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Ayurvedic medicine (simply known as Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest healing systems, tracing back to ancient India more than 5,000 years ago. A lot has changed since then, but Ayurveda has continued to stay relevant and be an important part of healing for people all over the world.
Ayurveda is based on the belief that we are composed of the same universal elements of nature. The five elements, fire, water, air, earth, and space, create the world around us. They create the cosmos. They create you and me, and they also create our doshas.
The Three Doshas
Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas that represent our energies, and we each belong in one. While we all have one dominant dosha, this doesn’t need to limit us.
You may be a combination of multiple doshas, meaning that you identify as vata-pitta, pitta-kapha, or any other bi-doshic combination. You could also be tri-doshic if your three doshas are equally balanced.
It can be extremely beneficial to determine your primary ayurvedic dosha. This categorization can guide your lifestyle changes to be more efficient and effective. So, when you’re looking to make adjustments to your diet or exercise routine, Ayurveda can give you a lot of insight.
All in all, Ayurveda promotes a healthy lifestyle. As a holistic practice, it isn’t necessarily focused on fighting disease, but rather preventing it before it happens. Since your dosha is contingent on unique characteristics, Ayurvedic healing is always individualized.
I am going to include just a few, select features for vata, pitta, and kapha below, although there are countless different aspects to finding your dosha.
Vata (air / space)
- Skin: Darker tone
- Body: Thin. Difficulty gaining weight
When vata is balanced, a person can be extremely creative and flexible with a wild imagination. When they are out of balance, vata types can be anxious and fearful.
Pitta (fire / water)
- Skin: Pink, reddish tone
- Body: Average
When pitta is balanced, a person can be friendly and warm. When they are out of balance, pitta types can be angry and resentful.
Kapha (earth / water)
- Skin: White, pale tone
- Body: Heavier. Difficulty losing weight
When kapha is balanced, a person can exude love and stability. When they are out of balance, kapha types can be envious and stubborn.
While I hope that my brief list above is helpful, there are also online quizzes and experienced practitioners who can guide you to your dominant dosha. We all have biases about ourselves. That’s why outside methods can be helpful in finding your true dosha. Having an independent source can shift our awareness.
Katelyn Darrow is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle blogger. She has produced compelling reports for various multimedia outlets, including Huffington Post, MissHeard Magazine, and CBS Philly’s KYW Newsradio. When she isn’t writing, Katelyn likes traveling, yoga, activism, and solo dance parties in her kitchen. Learn more about Katelyn on her website, KatelynDarrow.com.