It has been a long and a most pleasant journey with the Body Mind Spirit Guide Magazine that has helped me share my thoughts on Ayurveda and spread knowledge of this ancient healing science to our community. Ayurveda has a lot more to offer us than just healing. Its goal is to teach us to understand ourselves in context with the universal being, and tunes our life accordingly to enjoy our existence to its fullest extent.
The science of Ayurveda teaches us disease prevention and deceleration of decay, which is evident for every living being. Ayurveda guides us on how to live life with ease and be joyous in the moment. It prescribes various methods and modalities for bringing life in balance within and with nature. Mostly these are simple adjustments in the regular patterns of life. Modern lifestyles cause us to forget our relationship with nature, regularly disobeying nature’s demands, which bring physical and mental imbalance and disharmony. The Remedies for regaining our balance are not expensive or time consuming; it’s a matter of how and where to take ourselves seriously.
Let me put it this way – if you are overweight and want to lose weight, there is no solution but to be active, workout and eat consciously. There is no such solution as ‘eat whatever you want and lose weight’, as this is against the laws of nature. If we follow nature’s laws, things get corrected by themselves.
It is important to know and understand our self – the innate nature of our physical body and mind – and ‘tune it’ to achieve balance. Ayurveda describes seven types of energy combinations that express every unique individual. These energy combinations and characteristics are called “Dosha.” Take a simple dosha test (on the next page) to see your unique body constitution.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha are basic body constitution energy types. Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Vata, Pitta- Kapha and Vata-Pitta-Kapha are the dual combination of basic types, out of which most of us fit into.
In the combination, one dosha is predominant. That predominant dosha helps us know which energy force is more expressed in our body. Pitta indicates a heating or fiery nature, Kapha expresses a cooling or soothing nature, and Vata represents a moving, wind-like nature.
Once we know our body constitution or personality characteristics, it becomes manageable by setting up a routine that will keep the predominant energies in balance – e.g. if an individual is predominantly a Pitta type (heat) then he/she should eat food and live a lifestyle that does not aggravate the heat energy in his/her system. This helps avoid further imbalances like inflammation, fever, infection, hives, rashes, acne and many more.
Kindly note that the dosha test given here will provide a rough guideline to understanding major aspects of your body constitution. The subtleties of each person’s mental, emotional and physical makeup are multi-faceted and require an accurate assessment by an experienced Physician thoroughly trained in Ayurvedic diagnosis. So please do not draw any absolute conclusions about your constitution based on this self-assessment test and the description of the doshas. This information is to help you increase your self-understanding, and used as a guide to plan your diet, exercise regimen and other aspects of your lifestyle for ultimate health.
It is best to fill out the self-evaluation twice. The first time is based on your overall choices and what is most consistent about your life as a whole or over the years. This indicates your Prakruti. Then, fill it out a second time considering how you have been feeling recently in the past month or two – this is your Vikriti or present condition. After filling out the chart, add up the numbers under Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Most of us have one dosha predominant. Some may have two doshas approximately equal, and even fewer will have three doshas in equal proportion.
Guidelines to find your constitution
Add up the numbers from the chart on the right then list them in order with the 3 highest numbers.
Exp: P=18, V=14, K =6. P3 V2 K1.
My constitution/ Body Type is:
Once you have determined your predominant dosha, studying the characteristics of those dosha types will give you a deeper understanding of your Prakruti.
Beena Vesikar M.D. Ayurvedic Medicine, CMT and Clinical Nutrition consultant