Body Constitutions (Doshas)

According to Ayurveda, there are three major constitutional types or patterns called Doshas. The 5000 year old science behind the three Doshas is called Tridosha and these patterns and their blends are the primary energies and subtle substances behind all physiological and psychological functions. These three constitutional types or patterns are a blend of the five elements in Ayurveda (Earth, Water, Fire,Air, and Ether) and the balance of the three Doshas within us determines our strengths and our weaknesses. These three types are the Air-type (called Vata), the Fire-type (called Pitta), and the Earth-type (called Kapha).

Most of us will tend towards one type or other when we look at the body versus the emotions versus the mind. When taken as a whole we typically represent a blend of these types. Read about the Air-type (Vata), Fire-type (Pitta) and Water/Earth type (Kapha) below.

Vata

The Air-type or Vata Dosha is made up of the elements of Air and Ether. This translates into the qualities of dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, erratic and clear. They are the thin, creative, and sensitive types in your life. Physically, this means that individuals whose physical constitution is dominated by this pattern are skinny, flexible, big teeth, and “boney”. They will have smaller eyes with a tendency towards dryness. They are also marked with irregular appetite and thirst with a sensitive and variable digestion. They will dislike cold climates and love warmer ones.

Psychologically, they will be very creative, active, and moving from one activity and project to the next. They will struggle with anxiety and fear and can easily get overly enthusiastic and excited. Grounding is hard for Air-types and as such they need to calm their minds and reign in their natural tendency to scatter themselves to exhaustion whether mentally or physically. They react to emotional disturbance with fear.

Pitta

The Fire-type or Pitta dosha is made up of the elements of Fire and Water. This translates into the qualities of hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading, and slightly oily. They are the intense and serious types in your life. Physically, the means that the individuals whose physical constitution is dominated by this pattern are muscular, medium in build and frame, thinning air, and a flush skin tone. They have medium sized eyes with a tendency towards irritation. They are marked by a sharp and consuming appetite with a hot digestion. They dislike hot climates and love colder ones.

Psychologically, they will be sharp, disciplined personalities, with a great capability for learning and strong principles from which they rarely yield an inch. They will struggle with anger and judgement as such they must cool their minds and reign in their natural tendencies to burn themselves out by being overly critical, perfectionistic, and judgemental. They react to emotional disturbances with anger or aggression.

Kapha

The Earth-type or Kapha Dosha is made up of the elements of Water and Earth. This translates into the qualities of heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, slimy, dense, soft, fixed, sticky, cloudy, hard, and gross. They are the big, compassionate, nurturers in your life. Physically, this means that individuals whose physical constitution is dominated by this pattern are strong, have a large body frame, strong teeth, and thick, curly hair. They will have large lustrous eyes. . They are also marked with a steady appetite and thirst, but tend to have a slow digestion and metabolism. They will dislike cold climates that are wet and windy, but are otherwise not too affected by climate.

Psychologically, they will be very compassionate and steady preferring to stay still and put down roots over movement. They will struggle with depression and attachment and can become lazy or greedy. Motivation and movement is hard for Earth-types and as such they need to stay engaged and devoted to life and reign in their natural tendency to become fixed, attached, and possessive. They react to emotional disturbance with withdrawing and isolating.