The ancient Hindu practice of Ayurvedic medicine believes that everything in the universe is made up of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether (space.) These elements combine to form the three doshas, or metabolic types, that are represented in the human body in several different forms. For instance, bones and teeth are associated with earth, blood and lymph with water, metabolism with fire, oxygen with air, and ether with the spaces found between matter, which are often represented by vibration or sound.
So, what’s your dosha? Read on to find out!
People who exhibit the physical characteristics of a vata are either very tall or very short with a slight physique. Thin is in as far as vatas go, as they often have thin skin, hair, mouths and necks. A classic vata face is usually long and angular, often with an underdeveloped chin, pale eyes and a small, narrow nose. A vata’s teeth are irregular or protruding, set in receding gums. And while the voice is weak, low or cracked, vatas tend to be motormouths, with extremely fast speech patterns. Vatas have restless minds, tend to overanalyze and have weak memories. They are what most of us think of when we hear the phrase “the sensitive type” and are likely to be artistic, creative and susceptible to many forms of overindulgence.
Pittas are more of the fiery type. They can be loud, authoritative and convincing debaters. Physically they have soft, warm skin that sweats easily and tends to burn in the sun. Reddish hair that prematurely grays is another hallmark of the pitta, who also possesses a heart-shaped face, a pointed chin and nose and yellowish teeth. Pittas have are classic intellectuals and boast great organizational skills. Most pittas are fast learners and have excellent memories. And it’s precisely because of those selectively excellent memories that you never want to cross one. Pittas can be quick to anger, argumentative and are jealous and aggressive by nature.
The prototypical strapping kapha has a thick, broad frame and large limbs that pairs nicely with a deep, resonant voice. A kapha’s skin is usually oily and pale, but they make up for that with shocks of dark, wavy hair and a full face. Kapha’s can be easily recognized by their tree trunk-like neck, rounded nose, light eyes, large mouth and huge teeth. Kaphas are often calm, logical and considerate. Stable and patient, they are slow to anger and often calm down quickly on the rare occasions when they do let their emotions get the better of them. More passive by nature, kaphas can come off as lazy and ummotivated – even dull — to those who don’t know them. But don’t let their easygoing disposition fool you, kaphas have a naturally strong sex drive.