Ayurvedic Mind Body Types: Doshas
Instinctively, over 5,000 years ago, practitioners of Ayurveda observed nature, including humans, and realized we are not all built the same. We are, however, made up of the building blocks of nature but we simply have different proportions of these elements in our bodies, minds and personalities.
In other words, before the concept of genes was discovered, Ayurvedic medicine understood we have different bodies, minds and personalities from the moment of our conception.
These Ayurvedic mind body types are called doshas. They are composed of the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth.
The first Ayurvedic mind body type is called Vata and is made up of space and air. Vata types are usually thin with angular features. They are quick to move and ever changing. They enjoy new things, and often change jobs, careers, interests or relationships. A Vata type is most often the life of the party and friendly. When a Vata type is in balance, they have burst of energy, walk fast and talk fast, are creative and communicative. A Vata out of balance becomes anxious, worried or even neurotic. They tend to have cold hands, feet and have delicate digestion. Do you know someone who paces while they talk on the phone? Or maybe, someone who resists routine and is unpredictable? It’s likely that person has a fair amount of Vata in his or her Ayurvedic mind body type.
Pitta is the second Ayurvedic mind body type. It is comprised of the elements of fire and water. Just like the primary element indicates, Pitta types are fiery, passionate, driven. They tend to be goal oriented, good leaders, enjoy education and factual knowledge. Pitta body types are mesomorphic or medium build. They have beautiful eyes and a warm gaze. Pitta types need to eat on time or they get cranky. When in balance, Pitta types are warm, intellectual, interesting, and attractive. An out of balance Pitta can be quite scary to the receiver of the imbalance. They get angry, critical, or judgmental. Do you know someone whose skin is very warm to the touch? Does that person have eyes that melt your heart by a simple gaze or is completely goal oriented? You probably have someone with a majority of Pitta in his or her Ayurvedic mind body type.
The third Ayurvedic mind body type is called Kapha. No one likes to be a Kapha when they read what a Kapha type is, but Kapha types have many great qualities. Kapha is comprised of water and earth. Needless to say, Kapha types are earthy and stable. Since water and earth make mud, Kapha types are grounded, more heavy physically than Vata and Pitta types, and are slow movers. Kapha types have great physical stamina. They almost never get sick. Everything about them is slow. They eat and walk slowly. They adore routine. Kapha types are probably the most trustworthy friends you will ever meet. A Kapha friend might say, “I can look at a piece of cake and gain 10 pounds.” In balance a Kapha type is kind, trustworthy, affectionate and reliable. Out of balance, a Kapha type gains weight, can get depressed, can become possessive or become inert. Do you know someone who has struggled with his or her weight since birth? Does this person hold a record for being the most reliable person in your life? Does he or she prefer to stay at home and read a good book rather than go out? If so, you may know a Kapha type.
We have all three of the doshas or Ayurvedic mind body types within each of us since we are all made up of space, air, fire, water and earth. We simply have different proportions of each. In the next blog post, we’ll discuss what it means to know your Ayurvedic mind body type.
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