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A Little Less Than Womanly


Dear Lissa

I am a vegan with a weak stomach and dairy allergies.  My overall dosha is Vata and am little-boned.  I feel I am Vata, except for one important factor… My BMI (although within healthy range) is on the heavier side of normal.  I would like to be a weight that is more proportional to my small frame.

I am a small person (a couple inches over 5ft) and built sort of like an older child, rather than the young woman I am.  I am exceptionally short in the bust and waist.  Currently, I fit best in sizes made for older children (ages 11-14).

There is not much I can do about my natural shape or the fact that I fit best in clothes designed for children, but I can do something about my weight and health.

I would like to look more “trim and sophisticated” as people often confuse my small-chubby appearance with my experience level, think I am lying about my age or schooling, or treat me with less respect, which can (as you can imagine) be a detriment to someone out of college and looking for work.

Thank you for any advice you are able to offer.






It sounds like you may have a Kapha imbalance.  Usually that’s where excess weight comes from, too much Kapha.  Your diet is probably good, given that you’re a vegan – what you might look at is lifestyle and exercise.  To get Kapha in check, you need to sweat.  Exercise every day.  Since you’re a Vata, you don’t want to exercise until you get completely worn out.  But do make an effort to break a sweat.  You can go on a fast-paced walk, ride a bike, dance around the house, or take a pilates class.  If you can get in a steam shower or sauna in addition, that would be good for you.  You might also try drinking ginger tea for breakfast.  Ginger is balancing for both Vata and Kapha. It will improve your digestion. Eat warm, cooked foods.  Eat small portions, and don’t eat after 7 pm at night.

The best way to get an accurate diagnosis of your dosha and specific personalized recommendations is to consult an ayurvedic practitioner in your area.  The practitioner will take your pulse, look in your eyes, and at your tongue, have you answer lots more questions that we have on the quiz.  He or she might also recommend certain herbal remedies, and massage treatments which would be helpful. 

Let me know how it goes!