Know Your Body Type (Body constitution or Prakriti)
Why should I know my body type? In order to stay healthy, according to Ayurveda, each person’s unique combination of Doshas (Prakriti) needs to remain balanced. Any imbalance (Vikruti) is a precursor to disease. So, to maintain good health, you must first know your body constitution or Prakriti.
What is Prakriti or body constitution? Ayurveda or ‘Science of Life,’ or ‘Eternal Healing,’ is the ancient art of living in harmony with nature. According to Ayurveda, the five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) combine to form three physical principles or life forces of the body. These three basic energies are the primary life forces or biological forces, called Doshas. These three Doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person is born with a unique combination of all three Doshas, in such a way that the most predominant Dosha displays its characteristics which influence that person’s physical structure, body functions and behavior. Some times two out of three can be equally prominent (or almost equally prominent) making that person with a dual constitution. Rarely, a person may be perfectly balanced (or Sama Prakriti) in all Three Doshas. Doshas help regulate physical functions within our body, besides providing us with our individual physical and psychological characteristics. If a person develops imbalance of Dosha and not balanced in his/her Prakriti, that person is likely to develop a disease.
In general, every one of us fall into one of the following categories of Doshas or body constitution:
YOUR PHYSICAL OR BODY CONSTITUTION
1. Vata 2. Pitta 3. Kapha
4. Vata-Pitta 5. Vata-Kapha 6. Pitta-Kapha
7. Vat-Pitta-Kapha ( Sama-Prakriti)
YOUR MIND OR PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTITUTION
The mind, body and soul are the three levels of human existence. The three Doshas represent our physical constitution type. Similarly, there are three Gunas or mental qualities that reflect our psychic or mental makeup. These three Gunas are:
Sattva (Creative influence, memory, grateful, learned, courageous, tolerant, skillful),
Rajas (Anger, Lack of self control, Passion, Ambition, Spontaneity) and
Tamas (Inertia, dullness, corruption).