Understanding Vata, Pitta and Kapha

By Yoganosh Staff|

According to Ayurveda, each of us comes into this world with a unique mind–body condition known as our "dosha" or body type. In essence, doshas are a type of biological energy which operates in all of our systems (physical, mental, and emotional). There are three doshas which, when in balance, keep us at our healthy best.

However, when one's lifestyle choices - and especially one's diet - are not in line with one's natural constitution, imbalances occur and illness may set in.

The good news is that one you identify your body type as Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, and once you learn about your type's inherent strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, you can make healthy lifestyle choices based on what's good specifically for you! This means no more "one-size-fits-all" diet and weight-loss programs which typically end in disappointment; no more second-guessing which foods are nutritious for you to eat. No more counting calories or calculating grams of fat, no more diet crazes which change with the wind and which have you flitting from high-fat to low-fat to no-fat, from high-carb to low-carb, from sugar-free to dairy free, from vegetarian to vegan. and everything in between.

How Aryuveda Can Help

Thanks to the healing wisdom of Aryuveda, you can now take a deep breath and find the very solutions you are seeking within your own body! Moreover, while each of us has elements of all three doshas, typically one or two dominate in varying amounts. This means that each of us are a unique configuration, and with the aid of the proven techniques of Ayurveda, you will have at your fingertips a list of ingredients, herbs, and recipes that cater to your personal body type and which put you solidly on the path to wholesome living.

What's My Body Type?

If you don't yet know what your dominant dosha or body type is, it's time to take the Dosha Quiz. In this survey, you will be asked questions about your physical, physiological, and psychological traits, as well as some of your lifestyle habits.

In a nutshell, below is a breakdown of the unique traits and characteristics that typify each body type:

Vata Body Type Characteristics

  • Vata dosha is responsible for movement in your body - your heartbeat, muscle contractions, digestive system, nervous system, and more
  • Since it is the lightest of the doshas, it most easily goes out of balance
  • Vata body types typically are slim, find it difficult to gain weight, are of average-short height, have dry hair and dry skin, and are often cold
  • When in balance, Vata types are agile, enthusiastic, creative, think clearly, and learn easily
  • Out of balance, Vata body types are prone to boredom, anxiety, fears, inconsistency, muscle cramping, and nervous system disorders such as tics
  • Out of balance, Vata dosha can manifest in colds, bloating, constipation, fatigue, and insomnia
  • An important part of restoring Vata balance is adhering to a regular routine (i.e. regular bedtime and meal hours)

Recommendations for Vata Diet

  • The ideal Vata diet includes warm cooked foods such as soups, hot oatmeal, hot milk, cooked veggies, and butter.
  • Vata diets should minimize cold salads, raw vegetables, carbonated drinks, and crunchy and dry foods

Pitta Body Type Characteristics

  • The Pitta dosha is in charge of hormonal reactions, enzyme activity, and the metabolic system
  • Pitta types are of medium build with strong muscle tone
  • They are goal-driven, focused, intelligent, passionate about life, and have plenty of energy
  • In balance, their digestive system is strong and they enjoy the gamut of foods
  • Out of balance, Pitta individuals are prone to becoming workaholics, super-stressed, and/or angry
  • Out of balance, Pitta body types are prone to rashes, jaundice, headaches, fevers/inflammation, ulcers, bowel problems, and acid reflux

Recommendations for Pitta Diet

The ideal Pitta diet includes cool vegees with a high water percentage (i.e. lettuce, cucumbers) and sweet juicy fruits (i.e. melon, strawberries)
Pitta diets should minimize citric fruits and acidic vegees (i.e. tomatoes), hot spices, sharp vinegar, coffee, and the consumption of alcohol

Kapha Body Type Characteristics

  • The Kapah dosha produces spinal fluid and helps keep the joints protected/lubricated and the muscular skeletal system intact.
  • Kapha is the largest body type; individuals are typically on the heavy side, prone to weight gain, don't move much, and have slow metabolism; however they have good stamina, strong bones, and strong teeth
  • Balanced Kapha types are typically easy-going, reliable, loyal, solid in relationships, and emotionally supportive of others
  • Unbalanced Kapha can lead to over-attachment, depression, and greed
  • Unbalanced Kapha can also manifest in swelling, obesity, diabetes, poor circulation, and sinus congestion
  • To balance Kapha, exercise and movement are essential!

Recommendations for Kapha Diet

The ideal Kapha diet includes hot spicy ingredients to awaken a sluggish metabolism, as well as plenty of high fiber foods and vegetables
Kapha diets should minimize salty and sweet foods and reduce fats and oils

Aryuveda's Perfect Recipe for Health

Now that you know more about your personal dosha, you can make wise decisions about what to eat that fit you like a glove. For more guidance on daily living habits that are tailored to suit your body type, check out Aryuveda tips for a healthy lifestyle - and enjoy the journey towards a happy and healthier you!

Yoganosh Staff

Yoganosh Staff

We are a team of published writers, adventurous travelers, and academics dedicated to enforcing an honest lifestyle of yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.

Understanding Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Share this