The Body Constitution

Every living and non living entity in this universe is composed of five basic components called panchmahabutas. These are Ether(sky), Air, Water, Fire and Earth. In living individuals, these combine in various permutations and combinations to form Tri Doshas, which form the structural and functional units of life. The human body is also composed of these three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When they stay in a state of balance in the human body, a condition of normal health prevails. On the other hand if the state of balance is disturbed quantitatively as well as qualitatively, the result is a manifestation of disease.

The quality and quantity of Doshas in a human body is decided at the time of fertilization and is individual specific and is called the Prakriti or Body type of that individual.

Vata

The word Vata in Sanskrit means Air. Lightness, movement, dryness, coldness are the qualities of air and similar are the qualities of vata. Vata is responsible for all the movements involved in the body; whether it is the movement of the limbs, beating of the heart or transmission of nerve impulse. The vata principle in the body can be compared with the entire Nervous system, movement of the limbs in locomotor’s system, beating of heart and circulation of blood and lymph in cardiovascular system, movement of food in alimentary canal in the digestive system, movement of air in respiratory system, production of voice and movement of menstrual blood and foetus through the uterine cavity, urine through the renal passage and the peristalsis of intestine to evacuate bowels.

Vata dosha is also responsible for mental functions like intuition, imagination, resilience, sensitivity, spontaneity, indecisiveness and emotions like exhilaration, fear, insecurity and doubt. In layman term, Vata represents the biological principles of air and space.

Pitta

The word Pitta in Sanskrit stands for fire which has the following properties – Hot, light, movement, moist, sharp and penetrating. Pitta has similar qualities and is responsible for digestion, absorption, assimilation, metabolism, immunity, visual perception, aura over skin, temperature regulation and intelligence. Pitta dosha is responsible for mental functions like intelligence, confidence, enterprise, organization, and emotions like joy, excitement, courage, anger, jealousy, and hatred. Pitta may be described as the biological principle of fire and water.

Kapha

The word Kapha in Sanskrit stands for water and is characterized with the property of moistness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and smoothness. Similarly Kapha in the body provides stability to the joints and bones by providing lubrication and strengthening the muscles. Kapha acts as a shock absorber for heart, lungs, brain and other vital organs. It also moistens the food in the stomach and prepares it for digestion.

Kapha dosha is also responsible for mental functions like memory, tranquility, faith, forgiveness, devotion, and emotions like love, affection, calmness, patience, sympathy, attachment, greed and lethargy. Those with predominant Kapha are more susceptible to weight gain. Kapha is the biological principle of water and earth.

Of all the three governing factors, Vata is fundamentally the most important. It coordinates both Pitta and Kapha. Vata governs all the general physical processes. Imbalances in Vata are therefore more serious in nature. Kapha provides the material foundation and support for both Vata and Pitta.

