Discover Your Dosha
Start to Understand Your Unique Makeup
Identifying your constitutional strengths and weaknesses is one of the first steps to getting to know your body. Once you know what you are working with you can then take the steps to balance your lifestyle and diet in a way that strengthens your weak areas and calms the areas that are over active.
Answer these questions quickly without too much thought. If you get stuck and think ‘I was this, now I’m that’. Take the option that’s been most enduring or ask a friend that knows you well, often others can see us better than we can see ourselves.
a) I’m slim & tall (even if you are short you will appear taller than you are to others). I don’t gain weight easily & have a tendency to lose weight.
b) I’m medium with strong legs and a symmetrical muscular build. I can loose or gain weight quickly.
c) I’m larger, shorter, stocky and padded. I gain weight easily & have difficulty losing it.
a) My hair is dry, brittle or frizzy
b) My hair is fine, oily, falls easily & early greying.
c) My hair is thick & abundant.
a) I have small, active eyes.
b) I have penetrating, sharp eyes.
c) I have big round, calm eyes.
Teeth - pre corrections
a) My teeth are different sizes
b) My teeth even and are a medium size
c) My teeth are big and white
a) My skin is darker than most of my race, it feels thin, cool & dry, I moisturize daily.
b) My skin is pinkish, warm & prone to irritation. I sweat easily.
c) My skin is paler than most of my race, it feels cool, thick, smooth & oily.
a) My nails are thin and brittle/dry
b) My nails are soft and pinkish
c) My nails are thick and strong
a) Sometimes I am hungry in the morning sometimes I’m not. I can forget to eat.
b) I wake up hungry most days. I never forget to eat. I get hangry!
c) I’m have a consistently moderate hunger in the morning
a) I have a small chest
b) I have a medium chest
c) I have a large chest
a) I tend to get constipation & gas
b) I tend to get looser stools
c) I tend to have big, oily stools
a) My joints are thin, prominent & have a tendency to crack.
b) My joints are loose & flexible.
c) My joints are large & strong.
a) I am a light sleeper with a tendency to wake easily.
b) I am a moderate sleeper; I need less than 8 hours to feel rested.
c) My sleep is deep & long. I wake slowly in the morning.
a) I grasp concepts & learn quickly but forget quickly.
b) I grasp concepts/learn quickly & remember well.
c) I grasp concepts/learn slowly & remember forever.
a) My hands & feet are usually cold. I prefer warm, moist environments.
b) I am usually warm, regardless of the season. I prefer cooler environments.
c) I am adaptable to most temperatures but I don’t like cold, wet days.
a) I get conditions that seem to change from one thing to another but don’t seem to resolve.
b) I get short, fast, intense conditions that generally resolve quickly.
c) I get long, lasting conditions that seem to hang around forever.
a) When stressed I become anxious and/or worried.
b) When stressed I become irritable and/or aggressive.
c) When stressed I become withdrawn and/or reclusive.
a) I am lively and enthusiastic by nature. I like change.
b) I am purposeful & intense. I like to convince & win. I like direction.
c) I am easy going, accepting & supportive. I like routine.
Now add up your scores.
Total A’s: Total B’s: Total C’s:
If you got mostly A’s you have dominant Vata
If you got mostly B’s you have dominant Pitta,
If you got mostly C’s you have dominant Kapha.
Yes, you can be a mix e.g. predominantly Vata and Pitta or you can be a mix of all three. A mix of all three is actually the preference as your body is naturally more balanced, which means it’s easier for you to be healthy and well! Lucky you :)
WHATS YOUR DOSHA?
VATA: Air & Ether (space)
Your are a slim, fast moving, enthusiastic and fun person; who’s envied by others because is just so easy for you to stay in shape. However, you may feel that your too skinny. Both Vata men and woman often would like a bigger chest. Sorry muscle development really just isn’t that easy for you. You will need to put in a lot more work at the gym than the average Pitta or Kapha.
