Ever heard of the terms dosha, Ayurvedic body type or constitution?
They are very important concepts in Ayurveda, and it’s very likely that you have come across a dosha test online or in a magazine (seriously! I’ve seen them in magazines!). Personally, I’m not a big fan of those, but more about that later.
So what's a Dosha anyways?
You can think of doshas as a group of characteristics. These exist within our bodies and minds but also outside of us. Basically everything can have one or several doshas attributed to them.
When we speak of constitution or body type, we mean the internal composition of energies - I guess you can call it genetics if you want. Your doshas are what makes you you - your individual blueprint so to say. It’s what makes you creative, happy, thoughtful or aggressive, what defines your natural appetite and how easy you put on weight, whether you are a naturally active person or whether you’d rather chill out on the couch, whether you are of slender built or are more muscular, the list goes on...
In Ayurveda we have defined three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. You can find all three of them in yourself, their composition is what makes you individual.
Vata - Mobility on every level
The Vata dosha makes things move. Literally everything. Our minds, our bodies and the things around us. It is composed of air and space and the lightest of all doshas.
People with a high amount of Vata in their natural constitution are usually quite thin and have a light bone and muscular structure. They are very creative and always on the move, not only physically, but also in their thought patterns. A Vata person is very likely to jump from one thought to the next, talk fast and have a thousand ideas. Their light physique makes Vata types quite susceptible to illness - Vata types are usually not very strong and have a weaker immune system than the other two doshas.
Pitta - Literally on fire
The Pitta dosha is transformational just like fire. It is composed of lots of fire and a tad of water and that shows in the sometimes explosive character and strong digestive system of Pitta types.
People with a high amount of Pitta in their natural constitution have usually a medium body size, they build muscle at a normal pace and have a healthy amount of strength. Pitta types know what they want and they are going for it. They can appear quite aggressive and determined, but have a great sense of justice - at least usually. Pitta types can be quite career oriented and are willing to work hard for their goals. They are also blessed with an outstanding digestive system. These are usually the people who can easily eat a five-course meal without any problems.
Kapha - Grounded and steady
The Kapha dosha is there to stabilise things and give them structure. It is slow moving, steady and stable. Kapha is composed of earth and water.
People with a high amount of Kapha are usually of a larger physique with beautiful regular features and great skin. Kapha types are physically the strongest and also have the strongest immune system - they are usually the last to fall (if at all) when the yearly flu season is upon us. Kapha types like to chill or engage in slow and steady movements like swimming and walking. They have great memories and the best stamina of all doshas. In my opinion one of the best characteristics of Kaphas is their loyalty. When you have a Kapha friend, you can be pretty sure that you have a friend for life.
These are the three doshas, but things are not that black and white - we don’t have just 3 drawers to put people into. In fact most people are combination types, where two doshas are dominant and there are also the few lucky ones who have all three doshas at the same amount. The composition of doshas within us is what makes us individuals. If we know our predominant doshas, we can adapt our diet and our lifestyle in order to stay balanced and maintain our health.
So, what’s my Dosha?
You might have an idea of what dosha you are predominantly. Sometimes it’s really easy to spot. Or maybe you have seen an Ayurvedic practitioner and they told you or you made one of these tests.
I have decided not to join the masses of yoga and Ayurveda websites and put yet another dosha Quiz out there. If you are interested in finding out more about your dosha(s) I would always recommend to see an Ayurvedic doctor, practitioner or nutritionist.
Sure, a test will give you an idea of your constitution and it might hit target 100%, but there are many more layers to your personality and your bodily constitution than can be pinned down by an online questionnaire of 20 - 40 questions. Might be that imbalances are layered over your natural constitution and what you think is your dosha is actually your imbalance.
Why not make an appointment for an Ayurvedic consultation, where I can help understanding your natural constitution and give advice on the best diet and lifestyle choices for you? If you are interested, click here to find out more and book an appointment.