Have you taken dosha quiz after dosha quiz to determine your Ayurvedic body type and had different results each time? Ayurveda recognizes that there are three Ayurvedic Body Types, or doshas, which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas are simply combinations of the five elements we see in nature: Ether + Air (Vata), Fire + Water (Pitta) and Earth + Water (Kapha). Ayurveda’s wisdom of life teaches us that understanding our individual make-up of the elements, or doshas, and discovering how to determine which dosha is prominent can support our healing and bring us back into balance through specific food and lifestyle practices.
The desire to know what dosha we are can often overtake the root understanding of Ayurveda: that because we are made of all five elements, we are a unique combination of all three doshas! Just as a tree is made of all the elements with unique characteristics, so are we! It is true that one dosha may be more dominant depending on the individual, however, when we vehemently identify as just one dosha because of an online quiz, it can be easy to neglect the other parts of ourselves that also need our attention. For example, your quiz might report that you are Kapha dosha. However in actuality you are 45% kapha, 35 % pitta and 20% vata. If you are only eating and living to keep kapha in check, you might create a disturbance in the other two doshas. This is what often leads to confusion and what can also bring our bodies and minds more out of balance.
To understand how to find your Ayurvedic body type, it is important to understand some language. Ayurvedic teachings identify our prakriti (also known as constitution) and our current state of being vikriti. Our Prakriti constitution is our Ayurvedic body type at birth. Many factors determine your Prakriti but It is said that it can be shaped by the energy of our conception.
Our Prakriti (birth given constitution) never changes. It is part of our true nature. This is very important to understand. We are born with a certain combination of the elements. When thinking about your answers on dosha quizzes, be sure to think of what you were like as a baby or child before family, friends and society conditioned you. If you’re able to ask your parents, caretakers or the people who knew you as a child some questions, it can be helpful as you try to find your Ayurvedic Body type. For instance, your mother may be able to tell you that you had dry stools and constipation as a baby (vata) or often had red rashes (pitta). Reflecting on your youth and thinking about your tendencies over time can help you answer questions more accurately.
Opposite of our Prakriti is Vikriti. While we have our Prakriti which never changes, we have vikriti or our current state of being which can fluctuate. Our current state of being is a combination of the doshas as they currently present themselves in our body and mind. This is typically different from your birth given state, as many factors can influence us. When our vikriti has vitiated too far from our Prakriti, this can be viewed as an imbalance. Our current state of being can change depending on the season, time of life, time of day and life circumstances. Someone could have a Kapha constitution and have plenty of physical and mental endurance, yet when overstressed in the Autumn might experience vata type symptoms of dryness, constipation and anxiety. This might lead someone to believe that they have a vata constitution, which is not accurate. They have a vata imbalance. Understanding your Prakriti is essential to being able to identify your vikriti-or imbalances. One can begin to observe and manage what’s currently feels out of balance, as that will slowly begin to unveil your true nature and peel back the layers.
Not all quizzes are created equal! Be sure you source a reputable quiz. This is one of our favorites.
Dosha quizzes can be more helpful if you have a foundation to understand them and supporting information on the site. They can give you insight into behaviors and symptoms which can help discover your current state. However, authentically discovering your Ayurvedic body type can take time and diligence to unveil. You may thrive with guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner or family members who can offer valuable insight. But either way, take time to reflect on the uniqueness of you. What feels good to you might not feel good to your friends or family. Embracing yourself as the whole – this is the beauty of Ayurveda!