aim first was to help women who are suffering from unwanted side effects of menopause. But soon she discovered, that the benefits serve all women suffering from any of the multitude of problems caused by hormonal imbalances.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about Hormone Yoga Therapy and how it can benefit you.

What is Hormone Yoga Therapy?

It is a holistic practice used to reactivate hormone production. As a result, it is said to improve and even eliminate hormonal imbalances.

HYT includes a fixed set of yoga postures, breathing techniques and visualisations. It draws primarily on hatha and kundalini yoga poses and practices.

Breath techniques (pranayama) alongside yoga poses activate the following glands: the hypophysis, thyroid, adrenal, and ovarian glands. The stimulation of these glands is increased by the application of mudras and bandhas alongside a Tibetan energy technique.

A bandha is also known as a body lock, whereas mudras are gestures with the fingers and hands. Both are used to help energy flow into certain parts of the body. 

Who is it for?

The therapy can reactivate glands and treat low or imbalanced hormones. It is therefore useful for women of any age, and specifically helpful for women who are:

  • experiencing a hormonal imbalance, for example: difficulty conceiving, menstrual disorders, ovarian cysts, vaginal dryness, and low sex drive.
  • looking for a preventative measure for the symptoms of peri- and menopause. Hormone levels start to drop at around 35 years old. 

Techniques used in Hormone Yoga Therapy

The techniques used in the therapy include: asanas (yoga poses), pranayama, mudras, bandhas, visualisation. We also work with the chakras. In order to stimulate the glands, we will practice dynamic asanas, along with powerful breathing.

Various types of breathing techniques are practiced during the class. To stimulate the glands, we use pranayama techniques involving strong abdominal breathing. For instance, breath of fire and full yogic breathing. Strong abdominal breathing moves the qi, prana, in the body and therefore improves circulation to the glands. 

These breathing techniques can also be used daily when you’re looking to find a little more calm or focus.

The practice consists of basic yoga poses and therefore you don’t need to have any experience in yoga to start the therapy! You will be taken step by step through each pose, as well as the breathing techniques.

Relaxation is also an important part. Students are led through the practice of yoga nidra, a relaxing, meditative style of yoga that takes you into a dream-like state. This, consequently, has huge benefits on your mental wellbeing and sleep.

What are the benefits?

This holistic therapy offers a host of mental and physical benefits for women of all ages, who experience hormonal imbalances. 

Managing the symptoms of the menopause

No woman should have to deal with the symptoms of menopause. HYT offers a natural and drug-free alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

In short, it can help alleviate the following symptoms of menopause:

  • Hot flushes
  • Urogenital dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia and sleeping disorders
  • Anxiety and sadness
  • Changes in periods
  • Osteoporosis prevention


Infertility is often linked to low hormone levels and other hormonal imbalances. The therapy will therefore stimulate hormone-producing glands and consequently help with infertility problems.

Yoga is also a wonderful support to the stresses surrounding difficulties with conception. A regular hormone yoga practice, will promote a positive relationship with your body. As a result, you will learn to love and nurture your body rather than feeling frustrated with or negative about it.

Stress and anxiety

In addition, whether you are experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety, HYT can alleviate the symptoms and leave you feeling much calmer and grounded. Meditative relaxation and visualisation techniques teach you to focus less on your thoughts and more on the present moment. So, these techniques are incredibly valuable and you can practice them on your own whenever needed.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Moreover, hormone yoga therapy, can lessen and even heal hormonal imbalances around the period, such as: tender breasts, cramps, mood swings, food cravings, digestion problems and others. It is the regular practice that increases blood circulation in the reproductive organs and balances hormones. As a result, it can help significantly with PMS problems.

More benefits of HYT

Other imbalances where HYT can help:

  • Insomnia
  • Painful periods
  • Incontinence
  • Hypertension
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Low libido
  • Depression and emotional instability
  • Absence/loss of menstruation (amenorrhea)

In addition, here are a few other ways that HYT can help with:

  • Balance the immune system
  • Balance the autonomic nervous system
  • Improve circulation and healing
  • Weight loss
  • Increase flexibility
  • Balance emotions
  • Develop an awareness of a healthy diet and lifestyle

When you should avoid HYT

Certainly, there are some conditions for which HYT is not suitable. Therefore, contact a doctor if you have, or have ever had:

  • During pregnancy
  • Cancer that is hormone related
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Severe hyperthyroidism
  • Severe hypertension
  • Large myomas/fibroids
  • Women who have had appendicitis but still have the appendix
  • Advanced endometriosis
  • Undiagnosed abdominal pain
  • Recent surgery
  • Severe cardiovascular diseases
  • Advanced osteoporosis

In conclusion, Hormone Yoga Therapy offers a natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy. Most importantly, when practised regularly, it can alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalances. As a result, Hormone Yoga Therapy will help you feel your best again!

Discover my online group program for women