Learn about your Dosha: Ayurvedic Constitutions

A guest blog by Eleni Tsikrikas

What is a Dosha?

Ayurvedic medicine uses Dosha to refer to ones genetic constitution.  Dosha explains several aspects a person and includes:


  • Your structure or physical body
  • How the body functions, for example digestion and metabolism
  • Your mental processes, dominant emotions and personality
  • Your tendencies towards health, imbalances and diseases


The Basics

There are three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha

Each dosha is comprised of two elements. An element is a nature-based representation of matter.

There are five elements that range from subtle to heavy (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth)

Space is light and subtle

Air is dry, cold and mobile

Fire is hot, dry and light

Water is moist, cool and heavy

Earth is hard, dense and dry

Vata is composed of Ether and Space

Pitta is composed of Fire and Water

Kapha is composed of Water and Earth

There are seven different configurations or combinations (V, P, K, VP, VK, KP, VPK)


What does this mean?

Though each person has a unique combination of the three doshas in their constitutional expression, most of us have one or two which are dominant.  Our dominant dosha determines our physical appearance, the way we think, react and make sense of our world. Our doshic makeup presents a complete picture of our individual nature, providing a detailed roadmap for wellness as well as our specific tendencies towards disease.


The other important thing to note is that each dosha has its own unique gifts and challenges. Each dosha will either express positively or negatively. When we are healthy, vital, and loving life, we are expressing the positive qualities of our dosha. When we lack vitality and motivation and are frequently sick, we express the aggravated aspects of our dosha.


The Three Fundamental Archetypes: Vata, Pitta, Kapha

A person who is dominant in Vata has a light body frame (muscles, skeleton) resulting in a thinner body. Their skin is also thin. They may have prominent veins and generally feel dry. They also experience light or irregular appetite and digestion. They are light sleepers, with little perspiration, light urination and irregular, and scant elimination. They often speak and move quickly. This dosha tends to be more creative, energetic and quite proficient at multi-tasking. They are visionaries who love to start new projects, but may be challenged when it comes to finishing them. Vata types are likely to be involved in several projects simultaneously, and as a result, their lifestyle and daily habits tend to be inconsistent and irregular.


Pittas usually run hot. Physically, they have a light body frame with good musculature and often have light, sensitive skin, which is prone to redness or rashes. This dosha usually possess strong appetites, digestion and metabolism, eliminating as much as three times daily. Pittas are easily aggravated by warm, spicy foods and often suffer from hyperacidity. They become irritable if they miss a meal, so eating regularly is important. They are focused, goal oriented, intense and competitive, and may be prone to heated emotions such as anger, irritability, criticism and jealousy.


Kapha types have strong, well-proportioned bodies.   They are likely to have soft, thick skin, full, lustrous hair and well-formed facial features. Their appetite and metabolic processes are slow so they don’t need much food. Kapha’s speak and move slowly. They are frequently consistent and dedicated to family and friends. This doshic type tends to avoid physical activity but has strong, steady energy and abundant stamina. Though Kaphas present as emotionally stable and deeply satisfied with life, they can become overly attached, lethargic and depressed.


Who am I?

You are a unique expression of your doshic qualities. That means that whilst you may have similar doshas to others, each one of us expresses them uniquely. Here are some ways to find out who you are:


  1. Take an online dosha quiz. These are fun! You can learn a little about yourself. The problem is that they are broad characterizations of individuals thus they may not be completely accurate in identifying the whole picture of you.
  2. Seek out a professional Ayurvedic Practitioner, who will assess both your underlying constitution, any imbalances and a plan to help you get back into the pink of health.
  3. Take a course, read a book, immerse yourself in studying the science of Ayurveda and find a great teacher.


If you would like to learn more about the dosha’s please visit my website for articles and videos on the doshas https://www.bellymindinstitute.com/the-learning-center I also have a new online course “Discovering your True Dosha” which is a 6 part online series, to take your understanding to deeper level. Please email me at eleniayurveda@me.com for more information.


Eleni’s mission is to inspire, empower and educate individuals to live extraordinary lives in harmony with nature and each other.

She is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner with over 10 years of clinical experience, along with certifications in Yoga and Western Herbalism.  A perpetual student, her passion is teaching Ayurveda. She creates home healers with her popular “Skills for Living” classes and professional Health Counselor studies. She is a faculty member at the California College of Ayurveda, where she teaches and mentor students since 2009 and Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Studies and YogaTherapy courses.  Eleni’s extensive knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Herbalism supports her fierce passion for teaching and healing. She is currently working on creating online education courses for those wanting to learn and super charge their lives and health using Ayurveda.

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