International master healer in the Reiki, Karma and Pranic forms of energy. Yoga and Meditation teacher and Tarot card reader. He writes on healing disease, the mind-body connect and awareness.

blog-ayurveda know your dosha
blog-ayurveda know your dosha

Ayurvedic Body Type: Find Your Dosha

According to ancient Indian medicine Ayurveda, each of us has a unique mix of three mind and body energies. These three energy forms  are referred to as our dosha. Based on ancient research the sages of yore minutely studied us, humans, our physical and mental characteristics our habits and eating patterns over centuries. These were then tabulated and the sages drew up a clear chart based on the elements in nature and their parallel energies in our bodies. According to Ayurveda all humans are a mix of the three energies or Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

This very detailed study of humans and their emotions and behaviour can now pretty accurately explain why some people hyperactive others have a certain stillness to them? Why is it that some folks can eat a five-course meal and not put on an ounce while others can gain weight just eating a salad

While Vata is composed of Space and Air people who fall into this category are lean and energetic. Pitta is made up of Fire and Water, and those in this category are focused sharp, intellectual and precise, discerning. Kapha, on the other hand, is made up of the elements of Earth and Water, those of this energy type are calm, orientated, steady, and consistent. 

All of us have one predominant Dosha and some character traits from the rest Do you know which body type you are and how by eating right you can control your weight.

According to Ayurvedic medicine when an imbalance occurs in our predominant Dosha we fall sick and are at dis-ease.  For instance, if you’re a Pitta type, you may experience heartburn after eating spicy foods. The key to remember is that likes increase so spicy food is not the best for those with Pitta Dosha. By choosing cooling and food stuff that are alkalizing, you can support your Dosha.

           
 Body Type ENERGY SNAPSHOT  DISCRIPTIVE WORDS Physical  Traits  Emotional Characteristics  What  do  you Eat 
           
Vata                    Vata is composed of Space and Air, Mind: Creative, quick, imaginative
Body: Thin, light frame
Skin: Dry
Hair: Dry
Appetite: Delicate, spontaneous, often miss meals
Routine: Variable, spontaneous
Temperament: Welcomes new experiences, excitable, friendly, gnergetic
Conversation Style: Loves to talk
Shopping Style: Buy, buy buy
Stress Response: What did I do wrong? Tendency to blame oneself
Cold, Light, Dry, Irregular, Rough Moving Quick Changeable Those with a predominance of Vata dosha 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. 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?” Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, you should favor foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. The best tastes to pacify Vata are sweet, salty, and sour. Minimize foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent.
Recommendations:
Eat larger quantities, but don’t overeat. This helps to balance the lightness of Vata.
Take sweeteners in moderation. They all help to pacify Vata.
Fats and oils are beneficial in the digestive system and help reduce Vata. Use up to three teaspoons daily of ghee or extra virgin olive oil.
All low-fat dairy products are recommended. Milk is easier to digest when warm or heated.GRAINS: Rice and wheat are the best grains for balancing Vata. Reduce the amount of barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, and rye that you consume.
FRUITS: Favor sweet, heavy fruits such as bananas, avocados, mangoes, apricots, plums, berries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, melons, papaya, peaches, pineapples, rhubarb, kiwi, dates, nectarines, and dried fruits.
VEGGIES: Raw vegetables should be minimized. Favor Asparagus, beets, and carrots. Other vegetables may be taken in moderation if cooked in ghee or extra virgin olive oil, including peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potatoes. Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized.
SPICES:  cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper.
All varieties of nuts are recommended. Beans can aggravate Vata. Minimize your consumption of beans, with the exception of tofu and mung bean dahl.
NON VEG: organic chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs.
           
