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Are you Vata, Pitta or Kapha? What is your constitution according to Ayurveda?

Updated on September 20, 2012


Vata, Pitta or Kapha?

According to Ayurveda, there are basically three different elemental energies or doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three doshas are the combination of the five elements that are present in nature: earth, air, space, fire and water. These three doshas are important for health. If the doshas are present in equal quantities, the body will be healthy, but when there is an unbalance (the doshas are not present in equal amounts) the body will be unhealthy in various ways. So, each person is a unique combination of doshas that define one’s characteristics.

Most people are the combination of two, even three doshas. Rarely somebody embodies the characteristics of only one dosha.

There is a short test you can do in order to find out what dosha is predominant in your body. Mark the statements that describe you the best.

Type A
• Small-boned, thin built, doesn't gain weight easily
• Prominent joints and veins
• The skin is mostly dry, cool and rough
• Dry and rough hair
• Cracked nails
• Small and active eyes
• Dry, discolored and thin lips
• Tires easily and has little strength
• The appetite is variable, very hungry at times
• Physically very active
• Hard and dry stool; bowel movements are irregular
• The mind is active and restless
• When under stress is fearful and anxious
• Recent memory is very good, long-term memory is poor
• Has light sleep
• Light perspiration
• Tendency towards cold hands and feet,
• Dreams are often fearful and involve a lot of movement (often one dreams of falling or flying)

Type B
• Medium build
• Normal body weight, possibly athletic and muscular
• Oily, reddish and sensitive skin, warm to the touch
• Fine and oily hair, tendency to premature graying and balding
• The eyes are medium and penetrating and sensitive to light
• Medium-sized and soft lips
• Flexible and soft nails
• Medium strength
• The appetite is strong, can be irritable if can’t eat when hungry
• Enjoys physical activity, especially when competitive
• Regular, oily, loose and soft bowel movements
• Sharp and focused mind
• Predisposition towards anger, irritability and frustration when under stress
• Excellent memory
• Usually sleeps well
• Good circulation and frequent perspiration
• Passionate dreams, fulfilled with anger and violence
• Tendency towards high blood pressure and inflammatory processes

Type C
• Thick and stocky build with larger bone-structure
• Often is overweight
• Thick and cool skin, prone to acne
• Thick, oily, shiny and strong hair
• Big, round and prominent eyes
• Full, large and smooth lips
• Strong and thick nails
• Strong and has good endurance
• Not very active, can be lazy and lethargic
• Bowel movements are slow, the stools are thick, heavy and oily
• Slow and calm mind
• Avoids situations that are difficult
• Slow but sustaining memory
• The sleep is sound and heavy
• The perspiration is moderate
• Peaceful and calm dreams, filled with water
• Tendency towards respiratory and lymph congestion and water retention

If your answers are mostly A, you are Vata. Vatas are the artistic types: creative and fast thinking. They are dominated by air, so, in order to control their energy, they need some routine in their life. They should avoid raw, cold, dried and frozen food. So, to achieve balance they need to eat warm foods that will help with their digestion. Vatas should avoid cold weather too. When they are in imbalanced, emotionally they tend to be anxious, fearful and insecure. Sometimes they even suffer from mental problems. Physically, when imbalanced they may suffer from digestive problems, excessive gases and constipation. Their main organ is the colon.

If you answered mostly B, you are Pitta. Pittas have a strong will and lots of determination. Their dominant element is fire so they can be quite hot and fiery. When in imbalance they can have inflammations (like gastritis, otitis, laryngitis, etc.), fever, skin rashes and ulcers. They have a tendency towards aggressive outbursts. Their main organs are the small intestines and the stomach. In order to cool down they should avoid excessive heat and steam. As far as food is concerned, they should avoid all foods that are oily or that can cause irritation of some kind (salt, caffeine, hot spices). Expressing emotions is very important for Pittas.

If your answers are mostly C, you are a Kapha. Kaphas are dominated by earth and have good strenght and stamina. They have a certain predisposition towards routine so a periodical break is something they should try to do. They have a tendency to get attached to things and people because financial and emotional security is very important to them. Kaphas are quite materialistic types. Production of mucus is typical for Kaphas so there is a tendency towards congestions, sinusitis and sluggishness. Their main body part is the chest and when in imbalance they may suffer from obesity, diabetes and water retention. In order to keep in balance Kaphas should try to be more physically active. They should avoid heavy and fatty foods and large amounts of sugar and bread. In order to avoid their indolence they should engage in more exciting and challenging activities.


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