Whenever we talk about Ayurveda, pretty soon the topic of the three doshas comes up - vata, pitta and kapha.
Keith Squires, Dru Ayurvedic nutritionist, takes you on a journey through the doshas… via a supermarket trip!
But first, what's a dosha? Aha - some basic Ayurveda: these are the three ways we humans can be out of balance:
- vata - we've got excess air and space and are likely to be flitting about the place, creative, fascinated by life but possibly ungrounded and anxious.
- pitta - yes, yes, yes! Wow can we get things done, but we may be pretty fiery along the way. Salutes to Pitta, the organised task accomplishers, but don't get in our way!
- kapha - we've got excess earth and water. And may still be in bed late into the day...
Going to the supermarket need not be a meaningless chore. It is one of the best places to see the doshas at work! The first fun activity to look at is how they move through the store doing their shopping. But the real give away is how they act at the checkout till.
The thing about supermarket queues is that it's not just about the numbers. First, look for an efficient looking cashier who is getting their queue to move quite quickly. But also study the people in front of you. One or two vata types can create chaos!
Shopping, for vata types, is often not quite that well organised
They will be in a rush and probably hungry - possibly with low blood sugar! In the queue they may be quite fidgety, then they are likely to rush off, because they have suddenly remembered something they need. Their trolley may get abandoned in front of you. Then you have to decide whether to go round the trolley as the line moves forward, or push it ahead on their behalf. Worse still they may ask you to keep their place for them. If you can, change queues at this point!
Then it's a race against time
Invariably they are not back in time for the cashier, and you do not know whether to push ahead of them, or wait. The cashier is also uncertain if they should start checking things though, without the customer being present. Now everyone is waiting while the vata customer is still rushing around at the other end of the store. On the returning, they may have trouble recalling which till they were in - causing further delay.
This whole scenario can also happen during the actual checking out process! Halfway through tilling things in, an inspiration for another product comes. Then a lengthy process begins of calling a staff member to go and fetch it, or the customer themselves going off again round the store. By this point any pitta customers will be fuming and biting their lips to contain their outrage. Kapha customers will be thinking about retiring back to the coffee shop.
The final hurdle is actually paying
How does our vata customer pay? There can be some trouble finding the purse or wallet. Then confusion over whether to pay by cash or card. The cash choice can get aborted after some counting as it turns out there is not quite enough money after all, although being 'amazingly close'. The following card payment may be declined and some out of date vouchers may be presented.
By this time a nearby queue, which was much longer has moved ahead of yours, adding to your frustration. Then there is the pin number, which may take a few attempts if successful at all. If you are really unlucky the whole thing has to be cancelled and a supervisor called while it is all sorted out.
And so, here's the thing. Why are you getting frustrated by all of this?
It's quite likely because you are a pita type!!! Stay tuned for our next post!