When I tell people I am writing an article on “your ayurvedic body type,” the looks I get are ones of amazement and confusion.
What is ayurveda?
It is true, ayurveda is not a common topic of conversation for most of us.
However, for those who study the traditional Hindu system of medicine know that ayurveda, is based on the idea of finding balance within your bodily systems, through diet, herbal treatment and yogic breathing.
Broken down, ayruveda is Sanskrit for åyus, which means life and veda, which means science.
What are the Ayurvedic body types?
Delving in further, we find that there are three Ayurvedic body types known as doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. (1)
Knowing your Ayurvedic body type gives insight not just into the tendencies of our bodies, but of our mental, emotional and behavioral characteristics as well.
Because we are unique, what we eat, how we exercise, when we sleep and even where we prefer to live, will be different from one person to the next. (1)
The dosha Vata (Winter, Air and Ether) governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, eliminates waste, breathing and the movements across the mind.
Vata tend to have a thin build, they do not gain weight easily, they are quick to learn and quick to forget and are enthusiastic.
Since Pitta and Kapha can’t move without it, Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles in the body (2).
If you are out of balance as a Vata, you may experience dry and rough skin; be underweight, experience headaches, feel like you are always worrying, easily fatigued, etc. Obviously, if you are experiencing these symptoms, you would want to try to balance Vata.
Vatas like warm temperatures, warm, cooked food and to keep a regular daily routine.
The dosha Pitta (Summer, Fire and Water) governs all heat, metabolism and transformations in the mind and body. It controls how we digest our foods and how we decipher between right and wrong.
Pitta are usually of a medium build, balanced weight, sharp intellect and goal oriented.
If you are out of balance as a Pitta, you may exhibit signs of a controlling personality, have workaholic tendencies, skin rashes and loose bowel movements.
To avoid these imbalances, you should avoid hot temperatures and food, allow for enough leisure time, use aromatherapy oils and maintain regular meal times. (2)
The dosha Kapha, (Spring, Earth and Water), controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and provides the formation of all seven tissues-nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproduction tissue.
Kapha tend to be overweight and lethargic.
Often they will sleep long hours and wake up unrefreshed, so going to bed early and waking up early is suggested for balance of Kapha.
You might be possessive or over attached to something or someone. Your hair and skin might be oily and you may experience congestion.
To balance you out, you need daily vigorous exercise, warm temperatures, fresh fruits and vegetables and to seek out variety and new experiences.
So, how does one find out their Ayurvedic body type, you ask? Great! There are plenty of online free quizzes, like this one. With this information, you can use some of the strategies for finding a healthy balance. You are well on your way to becoming an expert in your “life science.”
Connect with Expert Rebecca Clem.
(1) Lifespa, Ayurvedic health quizzes – body type quiz
(2) VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda, What is Vata Dosha