Now here's something that I found to be pretty fascinating. Before I get into what a dosha actually is, let's touch a little on the background of what Ayurvedic medicine is all about first. While I'm pretty sure that you've heard of it before, if you're wondering what it technically means, Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be one of the oldest holistic health practices around. It was developed thousands of years ago, in India, with the belief that I firmly support — that the mind, body and spirit are all supposed to work in harmony and if we focused more on proactive health than reactive illness, we'd all be the better for it.
Along with this mindset, Ayurvedic medicine promotes the belief that we're all made up of the five basic earth elements — space, air, fire, water, and earth. This is actually where the word "dosha" comes in. So, if you want to learn what it is and how to apply it to your own daily health practice, please read on.
What Exactly Is a Dosha All About?
OK, so you know how Dr. Gary Chapman came up with the idea that love is basically expressed in five main ways (words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, quality time and acts of service) yet we each need love in 1-2 primary ways (like for me, it's words of affirmation and physical touch)?
Well, while Ayurvedic medicine relies on the five earth elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth), dosha is about each of us inheriting three main ones (which makes sense when you think about the whole "mind, body and spirit" thing) with two being the stronger of the three. The concept is that when we find ourselves not being our best selves, it's typically about something within our individualized dosha being out of balance with the others. Interesting, right?
Now before I break down what each dosha represents, I think it would be helpful if you took your own dosha quiz first. Believe it or not, they aren't very hard to find and many of them are free. You can take one here, here, here, here or here, for starters. None of the tests are long and the objective is simply to find out what your body type is, so that you'll then have a better understanding of how to treat yourself on a mental (mind), physical (body) and internal (spirit) level.
By the way, your options are going to be Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water) or Kapha (water and earth). My two cents would be to take three different tests to see which results are the most consistent (I am recommending this based on personal experience). That said, what do all three of these doshas actually mean?
What If You’re “Vata”?
OK, so if your test results say that you're a Vata, it means that your predominant life forces are space and air. As far as how this breaks down regarding the mind, body and spirit tip:
Mind. You tend to be creative and like to think outside of the box a lot. You enjoy new things and taking risks. Because so many ideas come to you on a consistent basis, it can be challenging for you to focus and get/stay organized. You typically have vivid dreams, are prone to overthinking and it's not uncommon for you to have bouts of anxiety because of it.
Body. Naturally dry skin is a constant for you. Your hair can lean towards being dry and brittle as well. You enjoy exercise, sometimes to the point of overdoing it. And when it comes to health-related concerns, asthma, heart disease, skin issues and rheumatoid arthritis are what you have to be on the lookout for. Digestive issues are typically your thing too. As far as your diet goes, you seem to have a liking for comfort foods, things that are prepared in an oil base and you actually don't mind a meal that "sticks to your bones".
Spirit. Spirit speaks to life force, so when it comes to how you live life, your strengths are that you're compassionate, flexible, a quick learner, good multitasker and lots of energy. Your weaknesses include being forgetful, moody, having a difficult time falling and/or staying asleep and being overwhelmed.
What If You’re “Pitta”?
A Pitta's predominant life force consists of fire and water. What this boils down to is:
Mind. You work hard and are pretty task oriented. You're not at peace until the job you committed to is done and sometimes that makes you pretty impatient and irritable. It's not uncommon for folks to use words like "aggressive" or "tenacious" to describe you. Also, you are a great candidate for success because you're very self-motivated with quite the competitive streak.
Body. If anyone can't stand the heat (temperature, that is), it would be Pittas. That's a big part of the reason why you usually sweat more than the other two doshas do. You also have more oily skin than the others which makes you more prone to breakouts. Heart disease, high blood pressure and infections are what you are more vulnerable to. As far as your diet goes, it's best if you avoid hot, spicy and even fermented foods because they have a tendency to mess with your digestive system (although you usually have a quick metabolism and good blood circulation).
Spirit. You're a natural-born leader, so you already know that comes with a mixed bag. As far as your strengths go, you're intelligent, a quick learner, someone who is clear about their life's purpose, you stay focused and are able to achieve great success. Your weaknesses? You are prone to conflict, can be quite impatient, can have a hard time achieving work-life balance, could stand to learn how to be calmer and master how to choose your battles more wisely.
What If You’re “Kapha”?
Finally, the Kapha is all about the life forces of water and earth. This means:
Mind. It's not uncommon for people to describe you as being kind and loyal. You also tend to be a source of stability for those around you. You move at a slow and deliberate pace and, to the outside world, your moods are about as even as they come. The flip side to this is because you are also a natural suppressor, you oftentimes have bouts of loneliness or even depression. This can lead to random impulsive decisions or even binge-eating, if you're not careful. Something else that you have to stay on top of is making sure that "stability" is not a mask for stagnation being that Kaphas are also prone to getting stuck in a rut and staying there.
Body. Your circulation isn't exactly the best which is why your hands and/or feet tend to be cold a lot. Your skin is usually pretty moist. Interestingly enough, a nap in the middle of the day is no biggie to you. Food-wise, dairy and desserts are totally your thing and you will oftentimes drink things that have too much salt in them. What you've got to watch out for is that you're most prone to developing cancer, diabetes, asthma, allergies and becoming overweight which is why it's best to have a diet of light and stimulating meals as much as possible.
