Ayurveda teachings say that each of us consists of life energies or forces referred to as dosha. We all have unique combinations of these dosha – vata, pitta and kapha – which make up our individual constitutions. The balance of these energies plays a huge role in our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing according to the ayurvedic concepts.
Understanding ayurvedic body types
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system or life science that uses a holistic approach to nurture the spirt body and mind, for overall balance and good health. Spanning over 5000 years, ayurvedic teachings identify three body types based on dosha or life forces. These dosha are created by a combination of the air element, water and earth and fire elements.
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system that uses a holistic approach to nurture the mind, body and spirit naturally to create balance. According to ancient ayurvedic teachings the way to good overall health is prevention rather than just treating symptoms. It is this same approach that ayurveda takes towards building a strong immunity by nurturing our body types according to our dominant dosha which helps to strengthen our nervous systems.
As said, we each have a unique combination of the three dosha with one dosha always being in dominance which is what our constitutions are based on. Each ayurvedic body type depends on the dominant dosha which governs traits and characteristics.
Vata – People with this ayurvedic body type have the vata dosha in predominance and are characterised by the mobility of the wind, air and space energy. General characteristics include being emotionally sensitive to the moment with quick mood shifts. The emotional metabolism of vata is fast and while they are bright, and light can also be easily hurt, but they are also able to recover quickly from hurts. Generally those with vata dosha are energetic and creative and able to think outside the box. They are able to multitask, are kind hearted, flexible and quick learners. However on the flip side they can be highly sensitive and as a result, overwhelmed easily, forgetful and prone to digestive issues and to suffer with cold hands and feet. A vata-dominant person will benefit from a regular daily routine to calm the mind and manage stress. Warm foods and drinks will help maintain a warm body temperature.
Pitta – Pitta dosha body type is characterised by the transformative energy of fire and water and has a medium emotional set point. They are not as swayed by emotions as vata body types and have tenacity but can hold on to grudges for a long time and be prone to jealousy. They have a strong streak for control but also have a strong sense of reason. They are natural leaders, strong, quick learners and enjoy good circulation, healthy skin and hair. However, they are prone to conflict, can be impatient, experience mood swings when hungry along with being sensitive to hot temperatures.
Kapha – Kapha dosha body types reflect earth and water energy and they have the slowest emotional metabolism. They have a serene approach to life, and it generally takes a lot to upset the strength of a Kapha type as they are quite accepting, supportive and sympathetic. Enjoying a healthy immune system Kapha types are wise and patient but can be prone to gaining weight, breathing issues and can require regular encouragement and motivation.
Importance of identifying your ayurvedic body type
Ayurveda promotes identifying your ayurvedic body type because it helps you to maximise your health, mental wellbeing and overall quality of life. By making lifestyle and food habit changes to nurture your body type constitution you can enhance your mental, physical and spiritual wellness.
Consulting an ayurvedic practitioner will help you identify your dominant dosha type and gain the necessary guidance on how best to nurture yourself to maintain the correct ratio of vata, pitta and kapha accordingly. Owing to the different proportions of the dosha combination, to maintain balance different food varieties and daily lifestyle habits have to be adopted for optimal health.
Balancing your dosha
Below are some ayurvedic methods to balance dosha which vary according a kapha imbalance, a vata imbalance or pitta imbalances. An ayurvedic physician or practitioner will be able to recommend the correct course of action based on your dominant dosha.
Treatments – Ayurvedic treatments are about selfcare and include therapies such as panchakarma which is an ayurvedic detox to rid the body of impurities that cause imbalance, self-massage, herbal drinks and teas.
Therapies – Ayurvedic acupuncture, aroma therapy, herbal powders, yoga and meditation are some of the prescribed therapies to help regain balance.
Ayurvedic massages – Ayurvedic massages and self-massages are wonderful ways of reducing stress and blood pressure. They help remove impurities so the body can regain the correct balance and promote better sleep for mental relaxation.
Diet and nutrition – Ayurveda provides personalised recommendations based on the body type regarding the best foods to eat and which to avoid, so that your dominant dosha can stay in balance. It also advises eating seasonal food to promote better health for both the mind and body.
Lifestyle – Adopting an ayurvedic daily routine based on your body dosha type is powerful act of self-care because you spend time on nurturing yourself. It promotes easy changes that create balance within your life to optimise health and wellbeing. Routine is a great way to reduce mental stress and when you adopt lifestyle habits that are beneficial to your dosha type you are on the way to enjoying rejuvenation and serenity.
Ayurvedic teachings have proven their success in promoting health and overall wellness by being practical and adaptable. Identifying your ayurvedic body type will help you on to a path towards better health, strength and immunity while also mentally gaining clarity and peace. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to adopt suggested ayurvedic habits into your daily life to experience the benefits of holistic healing.