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What is your Dosha (Mind-Body Type) ?

Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Dosha is a Sanskrit word that translates as “mind-body constitution” or “mind-body personality.” Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body. 

According to Ayurveda – the 5,000-year-old “science of life” – there are five master elements that make up everything within our bodies and everything outside of our bodies: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Space carries all the aspects of pure potentiality; air has the qualities of movement and change; fire is hot, direct, and transformational; water is cohesive and protective; and earth is solid, grounded, and stable.

Biological systems weave these five master elements into three primary patterns known as doshas. They are most easily thought of as mind-body principles that govern our style of thinking and behaving. Vata dosha, woven from the elements of space and air, regulates movement and change in our minds and bodies. Pitta dosha, comprised of fire and water, governs digestion and metabolism. Kapha dosha, made from earth and water, maintains and protects the integrity and structure of our mind and body.

All three doshas are present in every cell, tissue, and organ – for movement, metabolism, and protection are essential components of life. What makes life interesting is that although everyone has all three doshas, each of us mixes them together in a unique way, which determines the distinctive qualities of our mind and body. Typically, each person has one primary dosha.

The 3 Dosha types:

Vata Dosha 

Vata governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system and the process of elimination. Vata influences the other doshas.

Qualities of Vata: Cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick, changeable

If Vata dosha predominates, movement and change are characteristic of your nature. You will tend to always be on the go, with an energetic and creative mind. As long as Vata is in balance, you will be lively and enthusiastic, with a lean body.

Physical Characteristics: Those with a predominance of Vata dosha are usually have a thin, light frame and excellent agility. Their energy comes in bursts, and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and hair and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive. When the Vata dosha becomes imbalanced, it manifests in the body as weight loss, constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness, restlessness, and digestive challenges.

Emotional Characteristics: Vatas love excitement and new experiences. They are quick to anger but also to forgive. When Vatas are in balance, they are energetic, creative, and flexible. They also take initiative and are lively conversationalists. When unbalanced, they are prone to worry and anxiousness and often suffer from insomnia.

When they feel overwhelmed or stressed, their response is, “What did I do wrong?”

Pitta Dosha 

The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation.

Qualities of Pitta: Hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp, acidic. Those with a predominance of the Pitta principle have a fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind.

Physical Characteristics: Pittas are usually of medium size and weight. They sometimes have bright red hair, but baldness or thinning hair is also common in a Pitta. They have excellent digestion, which sometimes leads them to believe they can eat anything. They have a warm body temperature They sleep soundly for short periods of time and have a strong sex drive. When in balance, Pittas have a lustrous complexion, perfect digestion, abundant energy, and a strong appetite. When out of balance, Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, peptic ulcers, excessive body heat, heartburn, and indigestion.

Emotional Characteristics: Pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate. When they’re in balance, they are good decision makers, teachers, and speakers. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken. Out-of-balance Pittas can be short-tempered and argumentative.

When Pittas are overstressed, their typical response is “What did you do wrong?”

Kapha Dosha 

Kapha governs the structure of the body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat, bone, and sinew. The primary function of Kapha is protection. 

Qualities of Kapha: Heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, oily

Physical Characteristics: Kapha types have a strong build and excellent stamina. Large, soft eyes; smooth, radiant skin; and thick hair are also important Kapha characteristics. Those who are predominantly Kapha sleep soundly and have regular digestion. But when Kapha builds to excess, weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies manifest in the body. When they’re out of balance, Kapha types may become overweight, sleep excessively, and suffer from asthma, diabetes, and depression.

Emotional Characteristics: Kaphas are naturally calm, thoughtful, and loving. They have an inherent ability to enjoy life and are comfortable with routine. When in balance, Kaphas are strong, loyal, patient, steady, and supportive. People with an excess of Kapha tend to hold on to things, jobs, and relationships long after they are no longer nourishing or necessary. Excess Kapha in the mind manifests as resistance to change and stubbornness.  

In the face of stress, the typical Kapha response is “I don’t want to deal with it.”

What is my Mind-Body Type (Dosha) ?

Our mind-body constitution or dosha is determined at the moment of conception. Thus we are each born with a unique combination of the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas that stays the same for the rest of our life. This is known as prakruti – a Sanskrit term that means “nature” or “the first creation.”

Your prakruti is your base point and it determines what will keep you in harmony with your nature and what will cause you to get out of balance and become sick. Trying to change your prakruti would be like trying to change your stature from short and stocky to tall and thin, or changing the color of your eyes or the texture of your hair.

In contrast, vikruti is the current state of imbalance in an individual’s doshas. When a person goes for a mind-body medical consultation, the doctors focus on his or her vikruti rather than prakruti, because they want to find out what current underlying imbalances need to be addressed. In Ayurveda, the foundation for good health is maintaining balance in the body and mind and living in tune with one’s unique mind-body constitution. Assessing one’s vikruti provides vital information about what kinds of changes in lifestyle, diet, and other areas are needed to return the body to state of balance and wellbeing

Determining your Mind-Body Type

Questionnaires can be used effectively to determine both your vikruti (state of imbalance in your doshas) and prakruti  (nature-given base-point dosha). You can download these questionnaires by clicking in the following links:

Click here to download vikruti (state of imbalance in your doshas) questionnaire.

Click here to download prakruti  (nature-given base-point dosha) questionnaire.

If you would like to understand in greater detail your results after completing both questionnaires, you can book an online session with me by clicking in the following link:

Click here to book an online session with César to understand what your dosha scores mean and to help you determine the most appropriate food and lifestyle choices for your specific mind-body constitution (dosha).

      

 César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com