A stroll in the garden makes one feel fresh and peaceful in the midst of nature. The mind becomes calm and centred and one feels energised.
Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to a beachside or a hill station?
We are made up of five elements - earth, water, fire, air and space. They are called the “Panchamahabhutas”. That is the reason why you feel better whenever you are surrounded by nature - like mountains, sea, river, forests etc.
In Ayurveda these five elements influence the three doshas or tridoshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas form our body constitution that is the nature or prakruti of an individual.
An Ayurvedic doctor identifies your body constitution by checking your pulse or nadi pariksha. By pulse check up, any imbalance in the doshas is detected.
Your prominent dosha is identified and and vikritis or imbalances in these doshas types are identified by nadi pariksha by an expert Ayurveda doctor.
This imbalance is corrected by following a healthy lifestyle, detox therapies, herbal medicines, and yoga exercise. The Ayurvedic doctor charts out this customised health plan for you according to your unique doshas.
Reasons why in Ayurveda three body types are important for us!
According to Ayurveda there are three body types that arise from the five natural elements. These three body types are - Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
These doshas make us function well, they affect our personality type and basically run our mind-body functions efficiently.
Each dosha has particular characteristics. These doshas govern the way our mind and body work. Keeping them in a balance is very essential for your health and happiness.
Ayurveda helps you restore and maintain the balance of these three doshas. It helps you lead an active life and keeps your immunity levels high. It also helps maintain your physical, mental and emotional wellness.
How to identify the three body types?
Normally out of the three doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha one or two doshas are predominant in every individual. Each of these doshas can be identified with specific characteristics.
Let us explore the traits of three dosha and the three body types-
Vata dosha is formed by the air and space elements. It helps all the biological activities through your body. It is the energy that gives movement and governs communication.
Vata dosha even drives the other two doshas of Pitta and Kapha.
Vata is found in the lower abdominal area just below the navel region. It governs the colon, ear, brain, skin, bones, joints, thighs and nervous system.
Vata helps in kindling the digestive fire (fire element or Agni) in your body.
It makes movement in your body and mind possible. Some of the main functions of Vata element are - breathing, excreting, speaking, sensory impulses and pumping of blood.
Vata Body Type:
These characteristics are found in the Vata body type:
- The individual has a skinny and lean body frame. Their height can be too short or too tall.
- Their bone joints are prominent and their veins are visible. The joints may creak while getting up or while walking.
- Their chest is generally flat and they hardly gain weight no matter what they eat. They love to binge on sweets and prefer drinking hot beverages.
- On the flip side they have thin hair and eyelashes and generally their bodies are underdeveloped.
- Vata body type people generally have cold feet and hands. Their nails are brittle and rough.
- They are prone to disturbed sleeping patterns and sleep less than the other two body types. Generally they have sunken eyes.
- They grasp things and events quickly and also tend to forget things very fast. They have short term memory.
- They have rough, dry and cracked skin type. They tend to have wrinkles on their skin due to dryness.
- They prefer hot or warm weather. They are very uncomfortable in cold environments.
- Vata body types are not very confident, get anxious easily and are easily agitated.
- They have low or no will power. They get scared easily and have low tolerance levels.
Pitta dosha is ruled by the fire and water elements where fire element is predominant. It is responsible for keeping mind and body stable.
It gives vital energy to your body. Pitta dosha helps in assimilation, absorption and digestion of food, regulation of body heat and weakening the appetite. It helps create enzymes and amino acids that are essential to digest the food you eat.
Pitta dosha aids your ability to understand and think by keeping the neuropeptides and neurotransmitters healthy.
Pitta dosha is mainly related to your skin, eyes, stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, liver, spleen, sweat glands and body fat (in subcutaneous layer).
Pitta Body Type:
The major characteristics of Pitta body type are:
- Individuals with Pitta body type are of medium built with a reddish or copperish color skin.
- Their skin is warm and they tend to have plenty of moles and freckles.
- They are generally good looking with pink lips and nails, medium size sharp eyes and sharp nose that is reddish.
- Pitta body types generally have silky hair. They are prone to premature hair loss and greying.
- They have a big appetite, great digestive system and strong metabolism. Whatever they eat, they can easily digest.
- They love to eat hot spicy foods and prefer cold drinks.
- They prefer cold weather and are uncomfortable in heat, sunlight or while doing physical work.
- Pitta body types tend to be perfectionist by nature. They are also short tempered.
- They are intelligent, dynamic and have leadership qualities.
- They sleep soundly and for a medium duration of time.
Kapha dosha is marked by a predominance of water and earth elements. Kapha helps in binding the cells of the body.
Kapha dosha helps in keeping your skin well moisturised, in keeping your bone joints well lubricated and in keeping your immunity levels high.
The body parts related to kapha are tendons, bones and muscles.
Kapha Body Type:
Individuals with Kapha body types have these characteristics:
- They have a thick build and their muscles are well developed.
- They have big eyes with long and thick eyebrows and eyelashes, white shiny teeth and thick hair.
- Their skin is slightly warm, oily, smooth, thick and moist to touch.
- They have a big appetite but slow metabolism. So they tend to gain weight very easily. They prefer eating oily, salty and sweet foods.
- Kapha body types tend to enjoy deep sleep and sleep for long hours. They have a tendency towards being lethargic.
- Their temperature is calm, cool and cheerful. In fact in Ayurveda Kapha body types are considered the happiest people on the earth due to their cheerful disposition.
- They love an easy and comfortable life, are lazy and do not like any kind of physical exercise.
- By nature Kapha body type individuals are loving, sensitive, forgiving and willing to help out others.
- They are slow learners but have very good long term memory.
- They do not prefer winter weather as kapha related ailments affect them like cold, flu, sinus, congestion etc.
How do three doshas occur?
The three doshas or Ayurveda body types have predominance of one or two of the doshas.
The possible dosha combinations are - Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Pitta, Kapha-Vata, Vata-Kapha or Vata-Pitta-Kapha ( or Saamya) in which all three doshas occur together and are well balanced.
How to keep the balance in three dosha types?
There are many factors that create the imbalance in the three dosha types.
The food you eat, the time at which you eat, changes in external climate, your stress levels, your pattern and quality of sleep, thinking, physical and mental work, hormonal changes amongst many others.
It is advisable to get your pulse checked or Nadi Pariksha done every month by an expert Ayurvedic doctor.
He/She will help you chart out your meal plan, herbal medicines or supplements, any therapies if required to balance out the dosha in time according to your body type.
If left unchecked these imbalances may cause serious mental and physical ailments which can be easily avoided.
Just follow a healthy and natural lifestyle according to your body constitution or your Ayurveda body type with which you are born to maintain well being and good health.
Know your body type and keep it well balanced to enjoy a happy, healthy and active life!