Vata’s are restless and airy they have a tendency to be spacy, dreamers. They tend to chop and change a lot. Vata’s hate being stuck in one spot for too long and need options. A Vata personality will have many things on the go at once. This can be great or a total curse, as they may find it hard to complete things. Full of creativity and enthusiasm they are a great person to brainstorm with but definitely not your person for doing the hard work. Vata’s also have a sharp intellect, which attracts and entertains however they do have the problem of forgetting details very quickly.
PITTA: Fire & Water
You have a balanced, symmetrical body, that tones up very quickly. You’re not tall, skinny, fat, short or anything irregular. Your physical body looks good, it’s strong without being heavy. At the gym, you are the envy of Vata and Kapha, because it’s just so easy for you to get results and so, fast! The pitta type has a wee or I should say massive tendency to over-do it. Big time. You are so focused, so driven and very dedicated, it can literally break you. However, you are that person who get stuff done! You get it done, fast, you have an eye for detail and you are concise – the perfect employee. Push a pitta too far, you will regret it, get out of their way or get hit by the fiery storm. Being patient and counting to 10 are not a Pittas forte.
KAPHA: Earth & Water
You are the strong bodied and physically able. For the ladies you have the sexy hourglass figure; boobs and butt and for guys you are solid - not a person to mess with! Well actually you have a huge heart so you may seem tough but actually it’s as soft as butter inside that strong exterior. You are a reliable person, a caretaker and the nurture. You see the best in people, you are a wonderful listener and people just find it so easy to talk to you as you are non-judgemental. Kapha’s have the best stamina once they get going. Yip that’s the Kapha’s curse you’re just a wee bit lazy. You are a slow mover you do everything half the speed, if not slower than a Vata. You’re often late, which can be irritating to Pitta’s and Vata’s but your so chill, their little tiff doesn’t bother you as you have mastered the art of ‘everything’s that meant to happen will happen. You are considered and deliberate so you build and grow slowly and steadily. Turtle won the race right ;)
Good health is all about BALANCE.
It’s not so much about starving yourself, pushing yourself to do things you don’t want or need to do. It’s simply about working out what your body thrives on and doing those things more, plus understanding what causes imbalance and doing those things less.
We all tend to love doing things that push us to the further extreme of our constitution. E.g. pitta types are very focused and often are workaholics. Vata types are excitable, great ideas people but often lack stick-ability and to carry things through to the end. Kapha types are relaxed and cruzy but find it hard to get going and get started. So, what we need to do is the opposite of our tendency to create balanced. We do this with our actions and behaviours, the foods we eat, the ways we live our life.
Pitta’s need to learn to relax.
Vata’s need to learn to do one thing at once before starting another task.
Kapha’s need to get up and going.
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR DOSHA
Balancing VATA: Air & Ether (space)
Vata’s feel the cold, so you need to take attention to what you wear, as getting cold can deplete a Vata very easily. In-fact of all the constitutions Vata’s are the most easily depleted. They run at a high pace, burning lots of fuel, having little reserves. This means they come crashing down very quickly (think of a race car or a thoroughbred race horse). Depletion is the open door to sickness for Vata so avoiding depletion is one of a Vata’s strategies to good health.
Vata’s love stimulation and excitation, they are spontaneous and fun. They are highly entertaining to be around when they are in this state, however being in a “Vata” state uses a lot of energy and all of a Vata’s reserves, so they burnout super fast. To prevent over stimulation a Vata needs to learn to slow down, ground, centre and rest. Meditation/prayer, silence, spending time alone in nature, near water or gardening is very centring for a Vata. Using dance, music and art as a way to channel their chaotic energy is a great way to create balance in a Vata. Writing lists, and taking notes are important for enabling vatas to get things done and to be able to study. Simplifying and prioritising what is important to you and letting go of stressful situations and people brings balance. Anything that calms, centres and grounds is a Vata’s motto and best medicine.
Diet: Due to Vata’s cold dry nature they do best on an 80/20 cooked to raw diet, that is high in fats, oils and water/liquids. Minimizing stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes are a must for Vata’s as their delicate constitutions ‘can’t handle the jandal’.
