Another post about the doshas? Noo…
The first thing an Ayurvedic Doctor will want to know is who is my patient? What is their constitution? In Ayurveda, without this knowledge, you cannot treat the individual.
It is crucial to know your body type if you would like to “heal thyself”.
Once your dominant dosha is identified, treatments can be prescribed. “Treatments” are as simple as certain foods, herbs, and daily habits, such as the exercise that fits in with your dosha type.
Why is it so important to discover my type? Because our bodies are constantly acting in accordance with these categories, these doshas – all the time, in every moment. We can either make life harder for ourselves or follow our tendencies and swim with the current .
We can learn how to go with our personal flow.
Just like different families celebrate holidays in different ways, we will need different nourishment than what our neighbors will need. That’s why figuring out our dosha type (prakruti) will net us huge benefits. And the benefits will come from some fairly small modifications to our daily schedule.
As we figure out our dosha(s), we can get rid of this whole the notion of “fitting in” to a certain norm. There is no norm. Our dosha combination is not just who we are physically, but who we are as a whole; how we approach and experience the world.
Below, you will find a more in-depth set of constitution checklists.
Give yourself a point for every true statement for each of the three lists below (for vatta, pitta, and kapha). Add up to get three results – a separate total for each dosha. Which total is highest? Vata, pitta, or kapha?
- I do things quickly
- I am always in motion
- I am vivacious, vibrant, unpredictable
- I pick up things quickly, but forget them just as fast
- I am not good at memorization
- I walk with a light, quick step
- My brain goes a mile a minute
- I have an active imagination
- I can have a hard time making decisions
- I have a thin build – I don’t gain weight easily
- I can have difficulty falling or staying asleep
- I am known to overdo it
- I sometimes start things and don’t finish them
- I tend to be restless
- I can be compulsive about things
- My energy comes in bursts
- I tend to have irregular eating and sleeping habits
- I love change
- I am easily excitable – can go towards overwrought or drama
- I don’t tolerate cold weather as well as others
- I speak quickly and can be talkative
- My moods change easily and I tend to be emotional
- I become anxious or worried at times
- I have cold hands and feet
- I tend to get gassy or constipated
- My skin gets very dry in the cold months (or always)
- I am intense
- I am precise, orderly, efficient
- I love a good challenge
- When I want something, I go after it
- I walk with a determined stride
- I am very uncomfortable in hot weather
- My opinions tend to be strong
- I can be sarcastic
- I like to stay out of the sun
- I have a sharp intellect
- I love competitive sports
- I am a good public speaker
- I have a commanding manner
- I am an entrepreneur
- I do not like my time being wasted
- I tend to sweat easily
- I sometimes get heartburn
- I sometimes get rashes or acne
- I can get irritated or angry easily
- I can be critical – of myself and others
- I need regular meals; if I do not get them, I become “hangry”
- I have a strong appetite and can eat a lot
- I love cold drinks and cold food
- I get angry easily, but easily forget it and move on
- I am a perfectionist
- I become impatient easily
- I can be stubborn
- My hair might be: blond, red, sandy-colored,going grey early, balding, thin or fine
- My bowels movements are like clockwork
- I love, but do not tolerate, hot and spicy food
- I am a leader
- I like to do things in a slow, relaxed way
- I’m not easily flustered
- I have a calm manner
- I am known as being sweet, serene, affectionate and forgiving
- I can skip meals easily
- I tend towards being complacent
- I feel empathy towards other people; people talk to me
- I have a large, solid body build
- My gait is slow and measured
- My digestion is slow, I feel heavy after eating sometimes
- I gain weight more easily than others and lose it more slowly
- I have allergies
- I have smooth, soft skin
- I have excellent endurance and stamina
- I don’t love change
- I tend to have a runny nose or be mucus-y
- I need eight hours of sleep; I sometimes oversleep
- I sleep deeply and can be groggy upon awakening
- I don’t get angry easily, but I can tend toward depression
- I learn slowly but then I never forget it
- I don’t like damp weather
- My hair is thick and wavy – luxurious
- I am an Earth Mother
Interpreting Our Dosha Mix
Did you tally up how many statements were true for each dosha? If one dosha is much higher than the others, that is your dominant dosha; whichever you have the most of is probably your dominant dosha. If two are close, you have two dominant doshas.
Having two dominant doshas is possibly the norm-ish. If you have two, you will find that you have some traits from each list in your own unique combination. In fact, we all have traits that are true for us in all three of the categories, because all three doshas play their vital part in our bodies.
The doshas are not meant to pigeon-hole anyone, and looking at those lists can be disconcerting if you fit really well into one specific category: maybe you don’t want to have the so-called negative traits of the dosha. Rest assured that with every gift there is a corresponding challenge. And every challenge, or “fault” that we have can be lovingly worked with, knowing that it is not a personal failing, but rather an elemental process. This is the yin and yang of life.