Do you know your body type? In Ayurveda (sister science of yoga), there are three distinct doshas, also known as “the inherent intelligence of the body”, they are our natural constitution or individual “make-up“. The three doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
This science is based on the philosophy that everything is made up of 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth). The combination of elements that create our constitution becomes our dosha. Your dosha represents both your physical structure and the qualities of who you are. This philosophy search to understand the nature of the dosha because it is the key to understanding how to create balance.
Remarks: Nutrition and daily routine (Dinacharya) support balance or contribute to imbalance.
What is your dosha? Vata spends energy. Pitta manages it. Kapha stores it. Your body type effects your physical constitution, psychology and way of thinking. Each body type tends to get imbalanced in unique ways as well. Once you know your dosha, start making small changes on your lifestyle. Grab a pen and piece of paper, choose the answers that most accurately fit your body for most of your life. This test will take approximately 5 minutes.
Physique: a.) Thin, long frame; tends to be taller than average b.) Medium build and average height c.) Big bones and large frame, tends to be shorter
Weight: a.) Underweight, or at the lowest of your weight range, and thin b.) Average weight and maintains weight at a steady level, not losing or gaining weight easily c.) Heavier body weight and tends to gain weight easily
Skin: a.) Dry, thin skin b.) Red tone to complexion, sensitive skin or tends towards acne. Also may have freckles c.) Thick, smooth, soft skin
Eyes: a.) Small beady eyes b.) Intense deep penetrating eyes c.) Large round eyes
Hair: a.) Dry, thin hair that breaks easily b.) Fine, soft hair c.) Thick, coarse lustrous hair
Face: a.) Long and narrow b.) Angular with sharp jawline c.) Round
Movement: a.) Moves quickly, walks fast, always in motion b.) Direct and deliberate in motion c.) Moves slowly, prefers to be sedentary
Speech: a.) Speaks quickly and talks a lot b.) Speaks clearly and to the point c.) Prefers to listen rather than speak
Voice: a.) Soft pitched, hoarse voice that may crack b.) Medium pitched voice c.) Deep melodious voice
Sleep: a.) Requires less sleep, 4-6 hours a day and has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep b.) Functions well on 6-8 hours a day and goes easily in and out of sleep. c.) Sleeps 8 or more hours and sleeps very deeply, usually not waking throughout the night
Vibe: a.) Tends often to be anxious or nervous b.) Aggressive, impatient and passionate c.) Calm and easygoing
Decision-making: a.) Very difficult to make decision and trust decisions b.) Decisions are made very methodically and with good reason c.) Easily makes decisions, more intuitively
Appetite: a.) Variable. Sometimes you eat very little and other times you eat a lot b.) Steady appetite with regular meals c.) Not often hungry and can skip meals
Sensitivity to Weather: a.) You dislike and sometimes cannot tolerate cold weather b.) You prefer cooler weather and cannot tolerate the heat c.) You can tolerate any weather but dislike the cold damp
Relationship to money: a.) Impulsive and spend frivolously b.) Enjoys spending on luxury items but is aware of budget c.) Doesn’t like to spend money, saves more than average
Response to stress: a.) You get anxious when stressed b.) You get irritable and angry c.) You withdraw and like to deal with emotions privately
Appetite: a.) Variable b.) Very strong appetite c.) Low appetite
Bowel Movements: a.) Tends toward constipation b.) Easily eliminates 2-3 times a day c.) 1 large bowel movement same time daily
Mostly A – Vata Dosha Mostly B – Pitta Dosha Mostly C – Kapha Dosha
Signs of vata imbalance:
– Constipation – Dehydration – Anxiousness – Craving warmth – Frequent viral infections – Weight loss – Insomnia
Vata especially need warming and hearty foods during fall and winter. Nourishing soups, lentils and rice, and limit too many raw foods.
– Lightly steamed root vegetables – Ripe sweet fruits – Warm grains – Spices: cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and black pepper – Raw honey – Sesame Oil
Signs of Pitta imbalance:
– Diarrhea – Overheating, profuse sweating – Colourful, violent dreams – Excessive hunger – Frequent bacterial infections – Heartburn
Pitta Balancing Foods:
– Boiled, steamed, raw vegetables – Fresh vegetable juice – Sweet seasonal fruits – Nut milk – Soupy grains: rice, wheat, barley, oats – Coconut oil – Spices: coriander, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, cumin, curry leaves, mint – Tea: fennel, chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, liquorice, red clover
Signs of Kapha imbalance:
– Sluggish bowels – Procrastination – Craving warmth, spicy foods – Frequent candida – Water retention – Weight gain – Excessive sleep
Balancing Kapha: – Steamed or raw vegetables – Citrus fruits – Quinoa – Seeds – Spices: pepper, paprika, salt, garlic, basil, cloves, allspice, fennel, mustard, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper – Tea: cinnamon, fenugreek, peppermint, raspberry
Find your balance through an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Note: For those with a double dosha or for those who are tridoshic, it’s important to listen to your body and mind (meditation) and to make decisions according to your findings. As you get to you know the basics of Ayurveda and you are in tune with yourself, you’ll know what approach to choose.
By Lorena Saavedra Smith 500hr E-RYT