The Doshas, Ayurvedic Body Types
Why you are how you are?
Ayurveda recognizes three main body types and seven mixed body types
Vata – Have a thin-framed body, whether they are tall or short. Their joints crack easily. If they do gain weight it will be around the middle. Their skin will have a tendency to be dry, rough and cool to the touch. Hair may be dark, dry and kinky and prone to dandruff. Teeth are often crooked, protruded with spaces and tendency toward receded gums. Eyes can be small, dry, active, black or brown. Appetite is often variable or low. If they become sick, pain and nervous disorders are likely. Thirst is variable, urine is irregular and scanty, and bowel movements are often gassy, dry, hard and constipated. May expend their energy easily and rely on caffeine, sugar and stimulants to continue. The mind is restless, active, curious and creative. Under stress they can become fearful, insecure and anxious. They change their mind easily, forget easily, yet have clear understanding and a good short term memory. Vata is all movement in the body, all activities of the nervous system, all of the processes of elimination, all muscular movement and all cellular movement.
Pitta – This type has a moderate frame, with a tendency towards being slender. They can gain or lose weight relatively easily; have great appetites which require regular meals. Skin is often delicate, oily, burns easily, with a coppery or yellowish tone and is warm to touch. Freckles and moles are common with a tendency to acne. They perspire readily. Hair is soft, blond or red, graying early with a tendency to early thinning or balding. Eyes are sharp penetrating gray, green, with a yellowish tint to the sclera (whites). If they become ill they will experience fever, inflammation and infection. Often thirsty. Pittas enjoy moderate activity and love competition due to their aggressive nature. Intelligent and determined with a sharp memory, making excellent leaders, managers, in high positions with a high sense of responsibility. You can often tell a Pitta by their passion, high directed energy and commitment. Under stress they can be irritable, driving, angry and jealous. All body functions concerned with heat, such as; functions of liver, spleen, hormonal changes, skin, small intestines, brain, digestion, assimilation, thirst, appetite and sight are associated with Pitta.
Kapha – The pure Kapha is easy to recognize having large bodies on large frames. Hawaiians are a Kapha people with a skin that is thick, oily, cool to the touch, pale and white. Sweat is moderate. They have strong bodies, gain weight easily and must exercise to lose it. Hair is thick, oily, wavy with thick eyebrows and lashes. Teeth are strong, white, large and well formed. Eyes are big and attractive. Appetite is slow and steady, although they can easily skip meals without effect. If Kaphas become ill, congestion, excess mucous and water retention are common. They rarely experience thirst. Peaceful and content, moving slowly and wasting little energy. Endurance is good. Slow to learn new things, they seldom forget anything once learned. Speech is slow and monotonous or melodious. Longevity of the cells, strength, stamina, stability, physiology. Kapha represents all structural aspects of the physical and solid parts of the body frame, physical growth, protection from heat, and lubrication of the joints.
Vata-Pitta – Thin like a pure Vata-type, quick moving, friendly, talkative, but more enterprising and sharper of intellect. Can be forgetful at times. They don’t have the extremes of Vata, and are not as high-strung or irregular.
Vata-Kapha – This type is often hard to identify with a questionnaire due to the presence of opposites in many characteristics, and Vatas indecisiveness. They often have a thin Vata frame although can be neither fat nor thin. They are talkative with a Kapha-like relaxed, easygoing manner. This type can be confused with Pittas.
Pitta-Vata – They have a more medium build and more musculature than V-Ps, their skin is more sensitive, and they are prone to infections. They’re also quick in movement, have good stamina, are often assertive, with obvious intensity, but with a Vata-type’s lightness.
Pitta-Kapha – This type has a Pitta intensity in a strong Kapha body. More muscular than a K-type, and may be quite bulky. Their personality exhibits a K-type stability with Pitta force and a tendency toward anger and criticism. They are a good type for athletics, having energy and endurance. Always ready to take on a project. Prone to mucous and congestion in the lungs. They have direction and stability with strong stamina and drive.
Kapha-Pitta – People with a Kapha type structure, but more fat than a P-K type. They are rounder in the face and body, move more slowly, and are more relaxed than P-K’s. They have a steady energy and even more endurance than P- or P-K type. They like exercise but are less motivated to do it than a P-K. This type is dependable, loyal, and can take charge of any situation. Can be arrogant and unresponsive to criticism.
Kapha-Vata – They are similar to a V-K but are more solidly built and slower moving. They are easier to please, even-tempered and even more relaxed that V-Ks, but with less enthusiasm. Have curly, thick hair. They tend to be athletic, with greater stamina. Can easily become depressed when not busy. They think more of others than of themselves.
Tri-Dosha = Vata-Pitta-Kapha – This type is harder to describe because they have equal amounts of each Dosha. They are the most balanced with a tendency to long life, good health and immunity. Any of the symptoms of any dosha imbalance can be present at any time. If they don’t take care of themselves any dosha can go out of balance. Ayurvedic physicians say that these types are the most difficult to treat when they do get out of balance. This type can fit in almost anywhere, they adapt to situations easily. There are very few true V-P-K types. Many people who think they are V-P-K are usually a two-Dosha mixed-type.
What are the attributes of each dosha?
Vata = cold, dry, astringent, light, movable, mobile
Balanced: Alert, friendly, loving, willing to serve, creative, forgiving, happy, joyful, and the life of the party.
Imbalanced: Extreme dryness, unclear, weight loss, anemia, weakness, tiredness, “spacy”, chronic constipation, hyperactive, nervous, bodily functions impaired, low digestion, fatigue, impaired memory, respiratory disorders.
Pitta = hot, pungent, mobile, clear, fluid
Balanced: Cheerful, good digestion, able to eat anything, outrageous, courageous, pleasant, in charge, caring.
Imbalanced: Poor digestion, impaired vision, anger, demanding, irritable, oppressive, driven, irregular body temperature.
Kapha = cold, moist, stable, solid, fluid
Balanced: Strong, clear, ready, willing, open, healthy lungs, giving, caring, patient, understanding, happy, friendship, loyal, growth, grounded, sleeps easily, calm, centered, mental endurance, dignity.
Imbalanced: Obese, overweight, flabby, loose joints, impotent, insecure, jealous, greedy, introverted, excess mucous, secretive, couch potato.
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