what's a dosha and which one am I?
The essential idea of Ayurveda is simple: because the mind and body are completely connected, the mind is capable of healing and transforming the body. By cultivating our own awareness, we can bring our mind into balance and in turn extend this to the body.
The three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are derived from the five elements of water, air, earth, wind, and fire. The doshas express our unique blend of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. In Ayurveda, health is dependent upon a balance between the mind, body, and our surroundings.
This is a quick and easy quiz which will help to determine your specific dosha. Keep in mind that most people have a dominant and a secondary dosha, and that these tend to change somewhat as we age. Keep track of the number of a, b, and c responses, and check your results at the bottom of the page. Once you become familiar with the dosha system, you will be able to categorize those around you as well.
1. MY SKIN IS:
a) dry, with fine lines, especially in cold weather
b) sensitive and inflamed with breakouts in the T-zone
c) excessively oily and congested with breakouts around my mouth and chin
2. MY EYES ARE:
a) small and active
b) notable for their penetrating gaze
c) large and round
3. MY BODY IS:
a) thin and bony with a smaller frame; I do not gain weight easily
b) athletic with a medium frame; I am prone to weight fluctuations
c) well-built with a larger frame; I gain weight easily, but find it difficult to lose
4. MY JOINTS ARE:
a) thin and prominent with a tendency to crack
b) loose and flexible
c) large and thick
5. MY LIPS ARE:
a) dry and thin with a tendency to crack
b) medium and soft with a tendency towards cold sores
c) smooth, broad and thick
6. MY HAIR IS:
a) thin, dry and frizzy
b) fine, reddish in hue, with a tendency to thin or gray
c) thick and abundant, with a tendency to become oily
7. MY NAILS ARE:
a) dry, brittle and irregularly shaped
b) soft, flexible and oval shaped
c) thick, strong and broad
8. MY APPETITE IS:
a) irregular and light
b) strong; I can’t miss meals
c) low, but steady
9. MY DIGESTION IS:
a) irregular and prone to gas or bloating
b) strong, but prone to indigestion or acid reflux
c) slow and I often feel heavy after eating
10. UNDER STRESS, I AM:
a) anxious or worried
b) irritable and aggressive
c) stubborn and withdrawn
11. MY PERSONALITY IS:
a) lively, dreamy and thrives with constant change
b) ambitious, intense and passionate
c) calm, peaceful, loving and supportive
12. MY MEMORY IS:
a) quick to learn, but forgets easily
b) good, sharp and disciplined
c) slow to learn, but never forgets
If you answered primarily "a", then you are Vata. Vata types are energetic and creative. They tend to sleep lightly and may have sensitive digestion. When imbalanced, this will manifest as weight loss, weakness, and constipation. Mentally, imbalance will create anxiety and insomnia. Vata types tend to be thin and agile, with dry hair and cold hands and feet.
If you answered primarily "b", then you are Pitta. Pitta types are feisty! They have good digestion, warm bodies, sound sleep, and a strong sex drive. They can be excellent thinkers with a strong ability to concentrate. When imbalanced, however, they can be argumentative and short-tempered, and suffer from skin rashes and heartburn. Physically, Pitta types are of medium height and weight, with lustrous skin.
If you answered primarily "c", then you are Kapha. Kapha types are strong with excellent stamina. They sleep soundly and have regular digestion, and are calm, thoughtful and loyal. When out of balance, they may become stubborn and resist change. Imbalance manifests as weight gain, excess sleep, allergies, and depression. They tend to have large eyes, radiant skin, and thick hair.
In the next post, we'll explore more about imbalance of doshas, and how to correct this.