Physical constitution as per dosha

FEATURES VATA DOSHA PITTA DOSHA KAPHA DOSHA
Body frame Tall or short, thin bony Medium and muscular Large, stout well developed body
Finger & nails Thin, dry or cracking Medium, pink and soft Thick and white
Pulse Moves like snake Moves like frog Moves like swan
Weight Low or bony , hard to put on weight Medium or muscular Over Weight, gains weight easily
Bowel movement Small, hard with gas Loose or with burning Moderate or solid
Forehead size Small Medium Large
Nose Uneven shape Long pointed Short rounded
Eyes Small, active & sunken Sharp, bright, sensitive to light Short rounded
Lips Dry black/brown tinged Red, thin, very soft Smooth, oily, pale
Teeth Big, Roomy, thin gums Medium, soft, tender gums Healthy, white, strong gums
Hairs Dry, rough & brittle Oily, blond, early bald Thick, curly and oily
Neck Thin, tall Medium Short big
Likes in Taste Sweet, Sour, Salty Sweet, Bitter, Astringent Bitter, pungent, astringent
Skin Thin, cold, rough, prominent vein Warm, moist, oily, with moles Thick, cold, moist, oily, pale
Appetite Variable, eats quickly Strong or eats moderately fast Constant, low and eats slowly
Thirst Changeable More Less
Voice Low or weak High or sharp Slow or Silent
Speech Quick or talkative Moderate or argues Deep or tonal
Sexual habit Variable or low Moderate or passionate Low or constant
Reactivity to Cold & dry Heat & sun Cold & damp
Preferences Travel or nature Sport or politics Water or flower
Physical activities Hyperactive Moderate Slow
Body Energy Low in the evening, fatigue fast after small work Moderate get tiered after medium work Excellent Energy throughout the day, less fatigue
Immunity Poor Moderate Strong
Life pace Fast, unsteady, hyperactive Moderate, purposeful and goal oriented Slow and steady
Complexion Dull, darkish brown, lusterless Flushed, reddish, glowing Pale, whitish
Joints Small unsteady, cracking and prominent Moderate, loose and soft Large thick well built
Body odour Odourless and scanty Strong smell and hot Pleasant smell and cold

Traditionally their are seven different body-types in Ayurveda. The Dosha is determined at time of conception and does never change! Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha and Vata-Pitta-Kapha.

Vata

  • Is generally thin and doesn’t gain weight easily
  • Is quick and active
  • Has dry skin more so in winter
  • Cold Hands and feet
  • The energy fluctuates and comes in bursts
  • Tends to have gas or constipation
  • Has usually difficulty falling asleep or having a sound night’s sleep
  • Is uncomfortable in cold weather
  • Is lively and enthusiastic
  • Has difficulty memorizing things and remembering them later
  • Not good at making decisions
  • Is anxious or worrisome by nature
  • Is talkative and talks quickly
  • Is usually emotional and moods fluctuate easy
  • The mind is restless, but very imaginative
  • Has irregular eating and sleeping habits

Tips for balancing Vata

  • Emphasize a diet which is Vata-pacifying
  • Drink warming herbal teas and warm fluids
  • Avoid alcohol and coffee
  • Rest adequately
  • Use sesame oil for a whole body massage in the morning
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Avoid over stimulation
  • Keep warm
  • Do calming exercise like walking, Tai Chi and Yoga

Pitta

  • Doesn’t tolerate hot weather well
  • Sweat easily
  • Can’t tolerate delaying or skipping a meal
  • Has fine, straight, light, blond, red graying early hair or balding
  • Has good appetite and likes big meals
  • Has regular bowel movements rather on the loose side
  • Likes cold drinks and foods
  • Feels hot easily
  • Can’t tolerate spicy, hot foods
  • Is efficient, organized and accurate
  • Has strong will and tends to be stubborn
  • Is impatient by nature
  • Tends to become irritable or angry quite easily
  • Tries to be meticulous and to be a perfectionist
  • Is critical of self and others

Tips for balancing Pitta

  • Emphasize Pitt-pacifying diet
  • Eat whenever hungry
  • Eliminate aggravated PITTA by a gentle laxative treatment
  • Avoid exertion
  • Avoid overexposure to heat and sun
  • Stay in a cooling environment
  • Relax in natural surroundings
  • Do cooling exercises like swimming or walking in cooler weather

Kapha

  • Can gain weight easily, loosing weight is difficult
  • Can skip meals easily
  • Tends to have congestion, mucus or sinus problems
  • Has a deep sleep
  • Has thick, oily, dark, or wavy hair
  • Has smooth and soft skin with pale complexion
  • Has a large body frame with a heavy bone structure
  • Has a slow digestion and feels full after eating
  • Has a steady energy level and strong stamina
  • Is sensitive to cool and damp weather
  • Tends to be slow, methodical and relaxed
  • Needs at least 10 hrs sleep
  • Is calm and composed by nature
  • Learns slower with good memory
  • Works slow and consistent
  • Does not like responsibility

