In Ayurveda, Prakruti (or Prakriti) in Sanskrit means Nature. The “Nature of Your Own Body and Mind” is your innate and permanent constitutional body type. This is your first step into Ayurveda realm if you are curious and interested at this 5,000 years old ancient medical system originated from India.
I have noticed that most modern people I have encountered, whether on the mat, in the classroom, or at work, rarely took time to understand about themselves. We are so accustomed to seek outside for help, like going to the western doctors when we feel ill for a “quick fix.” The symptoms are treated and we carried on with our old life style, eating preferences and behaviours towards life & relationship. Hardly do we know that Western medicines do not treat nor look for the causes. On the other side, Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) are taking a view of your entire system when you have an illness. When you have symptoms of shoulder/ neck pains, we could treat the heart first because it may be caused by over-stress. It takes more time to treat because it is less invasive and creating less side effects than western medicine. The effects are nourishing and long lasting. I grew up in a tradition of Chinese medicine, I was acquainted with the “cooling”, “heating” and “neutral” properties of the food we consumed. Nature works its wonders around us. Most of the seasonal harvests normally carry the balancing quality for the body. For example, Watermelon harvested in Summer is a cooling fruit. I inherited this common knowledge when I was little without knowing the roots of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) under the influences of my mother and grand parents in Taiwan. And I was told to be a “heating” person as I was always on-the-go and often in bad temperament when I was young. It feels natural and common to have that awareness of some simple TCM principles of what to consume and what not based on the season, the climate and how our body feels. Although I was not familiar with Ayurveda when I was little, but later on Ayurveda opened a bigger door to me to enter a world of how we should co-exist with Nature and how that can help us recover by owning our inborn healing power.
So I asked myself how much I can or I should explain about Ayurveda, from 5 Elements & 3 Doshas to individual body types to current imbalances of Agni (digestive fires) and Ama (half-digestive wasted toxins) without making people fall asleep. It’s a big and important topic and should not be spent on rushing through it. As I came to recognise that it is hard to convey the whole Ayurveda topic, even just high levelly, at the beginning of a Yoga therapy class, I have decided to synthesise the main principles starting from Ayurveda body type here, in a blog post, to help anyone who is new to Ayurveda or new to my Ayurveda Yoga Therapy class to have a glimpse.
And before you carry on reading, I suggest you to spend 15 mins now to take the free Ayurveda Body Type assessment form first.
Wonderful, congratulations on your first step into Ayurveda. This is what we assess as the first thing during a 1o1 Ayurveda consultation to understand your innate nature then 2nd step is to assess your current imbalances to work on (Virkuti). Read on to find out below typical personality traits from your scores: especially from your Mental (Deha Prakriti section from page2)
8 constitutional dosha body types – Personality Traits
Single Dosha Type Traits
Your body type never changes. It was determined when your parents of their conception based on the conditions of their bodies. Each type has its own inborn approach to managing its physical and mental energies. Below we are taking a glimpse on the Personality Traits of each bosha type: (Based on your result as a single dosha of Vata, Pitta, Kapha dominate type or dual Doshas type)
Pure Vata Dosha Type: sensitive, talkative, high-strung and quick to react to changes of environments. Very changeable, regularly resist in their lives because their minds need constant stimulations. They are over-enthusiastic when energy level is high but burn out easily once the energy is not kept up. They crave relationship sometimes and solitudes sometimes. They make friends easily but often short-lived. They are highly creative, fun, and love to travel for fun. They often find themselves hard to maintain focus on 1 subject for a longer time and hard to stick with what they work on consistently. Their faith often arises from insecurities.
