Ayurveda : Understanding Your Body Type

A Glimpse into Ayurveda the 5000 Year Old Ancient Science of Healing.

Body Type

According to Ayurveda, the first requirement for healing oneself and others is a clear understanding of the three doshas. The concept of Vata-Pitta-Kapha
is unique to Ayurveda and it holds the potential for revolutionizing th healing
systems of the West. However, the concept of the three principles and the
Sanskrit words, Vata-Pitta-Kapha, are very difficult to translate into
Western terms.

Tridosha Concept: Inside the body, there are three doshas which govern the phyico-chemical and physiological activities. These three doshas are Vata (from ether and air), Pitta (from fire and an aspect of water), and Kapha
(from water and earth).Individual constitution is acquired at birth and remains
constant through life. Through Ayurdic books, teachers, and courses, one is
able to determine one's individual constitution and thereby knowing which
direction to take for self-diagnosis purposes.

A balance among the tridosha is necessary for health. For example, the air principle kindles the bodily fire, but water is necessary to control fire, otherwise the bodily fire would burn
the tissues. Vata moves Kapha and Pitta, since Kapha and Pitta are immobile.
Together, the tridosha governs all metabolic activities; anabolism (Kapha),
catabolism (Vata), and metabolism (Pitta). When Vata is out of balance, the
metabolism will be disturbed, resulting in excess catabolism, which is the
breakdown or deterioration process in the body. When anabolism is greater than
catabolism, there is an increased rate of growth and repair of the organs and
tissues. Excess Pitta disturbs metabolism, excess Kapha increases the rate of
anabolism and excess Vata creates emaciation (catabolism).

In childhood, anabolism and the Kapha elements are predominant, since this is the time of greatest physical growth. In adulthood, metabolism and the element of Pitta are most apparent,
because at this stage the body is matured and stable. In old age, catabolism
and Vata are most evident, as the body begins to deteriorate.

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Characteristics of Body Types

For a better understanding of your Ayurvedic constitution and to cross-check the results of the test, listed below are the principal physical and psychological characteristics of persons with
predominantly single dosha constitutions.

Vata :

Physically such people are either very tall or very short, non- muscular, with thin and bony limbs and have a quick gait with short fast steps. Skin is generally thin, darkish and cool. The
hair is thin, dark, coarse and either kinky or curly. The face is usually long
and angular, often with an underdeveloped chin. The neck is thin and scrawny.
Nose is small and narrow. May be long, crooked or asymmetrical also. Eyes tend
to be small, narrow or sunken, dark brown or gray in color, with dull luster.
The mouth being small, with thin, narrow or tight lips. Teeth are irregular,
protruding, or broken, set in receding gums. And while the voice is weak, low
or cracked, speech is fast with interruptions.

Creativity ~ Enthusiasm ~ Freedom ~ Generosity ~ Joy ~ Vitality

Vata people have restless minds and weak memories. They avoid confrontation. Have active and sensitive natures and express themselves through sport and creative pursuits. Likely to be artistic and creative with a good
imagination, they will sometimes overindulge in pleasures. And are sexually the
most active. Fearful, worrisome and anxious they are into questioning,
theorising and over-analysis. Often dissatisfied with and unable to sustain
friendships, they spend money quickly, often on trifles. With light, interrupted
sleep of 5-7 hours a day.

Pitta :

A moderately well developed physique with mascular limbs and a purposeful, stable gait of medium speed. With a loud, strong voice and precise, convincing speech. The skin is fair, soft, lusterous,
warm, and tends to burn easily in the sun – has freckles, many moles, and a
tendency to rashes. And the bodies are hot and sweaty. Characterised by fine
and soft, either fair or reddish hair that tends to gray soon. Face is
heart-shaped, often with a pointed chin. While the neck is proportionate and of
average size. A neat, pointed, and average sized nose matches the average sized
eyes that are either light blue, light gray or hazel in color, with an intense
luster which get red in summer or after bathing. The mouth being medium, with
average lips and medium-sized, yellowish teeth.

Ambition ~ Concentration ~ Confidence ~ Courage ~ Enthusiasm for knowledge ~ Happiness ~ Intelligence

Pittas have an intellectual and precise disposition due to a very alert, focussed mind. Sharp and knife-like in anger, they are irritable, jealous and aggressive by nature. Discriminating and
judgemental, they are articulate, learned and proud. With a developed sense of
responsibility, they can take decisions and organise affairs well.
Argumentative, but with a sense of humour, their selectively excellent memory
makes them fast learners. Moderately passionate in their sexual pursuits, they
spend moderately, usually on luxuries.

Kapha :

A thick, broad, well-developed frame and large, long limbs go well with a pleasant, deep and resonant voice with low, slow, rhythmic speech. The skin is usually thick, oily, pale or white and
cold. Plentiful, thick, wavy, lusterous and generally brown hair is set on a
large, rounded and full face. The neck is solid, with a near tree-trunk
quality. A large, rounded nose and large, attractive, blue or light brown in
color eyes are found in a mouth that is large with big, full lips. Teeth too
are big and white and set in strong gums.

Caring ~ Centeredness ~ Compassion ~ Contentment ~ Faith ~ Fulfillment ~ Groundedness ~ Patience ~ Sense of being nourished ~ Stability ~ Support ~ Tenderness

Kapha predominated people are calm, steady, considerate - stable, patient personalities they are slow to anger. Not easily provoked, once angry they do not calm down easily. They are honourable, true to their word and avoid
lies. Loyal, forgiving and understanding, they can be lethargic, even lazy, if
not driven by others. Learning may be slow but memory will be strong. Excellent
in logical analysis, they take time before reaching conclusions. Long hours of
deep sleep and a strong, enduring sex drive come naturally. While they do save
money, it does get spent on food. And there can at times be an element of
dullness, given that a kapha mind is usually too content to seek
fresh mental stimulation.

Factors that increase vata

Explosure to cold , no routine in yur life, eating to much dry, frozen or leftover food, or food with bitter, pungent or astringents taste.
Fasting, too much traveling, too much or inappropriate exercise, suppressing
natural urges, abdominal surgery.
Not oiling the skin.

Factors that increase pitta

Exposure to heat, eating too much red meat, salt, spicy or sour foods. Indigestion and irregularity of meals. Exercising at midday, Drugs especially antibiotics.
Too much intellectual work/thinking. Alcohol, Fatigue.Anger,Hate fear, emotion.

Factors that increase kapha

Exposure to cold , eating too much sweet ,meat ,fats, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, fried food, excessive use of salt. Excessive intake of water , taking naps after meals. Doing nothing
.Sedative and tranquilizers. Doubts, greed, and possessiveness. Lack of

Source : http://www.indiaoz.com.au/health/ayurveda/bodytype.shtml

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