Consuming foods and drinks that are warming and moistening are beneficial for Vata such as: ginger, cinnamon, chilli, cloves and cumin. Due to Vata’s, changeable nature they tend to skip meals and pick here and there. This just increases Vata, so to balance this they need to eat regular meals. Avoiding light and airy foods is important too; crackers, crisps, popcorn, biscuits, dried foods. Smoothies that have been allowed to warm to room temperature, hot milk with cinnamon and honey, chamomile and fennel tea are great drinks for Vata.
Balancing PITTA: Fire & Water
Pittas are hot little fire crackers! They need to learn to cool down literally on all levels. When a person is in a Pitta state it can be a bit scary, they maybe angry, aggressive, bossy or just too focused on work and not able to have fun. No one likes being around that for too long. So, chill out bro it pittas motto! Meditation, swimming and doing things that come from the heart balance Pitta. Exercise, working out, sports, dance, and martial arts are great things to channel the excess Pitta energy into.
One of the big problems with Pitta is they don’t know when to stop. This is because they have a lot of energy, a naturally balanced body and a sharp mind, so they can feel invincible! This is why learning to chill is so vital. Pittas only get sick when they are broken (ambulance at the bottom of the hill). So, the motto for Pitta is prevention and moderation. Anything that helps a Pitta to, relax chill and laugh is health giving.
Diet: Because Pitta’s are so hot they need cooling down. They also need to eat regularly otherwise they get angry, so to keep a pitta calm - feed him. Pitta’s can handle big meals the best of the 3 constitutions as they have a strong stomach so they can easily digest lots of food and won’t get tummy bugs. You know a Pitta when you hear someone say I can eat anything and not get sick. Eating a diet that’s around 60/40 cooked to raw is balancing to Pitta. Moderating their intake of hot spicy foods such as; chilli, cayenne, ginger, garlic, onions, and acidic foods such as; citrus, vinegar, tomatoes, meat, alcohol and sugar is important. Encouraging cool, by increasing: salads, coconut, turmeric, Aloe Vera, green veggies and lots of pure water. Yogurt, mint, cucumber, coriander, parsley and dill all cool a fiery pitta belly.
Balancing KAPHA: Earth & Water
Kapha’s are so cool, calm and so snuggly it can be a problem, so with Kapha it’s all about, heating and getting moving. Implementing a daily exercise routine, doing new things, and clearing clutter is import for balancing Kapha. Motivation can also be a problem so doing activities with other people is very important; this goes for socialising, exercising, and eating. Note: The only way this technique works is if the people you do things with are health conscious i.e. if you go out socialising with friends who are big boozers and meat eaters it’s not going to help you eat a light Kapha balancing meal. Kapha’s can be emotional, over eaters and they tend to put the need of others first. So, learning to put themself first and feeling their emotions instead of eating are good ways to balance Kapha.
Diet: Kaphas do well on warm, light foods, so a balance between raw to cooked isn’t so relevant its more about the lightness v’s the heaviness of the cooked food. If your going to eat cooked foods avoiding heavy, gluggy and stodgy is the key. Kapha’s do best on seeds, nuts, salads, stir-fries, low meat, low milk, low sugar and low gluten diets, think 80/20 fresh fruit/vegetables/seeds to meat/grains/dairy. Kapha’s do best when they only eat when they are hungry. Spices and herbs to use in cooking and drinks are fenugreek, cinnamon, lemon grass, and ginger, cayenne, black pepper, garlic, onions.
The key to remember is each person’s body is unique, so one rule does not fit all and most of us are a blend of two Doha’s for example: I’m predominantly Vata but definitely have some strong pitta characteristic. So, I treat myself for Vata imbalance doing things to pacify Vata. I keep an eye on my Pitta and try to encourage Kapha.
It’s important to know what you are so you then know how to balance yourself. When you combine this information with your metabolic type and eat a whole-food based diet that’s focused on eating for health you will find your balance. When you are balanced, your weight stabilises, you can solve digestion issues, energy improves, moods stabilise and life’s easy and good. If you want more information on how to create balance for your unique body type, please contact Hannah here.