In Ayurveda humans have three mind- body “types”. We refer to this as your “individual constitution” because it not only is your physical body, but also your mental and emotional tendencies and illnesses. In Ayurveda these individual constitutions are what make up your dosha. The three doshas are responsible for the variety of individual differences. They govern what we do from our sleep tendencies to how we relate to others. The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to lower our current state of imbalances of our physical, emotional, and mental tendencies to bring ourselves into balance.
The doshas are broken into three categories: Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. They are derived from the five elements. The doshas are reflecting in the universe and in you. We are all made up of all three doshas, yet we are predominately one or a combination of two. When our balance is disturbed by improper diet, stress, or environmental factors it leads to imbalances in our emotional or mental states. Finding out your dosha can be a wonderful tool to see your strengths, tendencies, reaching your full potential, and optimizing your health. To find out your dosha go to our website santacruzayurveda.com for our quiz! Read below for information on your dosha! Remember that some parts might fit you and others parts won’t. You are a unique blend of all the Doshas with different areas of balance and imbalance in each dosha.
Vata physical characteristics
Vata individuals tend to be either very tall or very short. They normally have light flexible bodies with a small, think, or underweight frame. They tend to have flatter or underdeveloped chests. Their veins and muscles can be prominent. They can tend to have dry skin. They can be cold, dry, and often on the go. Often times Vata people get uncomfortable in the cold. Their appetite can be variable with a tendency towards fasting our eating little.
They tend to have a very quick mind with creativity and a readiness for change when in balance. They tend to be vibrant and enthusiastic to learn, but often can have a poor memory. Their mind tends to be restless and they often want to jump from project to project.
Vata people can be very loving, but may love out of fear or loneliness. Out of balance Vata individuals experience high levels of fear of loneliness, heights, claustrophobia, or irrational fears. Insecurity, anxiety, and nervousness can be common out of balance.
Vata individuals can be ready to change, which could lead to issues of commitment out of balance. They often can have the tendency to change housing, furniture, jobs, or cities. They tend to make money quickly and spend it quickly.
Movement identifies Vata. Vatas can be drawn to traveling, erratic eating and sleep, and frequent change, which can lead to aggravated Vata diseases like anxiety, constipation, dry skin, dry hair, twitches, muscle tightness, lower back pain, pneumonia, or arthritis.
Vatas should stay away from drugs, loud noises, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, as they tend to increase Vata imbalances as well as cold weather or foods. Vatas tend to have a hard time grounding down as they have the qualities of the wind. Sticking to a routine is good to balance a Vata out. Vata is the strongest dosha in all people due to its power of movement therefore everyone can benefit from Vata balancing.
Avoid cold foods/drinks, raw foods, and extreme cold climate temperatures. It is suggested to keep warm with many layers on and eat warming foods and spices. Steam baths, humidifies, and moisturizers are good for the Vata mind and skin. It is highly recommended to have a daily routine. We recommend warm sesame oil for the body and food cooking, as it is a warming oil. Lavender, rose, frankincense or rosewood are essential oils we recommend. Stay away from dry foods like chips or crackers and seek warming or cooked foods.
Pitta Physical Characteristics
Pittas tend to be of medium height and build. Some may have a slender frame. They don’t ten to gain or lose weight. They have muscle and tend to be strong. Their eyes tend to be bright and a green, gray, or coppery-brown color. They tend to have a reddish or coppery complexion. Often Pitta people experience graying or hair loss as they age. Moles and freckles are common with a warm and semi- oily skin. They tend to run hotter and get warm or sweaty quite easily. Pitta is derived from the Sanskrit word that means “heat”. They have a low tolerance for heat or sunshine and will easily get angry or annoyed if in the sun too long. They have strong appetites, and a strong digestion. They eat a lot and need to drink a lot of fluids. Out of balance they will have spicy dishes, which is not good for them as it aggravates the heat in their body. A Pitta predominant person will get hungry often and need to eat right away or they will experience irritability. They normally sleep pretty soundly. Pitta physical ailments tend to be heat related. They can tend to be prone to fevers, acne, ulcers, inflammatory disease, excessive hunger, burning eyes, colitis, and sore throats.
Pitta people are very intelligent and alert. They can easily understand and have sharp memories. They can be very logical and love to delve into problems and find solutions. Their minds seem to be working a lot and will want to figure out or learn all the information on topics. They love knowledge and can make great leaders. They tend to like leadership roles or noble” professions like lawyers, or doctors. They often can be aggressive by nature and can take charge of situations. Out of balance a Pitta person can be controlling and dominating. They can tend to compare, compete, or be a perfectionist. Often their qualities are built by the idea of “spreading”. Like fire, Pittas often want to spread their name, leadership, or fame or will experience spreading, heat illness like acne. They can tend to have money but will spend it on luxury items.
Pittas can be out of balance when they eat too much spicy foods or spices including black pepper, cayenne, curry, and jalapeños. Also, citrus and sour fruits can aggravate Pitta. Too much heat or sun will cause more irritability or anger. Fatty fried food or oily foods can lead to nausea or headaches. Summer can be hard for Pittas if there is extreme heat. As a Pitta be aware of irritability or anger reactions to others in summer. They can also get jealous and envious easily in relationships if they are out of balance
The main suggestions are to try cooling down mentally and physically. We recommend coconut oil as a cooling oil, especially for summertime. Drink cool drinks (NOT iced), limit sodium levels, and avoid excessive spices. Try cooling exercises like yoga or swimming or exercise during the cooler times of day.
Kapha Physical Characteristics
Kapha people can be blessed with healthy and strong bodies. Often times they can have more broad or developed chests, strong muscles, and a larger frame. Out of balance they can tend to gain weight and have difficulty losing it. They can have slow digestion and a metabolism if out of balance. They have strong vital capacity and stamina to remain healthy. Their skin is soft, smooth, and oily. They tend to have large dark, attractive eyes. Sometimes they have very large blue eyes. They tend to have strong white teeth. Their hair tends to be very thick and wavy. They can have hair everywhere. Kaphas tend to have a long life span, as the other doshas seem to “burn out” their energy in their life. However, Kapha out of balance undergoes obesity and diabetes.
They tend toward sweet and salty tastes, which lead to more water retention. They should have more pungent or astringent tastes.
They can tend be slower people and need to take tasks on their own time. Mornings can be hard for Kapha people, as they will often feel groggy. Mornings are not their time and they prefer to nap. Out of balance they can tend to try to sleep their problems away through naps. Daytime sleep increases Kapha and is not good for them as it continues the cycle of lethargy.
They tend to sleep to sleep deeply. Vigorous exercise is good for Kaphas as out of balance they’ll prefer to rest or do “nothing”. They tend to talk slower and move slower and more gracefully,
Kaphas tend to be very loving and the most nurturing of the doshas. They can be peaceful, patient, forgiving, tolerant, and compassionate. They tend to hug people. They usually have pretty solid beliefs. They have a softness about them through soft skin and soft speech. They have a tendency towards groundedness and stability. Out of balance they can tend towards greed or attachment issues.
Kapha out of balance accumulates in water principles such as flus, cols, congestion, and mucus.
We suggest Kaphas to get plenty of exercise, avoid heavy or too sweat of foods, and to keep active. It’s important to vary their routine and to remember heavy foods will make them feel worse.