Natural Body Constitution

Basic principles

Every human being is composed of unique proportion of the five elements (Panchmahabutas) namely earth (prithvi), water (jala), fire (tejas), air (vaayu), and space (akasha).  These five elements integrate to form three dynamic forces, the biological humors or Tridosha, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These distinct doshas govern all our human characteristics, activities and patterns of health and illness.  Vata dosha, woven from the elements of Space and Air, regulates movement and change in our minds and bodies. Pitta dosha, comprised of Fire and Water, governs digestion and metabolism. Kapha dosha, made from Earth and Water, maintains and protects the integrity and structure of our mind and body. The doshas determine certain qualities or attributes in our body. One can remain healthy as long as these doshas are in state of equilibrium in the body. Once aggravated or diminished can lead to diseased conditions. How you feel inside depends upon how these doshas work within your system.

According to Ayurveda, every individual is born with a unique doshic combination termed as PRAKRUTI (body’s physical constitution) that is determined at the moment of conception and influenced by seasonal variations and several other internal and external factors. We are all different, everyone has inherent strength and weakness. If you know your strength and weakness, and know how your constitution causes them, you can adjust for them and make your life happier and healthier.

For instance, Vata people are quick to learn, to forget, to become enthused. They walk, talk, and change their minds and moods quickly. Their normal body functions also tend to change quickly. Their energy levels are very high. Vata people often have trouble making decisions, suffer from gas, constipation and cold extremities. Their body is dry, and often rough. They have imaginative minds and irregular habits. It’s the most difficult constitution to keep healthy.

Pitta people are efficient, precise and orderly. They hate hot climate, prefer cooling food. Their skin tends to be warm and soft with freckles, pimples, rashes and wrinkles. Their hair greys and falls early.  These people get easily irritated and are impatient.

Kapha people like slow and relaxed life. The qualities of Kapha are slow, steady, heavy, oily, and cold. When Kapha is in balance, kapha people are loving, nurturing and grounded. There stamina is superior to the other types. Their body tissues are firm, well-nourished and healthy. When out of balance, they are needy, lazy, feel heavy in body and mind and tend to gain weight easily and lose it with difficulty.

 Physical Constitution

Ayurveda classifies individuals broadly into seven categories, according to their constitution or ‘prakriti’. These seven categories are in outcome of the dominance of a particular dosha; vayu, pitta and kapha or of combinations of the three doshas.

Primarily, human constitution is of seven types:

  • Vata constitution
  • Pitta constitution
  • Kapha constitution
  • Vata-pitta constitution
  • Pitta-kapha constitution
  • Vata-kapha constitution
  • Sama constitution

Most of the people have double predominance, but the various possible proportions of all these dosha to one another; the number of constitutional types becomes infinite. Knowing your constitution is a tool of self –examination for locating what comforts your health and what can lead to imbalance.  Knowing your constitution is essential for selecting appropriate food, beverages and also for choosing best therapy for your sufferings.