AYURVEDA & THE DOSHAS (Body Types)
According to Ayurveda, each individual along with nature in its entirety is comprised of the five fundamental elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements uniquely combine within each one of us, creating a distinct and unique blueprint also known as our Dosha.
Knowing your Dosha will help you determine the best lifestyle choices, nutrition and types of yoga or exercise that will offer optimal wellness for your mind, body and spirit.
There are 3 main Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha -
SPACE / AIR
FORCE OF MOBILITY
The wind and space elements are combined to form the Vata principle. The Vata dosha can be seen as the force that directs nerve impulses, blood circulation, respiration and elimination of wastes (sweat, urine and other waste products of the body). It also controls the various movements of the body, both physical and mental, including breathing, heart beats, extension and contraction of muscles, etc.
1. I am slender and don’t gain weight easily.
2. I am taller or shorter than average.
3. “Thin” describes many of my bodily features (such as my hair, neck, fingers, and lips).
4. My energy fluctuates and often comes in bursts.
5. My appetite is variable (i.e., high one day and low the next).
6. I have a tendency to become bloated, gassy, or constipated.
7. My skin frequently becomes dry & rough.
8. I tend to have cold hands and feet.
9. I am a light sleeper and often have difficulty falling asleep.
10. I prefer warm, moist weather to cold or dry weather.
1. I am creative and imaginative.
2. I enjoy artistic forms of expression.
3. My mind is active and often restless.
4. I learn quickly but also forget quickly.
5. I become “exhausted” quite easily.
6. I have a tendency to feel anxious, nervous, and fearful.
7. I speak quickly and use hand gestures.
8. I am always on the go.
9. My lifestyle and daily routine are irregular.
10. My dreams are active and colourful.
FIRE / WATER
FORCE OF TRANSFORMATION
The manifestation of fire element. It is associated with body temperature and is also a primary force for any kind of transformation in our biological processes. The major functions of Pitta are digestion and metabolism of food, appetite, maintaining the body temperature and maintaining skin softness and clear complexion. It is also active in the functions of the liver, eyes and brain
1. I have a medium build and gain or lose weight easily.
2. My height is average.
3. My physical features are sharp or pointed (such as my nose, chin, and teeth
4. My energy and activity levels are high.
5. My appetite is strong; I can eat large quantities of food.
6. My bowel movements are regular; I occasionally have diarrhoea.
7. I perspire quite easily.
8. My skin is combination type and has a reddish tone.
9. My eyes are penetrating and light in colour.
10. I prefer cooler weather and become irritable in hot weather.
1. I am goal oriented and achieve anything to which I put my mind.
2. I have a good sense of humour.
3. I have a strong intellect and enjoy learning new things.
4. I have a natural ability to lead others.
5. I am a perfectionist.
6. I tend to become irritable, impatient, and angry.
7. I am critical of myself and others.
8. Many people think I’m stubborn.
9. I become irritable if I skip a meal.
10. I enjoy competition.
WATER / EARTH
FORCE OF COHESION
The combination of earth and water elements manifest as Kapha, which is the heaviest of all three doshas! The major functions of Kapha are maintaining the shape, structure and lubrication of the body, performing physical movement and tasks, growth of body tissues and fertility. Kapha also acts as a balancing force between the restlessness of Vata types and laziness of Pitta types
1. I gain weight easily and lose weight with great difficulty.
2. I am short and stocky or tall and sturdy.
3. “Thick” describes many of my bodily features (such as my hair, neck, fingers, and lips).
4. I have abundant strength and stamina.
5. My digestion is weak and I often feel heavy after eating
6. My bowel movements are highly regular.
7. My skin is smooth and oily and tends to be pale.
8. I sleep deeply and soundly.
9. I catch colds quite frequently.
10. I prefer hot weather over cold or damp weather.
1. I have a big heart and prefer to focus on the good in the world.
2. I am calm in nature and not easily angered.
3. I prefer a slow, relaxed lifestyle.
4. I don’t learn as quickly as others, but my long-term memory is excellent.
5. I become sentimental quite easily; I often think about the past.
6. I am methodical in my actions.
7. I am highly protective of myself and family.
8. I let negative emotions build up rather than addressing them.
9. I usually let others take the lead.
10. I am a natural listener and frequently help others with their problems.