“The Science of Life” – Ayurveda, the traditional Indian art of healing, has long since found its way to us.
Recognized as a scientific healing method in India, Ayurveda has conquered the area of well-being and lifestyle all over the globe. Before Ayurvedic recommendations can be made, one needs to know their Ayurvedic body type or dosha.
There are three Ayurvedic body types, however, some people are incorporating maybe two or even all three doshas in their body type. The specific dosha type and constellation is determined by the appearance and the inclinations to diseases and shape in their composition the character and personality of a person.
The doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The three types are related to the five elements: Vata represents Air and Ether (space), Pitta embodies Fire and Water and Kapha reflects Earth and Water.
As unique as each person is, it is not possible to fully categorize every person into one of these groups. Each and every one of us carries all three doshas at one point or the other, since our constitution changes all the time – as are we. The dosha with the strongest influence on our appearance, health and character decides on the dominance of our personal Ayurvedic body type. Most of the time it is one single dominating dosha. Some people also have two similarly strong doshas; and in very few cases all three doshas are equally present.
When you know your personal tendency, you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly. This plays a very important role in your diet as well as in your general lifestyle choices.
Vata – Creative and Full of Vitality
Vata people tend to be slim, weigh little, are flexible and constantly on the move. Everything is in a state of flux and in a constant change for them. They feel comfortable in a life full of change and like to learn new things. They are supported by their boundless creativity, quick thinking, a bit of chaos, eloquence and flexibility.
One of their elements is Air, which represents the movement of the muscles, heartbeat, breath, movement of the stomach and of the intestines, central nervous system and sense of touch. The other element is Ether (or Space), which connects mouth, nose, gastro-intestinal tract, respiratory tract, thorax, capillaries and lymphatics, tissue and cells inside the body. The respective performing sensory organs are skin and ears.
When a Vata type is in balance, he or she is communicative, a creative mess, lively, awake, loves the warmth and has an aversion to cold weather. Appetite and digestion are inherently changeable. They are sensitive, erratic personalities who are usually on the move and therefore like to travel a lot.
However, if the Vata concentration comes into imbalance, too many tasks are tackled with too little stamina. One is easily distracted, works unfocused and is slightly nervous and restless. Concentration problems, sleep disorders and nervous anxiety are not uncommon. Projects that were started with a lot of vigor are quickly discarded; simply because the stamina is missing.
Pitta – Strong and Challenging
People of average figure, full of decisiveness and a lot of self-confidence are generally associated with the Pitta type. They are dynamic and have impressive personalities who can muster a lot of mental and physical energy. This is accompanied by the fact that they sometimes overestimate themselves and appear too dominant. They like to face challenges and love sports, games and competition.
Fire and Water are the elements that are assigned to the Pitta dosha. Inside the body, water is used for the secretion of digestive juices, salivary glands, mucous membranes, plasma, the tongue and for the function of tissues and organs. Fire takes care of the metabolism and the enzyme system, the digestion, intelligence, temperature regulation, thinking and the sight.
Pitta is in balance when the person who tends to it, has a medium stature and is very intelligent, sharp, ambitious and eloquent. That person is looking for challenges and leadership tasks and is characterized by its organizational talent and its high energy level. Pitta types naturally have a great appetite.
Premature graying, hair loss and irritability are signs of imbalance. In addition, people often become angry and jealous in such cases and tend to overburden themselves. Inflammation, especially near the eyes, hot flushes, stomach ulcers and heartburn are also typical here.
Kapha – the Quiet One
People who tend to Kapha can have a corpulent physique and a calm, patient character. They are balanced, even in stressed times. They do not tend to rush, and are difficult to throw off track. Their strength of soul, their gentleness and reliability makes them good friends, especially as they do not like to argue. They love the water and colors and need a lot of sun and warmth.
An element of the Kapha type is the Earth, which generally stands for calm and stability. It is also associated with bones, cartilage, ligaments, nails, muscles, vision, skin, hair and the sense of smell. In addition, just like the Pitta type, the Water is connected to Kapha.
A Kapha person is in balance when that person is rather heavy build, works methodically, patiently and persistently and likes to tinker. The well-balanced Kapha personality likes to plan and organize and does not find regular routine uncomfortable. They are connoisseurs who like to eat and sleep deeply and long.
Kapha imbalance leads to a slow digestion and obesity and develops a tendency to greed, envy, possession, slowness and mucus (such as in the chest and head area). Since Kapha types are not exactly famous for their light-footedness, emerging lethargy and idleness are not necessarily surprising.
Remember that you are unique and that not all the attributes of a certain Ayurvedic body type have to apply to you. Think of it as a rough guide that you are welcome to follow. Try it out, make some changes according to your type and see how you feel about it. The more individually and personally you respond to your needs, the better.