Tips for balancing Kapha

  • Emphasize a diet which is Kapha-pacifying
  • Reduce sugars and sweets
  • Drink warming fluids
  • Keep warm
  • Avoid cold and damp
  • Stimulate with a full body dry massage
  • Accept motivating challenges
  • Do vigorous exercises like aerobic, tennis, Ashtanga Yoga etc. regularly

The Mental Constitution

The state of the mind is a very important aspect of a person. The ‘rishis’ (sages) understood that everything in this world has got three principal modes. The tendency to act, rest and balance is within all living entities. Rajas, Tamas and Satva (together known as the tri-gunas) are the three modes of the universe inherent in every particle, without which we can’t exist. Generally these three modes are applied to understanding the mind, since the mind is the more subtle aspect of our body.

The three modes are not permanent. They are changeable according to our association and action. One can change the modes of mind through constant practice. We can evolve from rajas or tamas to satwa, the balance and harmony, through acute self awareness, humility and diligence. A well balanced male should have 70% satva, 20% rajas and 10% tamas. A well balanced female should have 70% satva, 10% rajas and 20% tamas. While a true guru would be 100% satvic.

To determine your current predominant mental state look at the following:

Mental Clarity Satva Rajas Tamas
Concentration Very clear Hyperactive Cloudy
Memory Good Moderate Poor
Will power Good Moderate Poor
Honesty Strong Variable Weak
Peace of mind Always Mostly Rarely
Creativity Generally Occasionally Rarely
Spiritual Study High Moderate Low
Mantra/Prayer Daily Occasionally Never
Meditation Daily Occasionally Never
Selfless service Daily Occasionally Never
Relationships Often Occasionally Rarely
Anger Harmonious Passionate Disturbed
Fear Rarely Sometimes Frequently
Desire Rarely Sometimes Frequently
Pride Little Some Uncontrollable
Depression Modes Some Ego Vain
Love Never Sometimes Frequently
Violent Behaviour Universal Personal Lacking in love
Attachment Never Sometimes Frequently
Addictive behaviour Detached Occasionally Attached
Forgiveness Forgive easily With Effort Grudges
Diet Vegetarian Some Meat Frequent Meat
Sensory impression Never Occasionally Frequently
Sleep requirement Calm Mixed Disturbed
Sexual activity Little Moderate Excessive
Control of senses Controlled Intense Uncontrollable
Speech Good Moderate Low
Cleanliness Peaceful Agitated Dull
Work High Moderate Low
Selfless Reward Centered Aimless

Satva

Satva is characterized by balance and harmony. It is the state of harmony, indiscrimination, stability of mind, efficiency of handling matters without partiality and selfishness, emotional stability and detachment.

Satvic people tend to have an inherent instinct for cleanliness and possess an effortless wisdom reflected in their action. they don’t tend to worry, be anxious or panic. They do things in a systematic, intelligent and peaceful way.

Satva is the peaceful, calm state of mind exemplified by the world’s saintly people. When satva declines we resort to rajas or tamas, depending upon the person’s activities.

Rajas

Rajas is the inherent tendency to be active. This is essential to get things done. When in excess, Rajas results in hyperactivity, aggression, passion, severe attachment, agitation and regrettable actions. When unbalanced rajas is considered a disturbing influence on the mind.

Rajasic people tend to be power hungry and dissatisfied with what positions or possessions they obtain, they are constantly striving for more often at the cost of those around them. They have a brave yet jealous and cruel character.

Tamas

Tamas presents as inertia. Rest or sleep is impossible without this quality. It provides grounding and stability. Its increase results in inertia, laziness, apathy, ignorance and depression. Excessive tamas is darkness.

Tamasic people tend to avoid work, with a penchant for uncontrolled sense of gratification and wasting time. They avoid cleanliness and are not health conscious.

