What’s your ayurvedic body type?

Ayurveda is an Indian system of traditional medicine. Ayur means life and veda means science, so it is quite literally “the science of life”. It has been around for a very long time (5000 years or so) and while, like everything, it has its critics and shortcomings, I particularly like its constitution based model of determining balance and health.

In Ayurveda there are three doshas, each made up of a different combination of the five elements; air, space, fire, earth and water. The vata dosha is a combination of air and space, the pitta dosha is a combination of fire and water, and the kapha dosha is water and earth.

Each person has a different balance of the three doshas, called their prakruki (or constitution), usually with one or two doshas predominating and rarely, with a balance of all three. It should be said that there is no right combination of the doshas or ideal prakruti. The key is to understand one’s prakruti which gives insight on what your own personal state of balance should be.

Vata

People with a predominance of vata usually have light, flexible bodies and tend not to gain weight or muscle easily. They prefer warm weather and warming foods and the cold and wind disturbs them. They are most suited to gentle exercise, though are prone to bursts of energy, which can exhaust them. It is the most delicate of the doshas; vata types need stability and grounding influences, otherwise they tend to be erratic and out of balance.

Pitta

Pitta types tend to have the strongest constitutions, enjoying food with a healthy appetite and stable metabolism. They are generally of average build and are well-proportioned. Already having lots of warmth in their bodies, the prefer cooler weather and are prone to overheating, sweating and skin redness. They are intelligent and organised and have a great capacity for leadership. It is important for pitta types to take time to relax and slow down.

Kapha

The kapha body type is well-built with strong muscles and heavy bones. They particularly love sleep and food and their slow digestion and metabolism lends itself to a tendency to gain weight. While not naturally athletic, they have great stamina and strength. Kaphas are very grounded and reliable and generally enjoy the best health of all the doshas if they exercise and eat well.

If you’d like to find out more and see which combination of doshas make up your prakruti, you can take this quiz. I’m a vata-pitta if you’re interested!

There is a lot more to ayurveda and I’m going to post more in the future, but in the meantime I can highly recommend Deepak Chopra’s book Perfect Health as a great intro to ayurveda.

Also published on Yahoo7!  

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