What’s Your Dosha? A Quick Look at Ayurvedic Body Types

Balance your dosha

Feeling a little out of sorts? Your dosha may be out of balance. Here are a few tips for identifying your energetic body type and balancing your systems for better health…

If you’re not familiar with Ayurveda, it is an ancient system of Eastern holistic health and wellness that is sometimes considered the “sister discipline” of yoga. While Ayurveda and yoga can be practiced completely separately, in many ways, they may complement each other. The Ayurvedic approach considers physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects when looking at one’s overall health and potential treatments for health complaints.

The Ayurvedic tradition is heavily based on specific types of energy that each person is believed to possess, which are called doshas. There are three defined doshas – Pitta, Vata, and Kapha – and although every person has more than one type of energy (which can vary at different times throughout your life), most people are thought to have a dominant energy type.

Understanding your dominant dosha is believed to help you understand how to manage your health, take care of your body, and maintain good health and wellness. Keeping your doshas in balance is key, as Ayurvedic medicine sees imbalances in these energy types as the root of most illnesses and health issues.

Here is a quick look at the 3 doshas, and a few tips for keeping them in balance:

Pitta

The dosha type Pitta translates to fire. Those with a dominant Pitta dosha are passionate, ambitious, and intellectual. Pittas thrive on achieving their goals and love a challenge. They do best in structured situations and when they are adequately stimulated with work tasks and physical activity.

In regards to body type, those with a dominant Pitta dosha tend to be average in stature. They have good muscle tone and radiate energy.

When out of balance, Pittas can have a fiery temper. They also can have difficulty relaxing, trouble managing stress, and a low tolerance for roadblocks in their path to achieving goals.

You can help balance your Pitta energy by getting plenty of moderate-intensity exercise, staying out of the sun when it’s hot outside, eating cooling foods, spending time in nature, staying well hydrated, and practicing yoga postures that open the navel and solar plexus, such as backbends and twist poses.

Vata

The dosha type Vata translates to air. People with a dominant Vata dosha tend to be high energy and creative. Vata is always moving and loves new experiences. Vata tends to be flexible and easy to get along with.

Those with a dominant Vata dosha are lean and agile.

When out of balance, a Vata dosha type experiences difficulty with sleeping and digestion.
Vata types can struggle with dry skin, and tend to feel cold often. They tend to worry and are prone to anxiety. Vata tends to over-commit, leading to stress and insomnia.

To balance your Vata dosha, get to bed early, keep a regular schedule, eat warming foods and beverages such as soups and hot teas, avoid multi-tasking, and enjoy meditation, massage with oils, and warm baths. Slower yoga practices such as Yin yoga can be helpful, as well as warming Pranayama techniques such as Breath of Fire.

Kapha

The Kapha dosha type translates to earth. Those with a dominant Kapha dosha are caring, empathetic, and patient. Kapha is known for being a supportive friend. They have an even temperament and are mindful with their actions and words.

Those with a dominant Kapha body type have a strong and often thicker body type. They can have a slower metabolism and are more susceptible to weight gain.

When out of balance, the Kapha dosha can experience difficulty with depression and low energy, and may feel cold. This dosha type can feel difficulty being motivated to complete a day’s tasks, sometimes preferring to sleep in or rest.

To balance a Kapha dosha, schedule movement and social interactions throughout your day, avoid heavy foods and alcohol, eat fresh, light, and warm foods, listen to upbeat music, try new things regularly, and get rid of clutter. Energizing and warming yoga workouts such as Kundalini or Bikram yoga may be helpful, and a regular stretching practice can help relieve the stiffness that Kaphas can be prone to.

Learn More About Balancing Your Dosha at YogaPractice.com

 

About the author

Rose S.


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