Every living and non living entity in this universe is composed of five basic components called panchmahabutas. These are Ether(sky), Air, Water, Fire and Earth. In living individuals, these combine in various permutations and combinations to form Tri Doshas, which form the structural and functional units of life. The human body is also composed of these three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When they stay in a state of balance in the human body, a condition of normal health prevails. On the other hand if the state of balance is disturbed quantitatively as well as qualitatively, the result is a manifestation of disease.

The quality and quantity of Doshas in a human body is decided at the time of fertilization and is individual specific and is called the Prakriti or Body type of that individual.

Vata

The word Vata in Sanskrit means Air. Lightness, movement, dryness, coldness are the qualities of air and similar are the qualities of vata. Vata is responsible for all the movements involved in the body; whether it is the movement of the limbs, beating of the heart or transmission of nerve impulse.
The vata principle in the body can be compared with the entire Nervous system, movement of the limbs in locomotor’s system, beating of heart and circulation of blood and lymph in cardiovascular system, movement of food in alimentary canal in the digestive system, movement of air in respiratory system, production of voice and movement of menstrual blood and foetus through the uterine cavity, urine through the renal passage and the peristalsis of intestine to evacuate bowels.

Vata dosha is also responsible for mental functions like intuition, imagination, resilience, sensitivity, spontaneity, indecisiveness and emotions like exhilaration, fear, insecurity and doubt. In layman term, Vata represents the biological principles of air and space.

Pitta

The word Pitta in Sanskrit stands for fire which has the following properties – Hot, light, movement, moist, sharp and penetrating. Pitta has similar qualities and is responsible for digestion, absorption, assimilation, metabolism, immunity, visual perception, aura over skin, temperature regulation and intelligence.
Pitta dosha is responsible for mental functions like intelligence, confidence, enterprise, organization, and emotions like joy, excitement, courage, anger, jealousy, and hatred. Pitta may be described as the biological principle of fire and water.

Kapha

The word Kapha in Sanskrit stands for water and is characterized with the property of moistness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and smoothness. Similarly Kapha in the body provides stability to the joints and bones by providing lubrication and strengthening the muscles. Kapha acts as a shock absorber for heart, lungs, brain and other vital organs. It also moistens the food in the stomach and prepares it for digestion.

Kapha dosha is also responsible for mental functions like memory, tranquility, faith, forgiveness, devotion, and emotions like love, affection, calmness, patience, sympathy, attachment, greed and lethargy. Those with predominant Kapha are more susceptible to weight gain.
Kapha is the biological principle of water and earth.

Of all the three governing factors, Vata is fundamentally the most important. It coordinates both Pitta and Kapha. Vata governs all the general physical processes. Imbalances in Vata are therefore more serious in nature. Kapha provides the material foundation and support for both Vata and Pitta.

Physical constitution as per dosha

FEATURESVATA DOSHAPITTA DOSHAKAPHA DOSHA
Body frameTall or short, thin bonyMedium and muscularLarge, stout well developed body
Finger & nailsThin, dry or crackingMedium, pink and softThick and white
PulseMoves like snakeMoves like frogMoves like swan
WeightLow or bony , hard to put on weightMedium or muscularOver Weight, gains weight easily
Bowel movementSmall, hard with gasLoose or with burningModerate or solid
Forehead sizeSmallMediumLarge
NoseUneven shapeLong pointedShort rounded
EyesSmall, active & sunkenSharp, bright, sensitive to lightShort rounded
LipsDry black/brown tingedRed, thin, very softSmooth, oily, pale
TeethBig, Roomy, thin gumsMedium, soft, tender gumsHealthy, white, strong gums
HairsDry, rough & brittleOily, blond, early baldThick, curly and oily
NeckThin, tallMediumShort big
Likes in TasteSweet, Sour, SaltySweet, Bitter, AstringentBitter, pungent, astringent
SkinThin, cold, rough, prominent veinWarm, moist, oily, with molesThick, cold, moist, oily, pale
AppetiteVariable, eats quicklyStrong or eats moderately fastConstant, low and eats slowly
ThirstChangeableMoreLess
VoiceLow or weakHigh or sharpSlow or Silent
SpeechQuick or talkativeModerate or arguesDeep or tonal
Sexual habitVariable or lowModerate or passionateLow or constant
Reactivity toCold & dryHeat & sunCold & damp
PreferencesTravel or natureSport or politicsWater or flower
Physical activitiesHyperactiveModerateSlow
Body EnergyLow in the evening, fatigue fast after small workModerate get tiered after medium workExcellent Energy throughout the day, less fatigue
ImmunityPoorModerateStrong
Life paceFast, unsteady, hyperactiveModerate, purposeful and goal orientedSlow and steady
ComplexionDull, darkish brown, lusterlessFlushed, reddish, glowingPale, whitish
JointsSmall unsteady, cracking and prominentModerate, loose and softLarge thick well built
Body odourOdourless and scantyStrong smell and hotPleasant smell and cold