What do they need: routine, self-development plan that is executable
Pure Pitta Dosha Type: strong, forceful and purposeful. A goal getter and like to have a to do list or a plan, highly practical, can be domineering, inherently courageous and fair-played, high tempered, impatient and yet warm hearted, can tend to be over competitive and jealous – make friends easily, especially those useful to them. Acutely intelligent but impatient with anyone who cannot equal up. Can be intolerant with people who are less capable. They are dedicated to own self-development, which can lead to ego-expansion if over-doing/ not practicing mindfulness, stubborn with own opinions, can fall into fanaticism if this will benefit their lives, natural born leader
What do they need: relaxation, slow down and go into nature
Pure Kapha Dosha Type: predominately calm, quiet, steady, grounded, serious and home buddy, loving, a typical giver not taker; they love to serve, to give back and work on causes but not always motivated as they tend to become lazy. They are very stable and so stable sometimes they lack that extra kick to move forwards to their goals. Excessive Kapha can lead to greed, attachment, passivity and possessiveness towards things and relationship. They can study each subject cautiously before committing themselves, once they do, it’s a marathon. They make friends slowly but long-lasting. They make less fanatics, but their faith in whatever they believe is unshakable. They are born to be more compassionate than other types and more maternal.
What do they need: think out of the box, play more, and leave the comfort zone
Dual Dosha Type Traits
Vata- Pitta Dual Dosha Type: VP people have poor circulations and enjoy the warmths. They love to eat but sometimes they have trouble to digest a larger meal. When VP is unbalanced, their angers manifest as a response to stress, which can lead to bullying and domineering. While V can get stressed and anxious easily, P will add extra fuels. They can have a internal conflicts and self-doubts when they have goals to achieve but worrying about not being capable enough. Internal compromise can happen when there are many uncertainties in life. A healthy VP can excel in application of a new theory/ idea in a creative way.
What do they need: stability, more Kapha elements in diet and life (earthy food like Potatoes, Taros and sweet flavors etc)
Pitta- Kapha Dual Dosha Type: PK is a great at adjusting to the ever-changing environment, such as COVID-19 currently, and irregularity and confusions. They tend to achieve all-round success as they combine K stability with P’s agility and adaptability. The K personality will calm the P fires when the temperament arises. They don’t hold angers too long and value mental health and try to maintain a good balance. The ease of success can sometime promote arrogance and over-confidence. They can be dwelling with indulgence in their own success. They tend to take flattery from criticisms, which can make it difficult to live with a PK personality.
What do they need: listen to constructive criticisms, practice on being humble and flexible, embrace changes and uncertainty as this will sharpen your skills and enhance your spirituality growth
Vata-Kapha Dual Dosha Type: VK people are zealous about what they do, and often over doing things by neglecting to use discretion. They can be open and airy and at the same time deep and secretive. They can be somewhat in self-conflict as they lack the P elements. They are those ones hard to understand and grasp. Once they are hurt, the traumas tend to linger and penetrate deeper and longer. They worry about jumping into conclusions or making decisions without investigating thoroughly. They need warmth more than anything else.
What do they need: 80/20 rule on most things, forgiveness, and self-nourishment and self-compassions
Tri-Dosha Body Type & Balanced
Vata-Pitta-Kapha Tridosha & Balanced Type: A very small group of whose three dosha energies are constitutionally out of balance are rarely healthy and must live a very disciplined life to remain disease free. And the Balanced one normally remain healthy , for they must be drastically stressed before any imbalances develop. These 2 groups exhibit a very small number of our total populations in current world.
What do they need: a disciplined lifestyle in everything, less is more, honour your differences and self-love
So now you know how Ayurveda explains who you are as Nature, a born-to-be. Whichever your body type is, or tend to be, shows what dosha type(s) will go out of whack most or easily. You can start to pay more attentions on how you feel when you notice an imbalance and reduce that Dosha property in diet and cultivate the opposite mindset/ attitudes towards the trigger event. However, this only weighs 25% of our Ayurveda assessment as we normally treat your “current” imbalances first regardless of your body type for you to receive the immediate relief (we called Virkuti in Sanskrit).
If you are interested in having a holistic view of your own Ayurveda assessment and find out the current causes of your imbalances and challenges, please reach out for an 1o1 Ayurveda Personal Consultation. This will give you a report in depth on your body type, current imbalances, Agni (digestive system) , Ama (toxins) and your life style and mental wellness (heart compass).
Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information insightful from a different philosophy. Ayurveda is a massive topic and everyday I am learning something new from my own practice as well.
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Send you peace and love.