Mind/Body Constitution – The Doshas

posted in: Ayurveda Wisdom | 6

According to Ayurveda, three vital body energies (doshas) govern the functions of the body, which again reflect the Five Elements: Kapha (Water + Earth), Pitta (Fire + Water), and Vata (Air + Ether). We are each made up of a unique combination of these Doshas, which define our body-mind constitution, or prakriti. Our prakriti is the unique proportion of doshas at the time of conception which stays with us throughout our life. Under this perspective, it is important to understand and appreciate our own prakriti, as in order to achieve health we must strive to maintain this personalized balanced state. Similarly, in order to heal any disease or ailment we must address any imbalanced state. When we experience anything other than our own prakriti, we are in a state of dis-ease.

In general, there are seven different body-mind types. Three types where one dosha is predominate: (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha); three types where two doshas are predominate (Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, or Kapha-Vata); and one type where all three doshas are almost the same proportion (Vata-Pitta-Kapha).

To find out your own dosha, try taking this self-exam available here.

Kapha (Water + Earth)
Kapha is reflected by the moon in nature. Kapha is comprised of primarily Earth, as well as Water. Kaphaʼs function in the body is to lubricate the joints and air passages, and to nourish and protect the bodyʼs organs, cells, and systems. The qualities of Kapha include moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static. Kapha people are loving, nurturing, and caring. They tend to be well built, full-bodied, and have solid joints. They can have great endurance, but tend to gain weight and retain water easily. Thus, to be in balance a person with a Kapha body-mind type should limit sweet and heavy foods, and eat lighter foods with pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes.

Pitta (Fire + Water)
Pitta shines as the sun in nature. Pitta is made up of primarily Fire, as well as Water. Pittaʼs function in the body is to digest and convert substances into a useable form. The qualities of Pitta include hot, sharp, mobile, light, oily, liquid, and acidic. Pitta people tend to have a medium build with strong muscles. They are sharp in personality, as they have intelligent and witty minds, yet tend to be short-tempered to others that are not so quick. Due to the Fire element, Pittas tend to over-heat and become irritable and angry. To be in balance, a person with a Pitta body-mind type should strive to eat foods that are cooling in nature, limit pungent foods and eat more of foods with bitter, astringent and sweet tastes.

Vata (Air + Ether)
Vata shows up as the wind in nature. Vata consists primarily of Air, as well as Ether. Vata provides the energy for all movement and action in the body, including circulating nutrients and wastes throughout the body. The qualities of Vata include light, dry, cold, rough, mobile, subtle, and clear. Vata people are generally slim with prominent bone structure. They tend to be very intuitive, imaginative and creative. Vata types often suffer from dryness, including constipation, dry and itchy skin, and tend to be afflicted by anxiety and nervousness. Thus, to be in balance, a person with a Vata body-mind type should strive to incorporate foods with the counter-qualities of heavy, moist, and warm. This includes the tastes of sweet, sour, and salty. Ultimately, Vatas need to incorporate more oils and cooked foods in their diet.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Email

6 Responses

  1. […] Kichardi is like the chicken soup of India.  It is very nourishing and healing.  The combination of the rice and mung beans makes it a complete protein dish, and the use of mung beans makes it is very easy to digest. The bonus is that it is super easy to make, and very tasty.   I recently made this kichardi recipe for a cooking workshop I held in Geneva. One of the participants was from Canada, but of Indian descent, and she said that her mom always made this when she was sick – but she never knew why.  Upon taking his fist bite, her partner exclaimed: “Why don’t you ever make this?!” In my opinion it’s the perfect comfort food, on any occasion. This recipe is “tri-doshic” kichardi that is balancing to all mind/body constitutions. […]

  2. […] It won’t be long before you gain more insight on what is sattvic food based on your own mind/body constitution – and as well to reveal first hand the intimate connection between body, mind and […]

  3. […] balance in the body and mind, all Six Tastes need to be consumed in the right proportion for your body-mind type.  In short – Vatas are best to maximize sweet, sour and salty tastes and minimize pungent, […]

  4. […] Awakening Mindful Eating for Body, Mind and Heart « Nightshade Substitutes Mind/Body Constitution – The Doshas […]

  5. […] tomatoes and potatoes, raw onions and garlic, and other foods that simply aren’t suitable to my mind/body constitution or all that supportive of a contemplative practice. For example, I later learned that nightshades […]

  6. […] in order to know what foods to eat to balance qualities that prevail in you based on yourMind/Body Constitution. Posted in Articles | Tags: ayurveda, balance, cold, dense, dry, dull, gunas, hard, heavy, hot, […]

Leave a Reply