Body types are thus classified as vata, pitta, and kapha-dominant types. However, it is possible that you have more than one dosha in higher proportions, in which case your lifestyle will need to be adjusted keeping in mind the dominant doshas.
One of the reasons Ayurveda is considered such a profound system is the nature of its approach towards an individual’s well-being. Here, every individual is assessed differently and their afflictions and problems are treated keeping in mind their constitution. According to Ayurveda, each and every one of us has a unique constitution or prakriti; one which defines everything from our health and food habits, to our physical and emotional tendencies – essentially our entire being.
While they are certainly unique, each constitution is a combination of the same three energies or bodily humors known as doshas. These doshas are combinations of the five key elements – earth, air, fire, water, and ether. Our constitutions are ultimately unique because of the proportions in which the doshas are found and it is this combination that defines our Ayurvedic body type. This is what makes it so important to understand doshas and their characteristics before you determine your body type.
The Three Doshas
Vata, the energy of movement, is a combination of air and ether. It is responsible for all biological functions and even the movement of the other doshas in the body. A person with a vata-dominant body type would generally be thin and lanky, with a light bone structure and would struggle to gain weight. They would likely be clever and creative, with a tendency to be expressive and artistic.
Pitta, the energy of digestion and metabolism, is a combination of fire and water. This dosha functions through digestive fluids and hormones to provide heat and energy to the body during the digestion of complex food molecules. Pitta-dominant personalities are generally of medium build with healthy muscular development and a strong metabolism. They are characterized as focused go-getters driven to improve themselves every day and need to have their lives completely organized.
Kapha, the energy of building and lubrication, is a combination of earth and water. It helps shape the body’s structure and ensures smooth functioning of its parts. They are calm and composed individuals, with a clear opinion on everything and a steady appetite and sturdier physique. They have a slow metabolism, which leaves them with more fat and causes them to be slow in movement and reaction.