What type of person are you? There are many ways to categorize the self. In ayurveda we are given types through the doshas, or bodily constitutions, of which there are three – vata, pitta and kapha. 

Ayurveda is based on the five elements: ether (akasha), air (vayu), fire (agni), water (apas), and earth (prithvi). Each of these elements mix to create the doshas:

  • Vata combines ether and air.
  • Pitta combines fire and water.
  • Kapha combines water and earth.

Though everyone has some of each, most people tend to have an abundance of one or two of the doshas. This unique combination is determined at the moment of conception and is your own personal blueprint, or prakriti (nature). 

  • Bi-doshic indicates that you share qualities strongly with two doshic types, and is actually how most of us are. The best way to manage bi-doshic prakriti is by the season.
  • Tri-doshic means having equal amounts of each doshic influence. The tri-doshic person can be very strong, stable, and adaptable when in balance. When they are out of balance, however, they can experience poor health. 

Here we will outline the characteristics of each dosha so you can gain a small insight into what your dosha type might be. Since doshas are not fixed it is best to look at both long and short term to gain a complete perspective. You can find many assessments online which can be completed twice, one keeping in mind your long term tendencies and another considering things in more of the short term. Combine these scores to determine your overall doshic state. 

Each dosha can be typified as such: 

Vata Doshas

  • Light
  • Dry
  • Cold
  • Slim 
  • Creative
  • Learn quickly
  • Moveable
  • Anxious
  • Irregular appetite and digestion
  • Poor circulation

Someone who is vata dominant will be highly creative and joyful.

They will likely have a lot of thoughts circulating and may experience some bouts of anxiety. People who have excess vata should take care to keep themselves warm, especially during the winter months. 

Due to their “on-the-go” nature, those with vata-dominant doshas should focus on activities that involve constant movement, such as cycling, running, walking, yoga, tai chi, etc. Keeping to a daily schedule is very helpful to maintain balanced health. 

Vata season is autumn, when the air is cool and dry. Someone who has vata qualities should take care to remain warm as often as possible. 

Pitta Doshas

  • Hot 
  • Sharp
  • Athletic
  • Intelligent
  • Determined
  • Adaptable
  • Natural leaders
  • Impatient
  • Mood swings
  • Inflammation 

A person with predominant pitta qualities will be highly motivated to succeed in life. They will take risks and may experience confrontation with others.

To maintain balance these people should take care to not overwork, making time for relaxation. They should avoid extreme heat and eating too many spicy foods. 

Pitta dominant people will generally have a strong and muscular build and be inclined towards vigorous physical activities. Pitta doshas tend to push themselves too hard and should avoid exercising in the heat. Team sports are an excellent way to stay active while satisfying pitta’s natural competitiveness.

Pitta is ruled by the hot summer months. Those with high pitta qualities should take care to remain cool during the summer, and especially then avoid spicy foods. 

Kapha Doshas

  • Heavy
  • Oily
  • Stable
  • Soft
  • Caring
  • Supportive
  • Patient
  • Wise
  • Prone to asthma
  • Easily gain weight

Those who have the dominant qualities of kapha dosha are kind and warm. They are generous and reliable, a great friend to all. The body type will be strong with good bones and lubricated joints, though there is a tendency to become overweight. Someone with kapha dominating may experience periods of depression and overall lethargy. 

They may require external motivation and guidance to become confident in themselves. Kapha doshas work best with a workout buddy and should focus on a combination of cardio and weight-resistance exercise to stay interested and motivated. For optimal health a good diet, regular exercise and keeping the body warm are recommended. 

Kapha season is spring which brings wet weather and an emergence from winter hibernation. A kapha dominant person should take care to keep dry and remain active during these times of the year.