Traditionally their are seven different body-types in Ayurveda. The Dosha is determined at time of conception and does never change! Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha and Vata-Pitta-Kapha.

Vata

  • Is generally thin and doesn’t gain weight easily
  • Is quick and active
  • Has dry skin more so in winter
  • Cold Hands and feet
  • The energy fluctuates and comes in bursts
  • Tends to have gas or constipation
  • Has usually difficulty falling asleep or having a sound night’s sleep
  • Is uncomfortable in cold weather
  • Is lively and enthusiastic
  • Has difficulty memorizing things and remembering them later
  • Not good at making decisions
  • Is anxious or worrisome by nature
  • Is talkative and talks quickly
  • Is usually emotional and moods fluctuate easy
  • The mind is restless, but very imaginative
  • Has irregular eating and sleeping habits

Tips for balancing Vata

  • Emphasize a diet which is Vata-pacifying
  • Drink warming herbal teas and warm fluids
  • Avoid alcohol and coffee
  • Rest adequately
  • Use sesame oil for a whole body massage in the morning
  • Take a warm bath or shower
  • Avoid over stimulation
  • Keep warm
  • Do calming exercise like walking, Tai Chi and Yoga

Pitta

  • Doesn’t tolerate hot weather well
  • Sweat easily
  • Can’t tolerate delaying or skipping a meal
  • Has fine, straight, light, blond, red graying early hair or balding
  • Has good appetite and likes big meals
  • Has regular bowel movements rather on the loose side
  • Likes cold drinks and foods
  • Feels hot easily
  • Can’t tolerate spicy, hot foods
  • Is efficient, organized and accurate
  • Has strong will and tends to be stubborn
  • Is impatient by nature
  • Tends to become irritable or angry quite easily
  • Tries to be meticulous and to be a perfectionist
  • Is critical of self and others

Tips for balancing Pitta

  • Emphasize Pitt-pacifying diet
  • Eat whenever hungry
  • Eliminate aggravated PITTA by a gentle laxative treatment
  • Avoid exertion
  • Avoid overexposure to heat and sun
  • Stay in a cooling environment
  • Relax in natural surroundings
  • Do cooling exercises like swimming or walking in cooler weather

Kapha

  • Can gain weight easily, loosing weight is difficult
  • Can skip meals easily
  • Tends to have congestion, mucus or sinus problems
  • Has a deep sleep
  • Has thick, oily, dark, or wavy hair
  • Has smooth and soft skin with pale complexion
  • Has a large body frame with a heavy bone structure
  • Has a slow digestion and feels full after eating
  • Has a steady energy level and strong stamina
  • Is sensitive to cool and damp weather
  • Tends to be slow, methodical and relaxed
  • Needs at least 10 hrs sleep
  • Is calm and composed by nature
  • Learns slower with good memory
  • Works slow and consistent
  • Does not like responsibility

