Ayurveda – Understanding Your Constitution

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Ayurveda literally means the knowledge of life. It is the worlds oldest holistic healing system still in use today. The ancient principles of Ayurveda originated in India more than 5000 years ago. They have been passed down as a sacred oral tradition and within the Vedas- the oldest scriptures known to humankind. The essence and practices of Ayurveda have no borders or boundaries. It is an art and science for all who wish to return to a state of internal and external harmony.

Prakruti and Vikruti

Each individual has a prakruti or inborn constitution, a unique composition of the three doshas. One’s current state is known as the vikruti or imbalance stemming from deviation from our innate nature. Once we establish our prakruti and vikruti, we can use the wisdom of Ayurveda to consciously make choices regarding food, lifestyle, yoga, exercise, career path, environment and every other aspect of our life to maintain balance, and therefore have the energy to fulfill our highest potential.

How to Establish Your Constitution

Go through the following dosha checklist twice. To establish your prakruti (essential nature/ constitution from conception), initially check the boxes that relate to your long-term tendencies or the way that things have been most of your life. The 2nd time through, check the boxes that relate to your vikruti (current state). The checklist is merely a guide- its accuracy is determined by the objectiveness of the individual. It is best to see an Ayurvedic Consultant or Practitioner to get a clear and accurate assessment of both your prakruti and vikruti.



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What's your Ayurvedic dosha? Take this quiz and find out

The balance of your Ayurvedic doshas, also known as prakruti, is a key part of understanding your holistic health.

Doshas are the three energies found in nature, and also in the human body. They are broken down into three types: vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas are responsible over our bodies, minds, emotions, and thoughts. From birth, we are each individually made with a very specific blend of the five basic elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. That unique blend is your prakruti, or what uniquely constitutes your individual body, and can be broken down by a combination of the three doshas: vata (ether + air), pitta (fire + water), and kapha (water + earth).

The three doshas are the building blocks to understanding our prakruti, and once you understand which is your dominant dosha, you can know what your balanced state looks like. This is vital, as through this lens you can spot exactly when your body goes out of balance, and how to bring it back into balance. Humans are being of nature, constructed from the same five elements, and thus can use the opposing elements as needed to bring us back into balance.

It all hinges on knowing your doshas, however. You can get a general sense of where your dosha balance lies, and go from there to correct the problems. You can even seek out the help of an Ayurvedic practitioner, who can take a look at your insights and prescribe anything from food and herbs to a new lifestyle. Thanks, Ayurveda!

Tally up the number of v’s, p’s, and k’s you receive (standing for vata, pitta, and kapha), whichever you have the most of is your dominant dosha:

1. Physique

  • v) I am a slender person and I hardly gain weight
  • p) I am medium build
  • k) I am well built and I gain weight no matter what I do

2. Skin

  • v) My skin is dry, thin, and itches often
  • p) My skin looks flushed; I have lots of moles and freckles on my body
  • k) My skin is smooth and soft, it looks pale sometimes

3. Hair

  • v) My hair is dry, thin and brittle
  • p) My hair is neither dry nor oily (for men: I have a receding hairline)
  • k) My hair is thick, full, lustrous, and slightly oily

4. Face

  • v) My face is oval
  • p) My face is triangular (pointed chin, prominent jaw line)
  • k) My face is round

5. Eyes

  • v) My eyes are small; they feel dry often and have a bit of dullness (usually brown)
  • p) My eyes are medium in shape; sharp & penetrating (usually blue)
  • k) My eyes are big and round in shape, full eyelashes

6. Hands

  • v) My hands are generally dry, rough; slender fingers; dry nails
  • p) My hands are generally moist, pink; medium fingers; soft nails
  • k) My hands are generally firm, thick; thick fingers; strong & smooth nails

7. Joints

  • v) My joints are small, prominent bones, and often crack
  • p) My joints are medium and loose
  • k) My joints are large, sturdy, with lots of muscle surrounding

8. Activities

  • v) I am a very active person (always on the go, mind constantly thinking)
  • p) I like to think before I do anything
  • k) I am steady and graceful (I don’t like to rush)

9. Actions

  • v) I walk fast and talk fast
  • p) My actions are very thoughtful and precise
  • k) I like a slower pace and I take my time to accomplish things

10. Sleep

  • v) I do not sleep soundly at night. I tend to toss and turn. I wake up early in the morning
  • p) I am a light sleeper but if something wakes me up, I can go back to sleep easily
  • k) I am a heavy sleeper

11. Appetite

  • v) Varies, sometimes I feel hungry, sometimes not, I feel anxious if I don’t eat
  • p) I always feel hungry. If I don’t eat I get irritable and angry
  • k) I don’t feel very hungry. I can go without food easily for a day

12. Bowel Movement

  • v) I tend to have constipation and can go a day or two without a bowel movement
  • p) I am regular and sometimes stools are loose (tend to get diarrhea)
  • k) I have no problem. I wake up to go to the bathroom.

13.Voice

  • v) My voice tends to be weak or hoarse
  • p) I have a strong voice, I may get loud sometimes
  • k) My voice is deep, has good tone

14. Emotions

  • v) I am a born worrier, I often feel anxious and nervous
  • p) If things don’t happen my way, I feel irritable and angry
  • k) I am a happy person, very caring and loving

15. Weather Preference

  • v) I love warm and humid weather
  • p) I enjoy cool weather, I dislike a warm climate
  • k) I like warm but dry weather

16. Sweating

  • v) I sweat little but not much
  • p) I sweat profusely and it might have an unpleasant odor
  • k) I never sweat, unless working very hard

17. Memory

  • v) I remember quickly and forget quickly
  • p) I remember what I want to remember and never forget
  • k) It takes me a while to remember, but once I do I never forget

18. Actions

  • v) I tend to be spontaneous
  • p) I am a list maker. Unless I plan, I don’t do anything
  • k) I don’t like to plan, I prefer to follow others

19. Stamina

  • v) I like to do things in spurts and I get tired very easily
  • p) I have medium stamina
  • k) I can work long hours and maintain good stamina

20. Mind

  • v) My mind gets restless and racing easily
  • p) I get impatient easily
  • k) It takes a lot to make me mad. I usually feel very calm

21. Decision Making

  • v) I change my mind more often and will take time to make a decision
  • p) I can make a decision easily and stick with it
  • k) I want others to make the decisions

22. Personality

  • v) “Is it too late to change my mind”?
  • p) “It’s my way or the highway”
  • k) “Don’t worry, be happy!”

23. Sports

  • v) I like action
  • p) I like to win
  • k) I like to have fun

24. Health Problems

  • v) My symptoms are mainly pain, constipation, anxiety and depression
  • p) I often get skin infections, fevers, heart burn, and hypertension
  • k) I tend to get allergies, congestion, weight gain and digestive problems

25. Hobbies

  • v) I like art (drawing, painting, dance) and travel
  • p) I like sports, politics, and things that get my adrenaline pumping
  • k) I like nature, gardening, reading, and knitting
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