If you have tried to evaluate your root constitution (see “Introduction to Ayurveda: Assessing your Constitution”) and still need confirmation, the following summaries of the three basic doshas may be of help. The six most common constitutional types are:
vata, pitta, kapha (uni-doshic)- one dosha is predominant throughout life
vata-pitta/pitta-vata,vata-kapha/kapha-vata, pitta-kapha/kapha-pitta (bi-doshic) – one dosha is predominant but a second is strong enough to influence life significantly on a regular basis
The individual with the rarer combination of all three doshas being equal will have difficulty maintaining good health. On the other hand, there are a few tri-doshic people who remain healthy without any effort and must be under extreme stress before their doshas go out of balance.
Predominant Vata Constitution
Vata people symbolize change. They think quickly, act quickly and change quickly. Sleep cycles and digestive patterns vary. In balance they are creative, spontaneous, artistic, enthusiastic, energetic and imaginative. Out of balance they are restless, fearful, anxious, impatient and frustrated. Physically they are shorter or taller than average, tend to thinness with an inability to gain weight, have dry skin and hair and have a dislike of cold weather. The vata dosha represents movement, like the wind, and vata people are the dreamers in life.
Predominant Pitta Constitution
Pitta people symbolize transformation. They are mentally and physically efficient. In balance they are strong minded, focused, organized and precise. Out of balance they are overly critical, too competitive, and easily prone to anger and irritation. Mental and physical heat causes most of their diseases. Ulcers, inflammation, heat rashes and acne are all signs of a pitta imbalance. Physically pitta people are athletic with good muscle tone. They tend to lose or gain weight easily. The pitta dosha represents transformation, like the fire element, and pitta people are the ”doers” in life.
Predominant Kapha Constitution
Kapha people are well grounded. They think, talk and move slowly, they are relaxed and laid back. Sleep is long and deep, digestion is solid. In balance they have great stamina and determination, and they remain calm under stress. They are compassionate, loyal and steady. Out of balance they are lazy, averse to change, reluctant to move, hold a grudge and can become strongly emotional if pushed. Slow to learn, they will never forget. Physically, they are of a big build with large bones, prone to congestion and weight gain, and have a dislike of cold, damp weather. The kapha dosha represents solidity, like the earth and kapha people are the carers in life.
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