In Ayurveda there are three primary energies, also called Doshas. The three Doshas are named Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
If you look at the people around you, you’ll soon learn to recognize the different types of Dosha. Tall or short, slim build people are mostly Vata type. Medium size people with a more muscular structure are mostly Pitta type, and people with a stronger and broader body-frame are mostly Kapha type. (This is when people are in balance. They might look different when out of balance).
All of us are made up of the three Doshas but each individual has his or her own unique Constitution that is usually governed predominantly by one or two of the Doshas. This makes each of us unique.
So your Ayurvedic Constitution could be mainly Vata (Air-Ether), Pitta (Fire) or Kapha (Water-Earth) constitution, or you may have a mixed constitution of two Doshas, like a Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha or a Kapha-Vata type constitution.
In rare cases, all three Doshas are equally present.
A Vata-Pitta-Kapha constitution, also called Tri-doshic constitution, is made up of equal parts of the three Doshas – but this is a rare type. Most of us are a mixture of two Doshas.
Keep on reading and find out what a typical Vata, Pitta or Kapha type person looks like – but keep in mind that you are likely to be a mixture of two Doshas.
Vata type person
The qualities of Vata are: cold, light, dry, rough, moving, irregular and changeable.
If Vata Dosha predominates in you, movement and change are characteristic of your nature. You will like 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 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 (not always), 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 type person
The qualities of Pitta are: hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp and 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 early graying, 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, managers, and speakers. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken. Out-of-balance Pittas can be short-tempered, easily irritated and argumentative.
When Pittas are over-stressed, their typical response is “What did you do wrong?”
Kapha type person
The qualities of Kapha are: heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft and oily
Physical characteristics: Kapha types have a strong build and excellent stamina. Large, soft eyes; smooth, radiant skin; and thick hair are also typical 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, hayfever, diabetes, and depression.
Emotional Characteristics: Kaphas are naturally calm, thoughtful, caring and loving. They have an inherent ability to enjoy life and are comfortable with a 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 a resistance to change and stubbornness. In the face of stress, the typical Kapha response is “I don’t want to deal with it.”
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Here is a questionnaire that can help you to find out more about your Ayurvedic constitution. Once you have an idea of what type of Ayurvedic Constitution you have, read on to find out what kind of diet or lifestyle suits you?
Nowadays having a Vata imbalance is very common due to our busy life, constant demands and us constantly doing something including using our computers and phones.
I can highly recommend learning mindfulness for all constitutions. It is a very beneficial to learn how to manage stress and focus on the important things in your life and learning tools that will help you to feel more balanced and calm. Click here to find out more about Jamila’s online introduction to mindfulness course.
For example, a Vata type diet and lifestyle suits an individual with a Vata type constitution or a person with a Vata imbalance. Find out here if you have an imbalance or if You Are In Balance?
Vata: Read more here on a Vata type diet and lifestyle
Pitta: Read more here on a Pitta type diet and lifestyle.
Kapha: Read more here on a Kapha type diet and lifestyle
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The advice written in this blog post is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalized advice from a health professional.