Spirit. Humans really don't get much more empathetic and caring as you. Some of your other strengths include profound wisdom, being quite romantic, maintaining a sense of calm, leaning towards the side of optimism and being non-skeptical of others. Weaknesses include sleeping to escape issues (including holding on to other people's stuff), needing constant encouragement, not being self-motivated, not making the most of your time (you know, dragging along) and not being the best planner.
A trip, right? While all of this is merely an introductory course, I thought it was cool to share because if you do indeed see yourself in one of these (again, after taking the quiz), it can help you to make certain adjustments to your mind, body or spirit to see if it helps you to feel better, on a holistic level.
Personally, I've tried it out and have noticed some significant changes over the past few weeks. So, get to know your dosha. Because the more balanced we are all, the better off we'll all be. Amen? Amen.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Being a sexual empath shapes the orgasmic experience into an emotionally charged journey. The intense connection with a partner's energy elevates the pleasure of orgasm but may also leave a lingering sense of emotional fatigue. Experiencing a mind-blowing orgasm involves not only the physical release but also absorbing and reflecting a partner's emotions.
"Sexual empaths are people whose energetic level intensifies during sexual activity. It dramatically affects the way they connect with others during sexual experiences because they can deeply connect with their partner's sexual energy," said Kasey King, LMFT.
The exchange of energies during orgasm may involve absorbing both the ecstasy and potential negative emotions, adding a layer of complexity to the post-orgasmic experience.
King is a marriage and sex therapist located in Fort Worth, TX. She owns a private practice, Lavender Healing Center, that offers relationship, sex therapy, and healing services to clients located in Texas and Mississippi. King spoke with xoNecole about what sex is like for a sexual empath, the impact of sexual empathy on orgasm, and navigating sex with a sexual empath.
What Sex is Like for a Sexual Empath?
Engaging in sex as a sexual empath can be emotionally intense, leading to a sense of depletion. The empathic experience extends beyond physical release, often requiring a period of emotional recharge to restore balance.
"Because of their ability to absorb and give energy, sex can be euphoric but also leave you feeling empty and not in a pleasing way," King explained.
For a sexual empath, managing the emotional aftermath is essential to maintaining their well-being and preserving the depth of connection in future intimate encounters.
"Common patterns after sex are not always the same. Aftercare can look different for sexual empaths. While some empaths feel a deeper connection, others can disconnect and shut down. As a sexual empath, it may be important to discuss your post-sex desires before sex so you aren't left feeling used, and the experience is not one-sided," King recommended.
The Impact of Sexual Empathy on Orgasm
The drained sensation experienced by a sexual empath after sex extends to their orgasmic encounters. While the orgasm itself is a powerful culmination of physical and emotional elements, the aftermath leaves the empath in need of a thoughtful recovery. Their intense emotions can lead to a sense of emotional and physical fatigue.
"The exchange of their energy during orgasm is not always beautiful. You can have a mind-blowing orgasm and absorb your partner's negative energy while they are now rejuvenated. It is important to be mindful of your sexual partner's stress and emotional availability while engaging in sexual activity to ensure you are getting what you need as well," King said.
King shared that orgasms differ from other sexual empaths and can be more intense with other sexual empaths.
"Since sexual empath's energies are highly sensitive, it is easier to pick up each other's cues regarding pleasure, resistance, and anxiety," she said." Orgasms with similar energies are also more powerful and meaningful for that reason. When a sexual empath has sex with a non-sexual empath, orgasms may still occur. However, it may look different because energy is not always shared and understood. Non-sexual empaths can still provide their [sexual empath] partners with an intense orgasm because they took the time to understand what their partner needs."
Unfortunately, if a non-sexual empath doesn't take the time to understand their partner's needs, then their needs go unmet. And when the needs of a sexual empath are unmet, emotional disconnection ensues, and it casts a shadow over the intimacy in the relationship.
"Since sexual empaths feel on a deeper level and can meet the needs of their partner easily, they push their needs aside. [Sexual empaths] may fall into the role of 'people pleaser' or unintentionally sexually submissive. As a 'people pleaser,' sexual empaths can also misread the sexual experience and be left feeling foolish and unfulfilled," King revealed.
Navigating Sex with a Sexual Empath
Navigating sex with a sexual empath as a non-empath involves fostering open communication and mutual understanding. Recognizing and respecting the empath's heightened sensitivity to emotions is crucial. Prioritize clear verbal and non-verbal communication to ensure both partners feel heard and connected. Establishing trust and creating a safe space for emotional expression contributes to a fulfilling and harmonious sexual experience, allowing the unique dynamics of the empathic connection to flourish.
"As a marriage and sex therapist, I first assess a couple's sexual connectedness, then discuss their individual meaning of sex, which often differs," said King.
"In relationships where one partner is a sexual empath, practical exercises can include explaining your sexual cues because the non-sexual empath can often misunderstand them. Also, mutually engaging in non-penetrative intercourse to learn each other's needs, desires, and kinks on a deeper level," she added.
King noted that being a sexual empath doesn't necessarily mean your energy is shared equally or with a deserving partner.
"Sexual empaths can get sucked in, which may complicate the relationship. Empaths give freely yet aren't always verbally expressive. To heighten your sexual experience and have an amazing orgasm, ensure pleasure is not only expressed but understood. Know that you are deserving to receive what you give."
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