Tips for balancing Kapha

  • Emphasize a diet which is Kapha-pacifying
  • Reduce sugars and sweets
  • Drink warming fluids
  • Keep warm
  • Avoid cold and damp
  • Stimulate with a full body dry massage
  • Accept motivating challenges
  • Do vigorous exercises like aerobic, tennis, Ashtanga Yoga etc. regularly

The Mental Constitution

The state of the mind is a very important aspect of a person. The ‘rishis’ (sages) understood that everything in this world has got three principal modes. The tendency to act, rest and balance is within all living entities. Rajas, Tamas and Satva (together known as the tri-gunas) are the three modes of the universe inherent in every particle, without which we can’t exist. Generally these three modes are applied to understanding the mind, since the mind is the more subtle aspect of our body.

The three modes are not permanent. They are changeable according to our association and action. One can change the modes of mind through constant practice. We can evolve from rajas or tamas to satwa, the balance and harmony, through acute self awareness, humility and diligence. A well balanced male should have 70% satva, 20% rajas and 10% tamas. A well balanced female should have 70% satva, 10% rajas and 20% tamas. While a true guru would be 100% satvic.

To determine your current predominant mental state look at the following:

Mental ClaritySatvaRajasTamas
ConcentrationVery clearHyperactiveCloudy
MemoryGoodModeratePoor
Will powerGoodModeratePoor
HonestyStrongVariableWeak
Peace of mindAlwaysMostlyRarely
CreativityGenerallyOccasionallyRarely
Spiritual StudyHighModerateLow
Mantra/PrayerDailyOccasionallyNever
MeditationDailyOccasionallyNever
Selfless serviceDailyOccasionallyNever
RelationshipsOftenOccasionallyRarely
AngerHarmoniousPassionateDisturbed
FearRarelySometimesFrequently
DesireRarelySometimesFrequently
PrideLittleSomeUncontrollable
DepressionModesSome EgoVain
LoveNeverSometimesFrequently
Violent BehaviourUniversalPersonalLacking in love
AttachmentNeverSometimesFrequently
Addictive behaviourDetachedOccasionallyAttached
ForgivenessForgive easilyWith EffortGrudges
DietVegetarianSome MeatFrequent Meat
Sensory impressionNeverOccasionallyFrequently
Sleep requirementCalmMixedDisturbed
Sexual activityLittleModerateExcessive
Control of sensesControlledIntenseUncontrollable
SpeechGoodModerateLow
CleanlinessPeacefulAgitatedDull
WorkHighModerateLow
 SelflessReward CenteredAimless

Satva

Satva is characterized by balance and harmony. It is the state of harmony, indiscrimination, stability of mind, efficiency of handling matters without partiality and selfishness, emotional stability and detachment.

Satvic people tend to have an inherent instinct for cleanliness and possess an effortless wisdom reflected in their action. they don’t tend to worry, be anxious or panic. They do things in a systematic, intelligent and peaceful way.

Satva is the peaceful, calm state of mind exemplified by the world’s saintly people. When satva declines we resort to rajas or tamas, depending upon the person’s activities.

Rajas

Rajas is the inherent tendency to be active. This is essential to get things done. When in excess, Rajas results in hyperactivity, aggression, passion, severe attachment, agitation and regrettable actions. When unbalanced rajas is considered a disturbing influence on the mind.

Rajasic people tend to be power hungry and dissatisfied with what positions or possessions they obtain, they are constantly striving for more often at the cost of those around them. They have a brave yet jealous and cruel character.

Tamas

Tamas presents as inertia. Rest or sleep is impossible without this quality. It provides grounding and stability. Its increase results in inertia, laziness, apathy, ignorance and depression. Excessive tamas is darkness.

Tamasic people tend to avoid work, with a penchant for uncontrolled sense of gratification and wasting time. They avoid cleanliness and are not health conscious.

Translate »