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Recognising your Ayurvedic Constitution

6 Jul 2017   Shanti Gowans

The three basic constitutions are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Understanding your body type helps to make you aware of how unique your physiology, biochemistry and psychology really are. Once you know your predominant dosha, you can select foods that balance your doshas. You can also design an individualised exercise plan, nutritional supplements and herbs, stress management plan and so on.

The following simple test will indicate s fairly good idea of the levels of your doshas. Please be reminded that everyone has all three doshas, but in varying degrees. After reading each description, mark 0 to 7 in the space provided. Note that values 2 and 5 are not assigned at all. Use this legend:

         0-1 Does not apply
         3-4 Applies sometimes
         6-7 Applies most of the time


After completing all the three tests, total your Vata, Pitta and Kapha scores separately. These scores will make you aware of your levels of doshas. The highest score determines your body type.

If the difference between scores of two doshas is less than 10 points, then you might be a two-doshic predominant type. For example Vata 68, Pitta 75, Kapha 44, is a Pitta-Vata body type. The person will have some Vata attributes and some Pitta attributes physically, mentally and emotionally. If all the three doshas are close enough, that is, less than 10 points difference, then you might be a tri-doshic type. For example, Vata 57, Pitta 66, Kapha 60 is a tri-dosha constitution. 

The test provides a general idea of body type and doshic levels. To get an exact evaluation and detailed idea of levels of doshas as well as the nature of your balance and imbalance, please consult an Ayurvedic physician.

Evaluating my Vata

            Physical Attributes
            
1. My physique is thin, I do not gain weight easily
            2. I am quick and active                                    
            3. My skin is usually dry, more so in winter
            4. My hands and feet are usually cold
            5. My energy fluctuates and comes in bursts
            6. I usually develop gas or constipation
            7. I usually have difficulty falling asleep or getting a sound night's sleep
            8. I am uncomfortable in cold weather

            Mental, Emotional and Behavioural Attributes
            
9. My behaviour is lively and enthusiastic
            10. I have difficulty memorising things and remembering them later
            11. It is easy for me to learn new things quickly, but I forget quickly
            12. I am not good at making decisions
            13. I am anxious or worrisome by nature
            14. People think that I am talkative and that I talk quickly
            15. I am usually emotional by nature and my moods fluctuate
            16. My mind is restless, but also imaginative
            17. I have irregular eating and sleeping habits.    
                                               
                                               My total Vata score:        

Evaluating my Pitta

            Physical Attributes
            
1. I do not tolerate hot weather
            2. I sweat easily
            3. My hair is fine, straight, light, blond, red, greying early or balding
            4. I cannot tolerate delaying or skipping a meal
            5. My appetite is very good and I can eat big meals
            6. My bowel movements are regular, with the occasional loose stool but not much constipation
            7. I like cold drinks and food such as ice cream
            8. I often feel hot
            9. Spicy, hot foods upset my stomach

            Mental, Emotional and Behavioural Attributes
            
10. I consider myself efficient
            11. I aim to be organised and accurate
            12. I have a strong will and my friends think I am stubborn
            13. I am impatient by nature
            14. I tend to become irritable or angry quite easily
            15. I try to be meticulous and am a perfectionist by nature 
            16. I get angry easily but I do not hold a grudge 
            17. I am usually critical of myself and others 
                                                                 
                                                My total Pitta score
:        

Evaluating my Kapha

            Physical Attributes
            
1. It is easy for me to gain weight but difficult to lose it 
            2. Skipping meals is easy for me and does not cause any problems 
            3. I tend to have congestion, mucous or sinus problems 
            4. I am a sound sleeper 
            5. I have thick, oily, dark, wavy hair 
            6. My skin is smooth and soft with almost a pale complexion 
            7. My body frame is large and solid with a heavy bone structure 
            8. My digestion is slow, so I feel full after eating 
            9. I have a steady energy level with good endurance and strong stamina 
            10. I am sensitive to cool and damp weather 

            Mental, Emotional and Behavioural Attributes
            
11. I tend to be slow, methodical and relaxed 
            12. I need to sleep a minimum of eight hours to feel well the next morning 
            13. By nature I am calm and composed and do not get angry easily 
            14. I am not a quick learner but I am good at memorising things and remember them later 
            15. Many people consider me affectionate, forgiving and peaceful 
            16. I usually oversleep and have difficulty waking up the next morning 
            17. I am very reluctant to take on new responsibilities 
                                                                          
                                                My total Kapha score


    My Doshic body type is:

 

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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

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