           
Pitta                     Pitta is composed of Fire and Water,  Mind: Sharp, intellectual, direct, precise, discerning
Body: Medium build, warm, muscular
Skin: Sensitive, flush, acne-prone
Hair: Tendency towards early graying or thinning
Appetite: Strong, can eat just about anything, anytime
Routine: Very precise and organized
Temperament: Passionate, driven, courageous, strong sex drive, good leader
Conversation Style: Speaks to convey a point
Shopping Style: Spends on luxury items
Stress Response: Irritable, tendency to blame others
Hot
Light
Intense
Penetrating
Pungent
Sharp
Acidic
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. people with  this body type 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. 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?” Since an excess of Pitta dosha overheats the mind and body, favor cool foods and liquids. Foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are best. Reduce foods that are pungent, salty, and sour.
Recommendations:
Dairy can help balance the heat of Pitta. This includes milk, butter, and ghee. Sour, fermented products such as yogurt, sour cream, and cheese should be used sparingly as sour tastes aggravate Pitta.
All sweeteners may be taken in moderation except molasses and honey.
The best oils to pacify Pitta are olive, sunflower, and coconut. Use less sesame, almond, and corn oil, which are more heating.
GRAINS: Wheat, rice, barley, and oats are the best grains to reduce Pitta. Eat less corn, rye, millet, and brown rice.
FRUITS: Stick to sweeter fruits such as grapes, melons, cherries, coconuts, avocados, mangoes, pomegranates, fully ripe pineapples, oranges, and plums. Reduce sour fruits such as grapefruits, apricots, and berries.
VEGGIES: The vegetables to favor are asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini. AVOID tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.
SPICES: coriander, cilantro, cardamom, saffron, and fennel. Hotter spices such as ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, salt, and mustard seed should be used sparingly. Very hot seasonings such as chili peppers, and cayenne are best avoided. Chew on fennel seeds after meals to cool down acid in the stomach.
NON VEG:  chicken, pheasant and turkey are preferable while beef, seafood, and eggs increase Pitta and should be minimized.
           
           
Kapha        Kapha of Earth and Water.  Mind: Detail-orientated, steady, consistent
Body: Sturdy, gains weight easily, has trouble losing it
Skin: Smooth and oily
Hair: Thick, oily
Appetite: Loves to eat but has a slow digestion
Routine: Methodical and sturdy, resistant to change
Temperament: Thoughtful, forgiving, sweet, patient, loving, content, slow-moving
Conversation Style: Simple and profound
Shopping Style: Saves
Stress Response: I don’t want to deal with it! Withdrawn
Heavy
Slow
Steady
Solid
Cold
Soft
Oily
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. 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.” Kapha is heavy, oily, and cold, favor foods that are light, dry, or warm. Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying Kapha. Reduce foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
Recommendations:
Try a liquid fast one day per week, ingesting only fresh vegetable and fruit juices, and pureed vegetable soup.
Reduce the intake of dairy, which tends to increase Kapha. You can use small amounts of ghee, low-fat milk, and low-fat yogurt.
Avoid most sweeteners. Honey is one sweetener that can best pacify Kapha. Other sweeteners, however, should be avoided because they increase the Kapha dosha, contributing to problems such as blocked sinuses, allergies, colds, and lethargy. Take a tablespoon or two (but no more) of raw honey every day can help release excess Kapha. Do not cook with honey though.
Drink hot ginger tea with meals to help stimulate slow digestion and sharpen dull taste buds. Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily.
GRAINS: Barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye. Reduce intake of oats, rice, and wheat.                                                                                        FRUITS: Apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, and apricots. Reduce heavier fruits like bananas, avocados, pineapples, oranges, peaches, coconuts, melons, dates, and figs.                                                                                                                                                                   VEGGIES: Eat lots of vegetables. In general, all vegetables are recommended but you should reduce consumption of sweet and juicy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.                                                                                                                                         SPICES: All spices except salt are pacifying to Kapha. Use pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seed, and ginger freely in your diet.                                                                                                                                             
Eat beans. All beans are good for Kapha types except for soybeans and soybean-based foods such as tofu, which should be eaten in moderation. Reduce intake of all nuts and seeds. Favor pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
NON VEG: fresh, organic white meat chicken, turkey, eggs, and seafood are acceptable.
           

 

When we live into the fulfilment of our individual natures and perform every action out of love and in keeping with the universe plan, our lifestyle and dietary decisions too are in sync with our minds and bodies and in balance within our Doshas.  In the reverse, we support unhealthy patterns that lead to physical and mental imbalances and that in turn causes us disease.

In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, health is defined as the dynamic balance between mind, body, and environment. And helping us create maintain that balance within our bodies are our Doshas.