The doshas are a vedic system of classification based on analysing the physical manifestation of the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether) within a person.
Each of the three primary doshas, known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha contains a different combination of elements, giving rise to the essential qualities associated with that particular dosha:
Vata: is made up of the Air and Ether elements. It is said to lead the other doshas, due to it’s quality of mobility. A person with a predominantly Vata constitution will have physical and mental qualities that reflect the elemental qualities of Ether and Air. They are commonly quick thinking, thin, and fast moving.
Suggestions for a balanced lifestyle for Vata:
- Warm water baths and steam baths
- Low impact exercise and gentle yoga asanas (postures)
- Eat a vata pacifying diet including sweet, sour, salty, and pungent foods. Limit bitter and astringent foods.
- Sesame oil self massage nightly
- Observe a regular routine every day
Key words to remember if you are predominately Vata: Grounding, Warming, Routine
Pitta: is made up of Fire and Water. It is responsible for all transformations that take place within the body and is linked to metabolism and digestion and gives rise to a fiery personality, warm body temperature, and oily skin.
Suggestions for a balanced lifestyle for Pitta:
- Breathing exercises
- Gentle yoga asanas, walks in nature
- Eat a Pitta pacifying diet including sweet, bitter, salty, and astringent foods. Limit sour and pungent foods.
- Nightly self massage with sunflower or coconut oil
- Scalp massage with brahmi oil
Key words to remember if you are predominately Pitta: Cooling, Calming, Moderation
Kapha: this dosha is comprised of Earth and Water elements,and is responsible for anabolic processes within the body. A Kapha type will typically have a solid bodily frame, good memory, and calm temperament, reflecting the underlying properties of the elements Earth and Water.
Suggestions for a balanced lifestyle:
- Lots of exercise
- Warm dry saunas and hot teas
- Social activities
- Eat a light Kapha pacifying diet including bitter, sour, astringent, and pungent foods. Limit sweet and salty foods.
- Intermittent fasting
- Daily dry brushing with a natural bristle bath brush
Key words to remember if you are predominately Kapha: Drying, Stimulating, Movement
Understanding the doshas is the key to maintaining a state of balance within the body, mind, and emotions. Each dosha contains both strengths and weaknesses, as well as inherent tendencies and susceptibilities. By knowing your own personal constitution (known as your ‘prakriti’), and adapting one’s lifestyle to match, it is possible to extend the state of health far longer than if one falls into the negative tendencies common to their predominant dosha.
Curious about your own Prakriti? Discover your personal elemental make up by taking our online quiz.
Note- there are a number of multiple choice questions which will take less than 5 minutes to complete. At the end of the quiz you will be shown your prakriti, with tips on what is likely to throw you off balance and easy ways to restore your balance.
Important- When filling out your questionnaire, base your answers on the general tendency over the course of your life to date rather than focussing on recent changes (eg: sleeping patterns, weight etc). Our pakriti generally doesn’t change, whereas recent bouts of insomnia or weight gain due to stress, medical conditions or other factors are known as ‘Vikruti’ and is reflective of our current state of health vs our innate constitution.