What Are the Three Ayurvedic Body Types?
Updated: Aug 14
If you joined me last week, I gave an Intro to Ayurveda because it is important to know a little history and have a better understanding of the science behind the lifestyle. Today we are going to talk about the three Ayurvedic body types. Understanding which type you are can help with your health and overall life balance. If you did not join us last week, go back and watch the video so you can have a brief understanding of Ayurveda.
THE AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE ELEMENTS
In the world of Ayurveda there are five main elements:
These five elements are a part of everything that is happening around us, for us, and within us. The space in your mouth allows your teeth and tongue to function properly, the air is what you fill your lungs with, the fire is your blood flowing through your body and digestive system, the water is your sweat, and the earth is your bones and structure.
Everyone is made up of the same five elements, but the permutations of these elements look a little different for each of us. That is what makes us all unique and special in our own right.
UNDERSTANDING AYURVEDIC BODY TYPES — KNOW YOUR DOSHA
A Dosha in western science is basically a combination of these elements. They exist to bring you out of balance and are they always moving around. Just as stress has an impact on health, dosha imbalances can take a toll on the way our bodies function.
Because we are all made up of the five elements, we all have the three doshas, but you will likely have one that is more predominant.
AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE: VATA
Vata is comprised of space and air and no, the two are not the same. Think of space as a Tupperware container and air as the invisible gas filling that Tupperware. Someone who identifies as a Vata usually has a long straight frame (tall or short) with light bones & muscles and usually an irregular feature such as one eye being bigger than the other. They generally have cool skin and small features. Their digestive system varies from regular to irregular and hungry to not hungry. They are typically light on their feet and do most things at a faster speed.
As for the Vata personality, they are often the social butterflies of the group. They are innovative, creative, love to travel, and are quick to learn but also quick to forget. These individuals are your visionaries. If you are realizing that you know one or a few Vatas, understand that they love encouragement and often need reminders of their worth. Bringing that to the table will allow you to be more successful in your relationships with Vatas. This type must take care to focus on stress awareness. They move through life quickly and energetically and therefore might not immediately notice when they are feeling burnt out.
AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE: PITTA
Pitta is comprised of fire and water. These individuals tend to be generally muscular with medium size frames, warm skin, oily and reddish skin and hair, light-sensitive eyes, and an intense gaze. They easily gain weight but can also lose weight easily too. They have a strong appetite, regular digestive stems, and often feel hungry. They are disciplined, organized, goal-oriented, focused, and competitive. They have a great memory and comprehension. They get right to the point and do not fancy the storytelling style of speaking. These are usually your CEOs, managers, leaders, and activists.
AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE: KAPHA
Kapha is comprised of water and earth. Kaphas are usually a bit curvier with bigger features such as large eyes. They tend to have strong bones and possess great endurance. These individuals gain weight easily, but they struggle to lose weight. They have a steady digestive system and are usually the healthiest body type if they avoid overeating and keep their weight under control. Kaphas are the most loyal. They love routine and structure and are always there when you need them. These are your social workers, teachers, and caretakers.
HOW STRESS IMPACTS HEALTH FOR EACH AYURVEDIC BODY TYPE
It's no secret that stress has an impact on health, but it affects each Ayurvedic body type differently. When Vata types' life balance is out of whack, they are particularly prone to anxiety, insomnia, and a loss of appetite. With proper stress awareness, Vatas can use their intelligence and mental agility to question the accuracy of their anxious, racing thoughts. They can identify when they are overreacting to external stressors and regain their peace.
I mentioned previously that Pittas are often your CEOs and other high-powered individuals. They like a challenge and may fancy themselves the type to thrive under pressure. However, if they don't maintain a healthy balance, they can experience irritability, heartburn, acid indigestion, and hypertension. Simply put, stress can have a significant impact on their health if Pittas aren't careful.
Although Kaphas are often the healthiest body type, excessive stress throws everything out of whack. When under duress, Kaphas are prone to weight gain, acne, lethargy, depression, and respiratory illnesses.
When you know your dosha, you can better understand how stress affects you and stay balanced when life gets hectic.
TAKE ACTION: THREE AYURVEDIC BODY TYPES
Take a moment and think about which of these three types resonates with you the most. To know your dosha is to have a better understanding of yourself.
The idea of the three body types is not to say that one is better than the other; because it's not. Ayurveda helps us recognize each of these elements in yourself and in those around you to be more compassionate. We need visionaries, leaders, and caretakers and one is not above the other.
Check out the below #WellnessWednesday video for more information on this topic. If you'd like to better understand your ayurvedic constitution or imbalance, reach out for your free Breakthrough Coaching Consultation Session.