What’s Your Dosha?

ayurveda brain health healthy eating healthy living healthy recipes real food stress-free sugarfree Oct 16, 2022

It’s no secret – we are not all created equally!

And by that I mean that everyone is different – both physically (height, size, hair, skin and eye colour, etc) and certainly all of the aspects of our personalities.

And while many of these various traits sometimes “run in families,” so that we attribute similarities to our genes, even identical twins may vary in some small or large ways.

And yet even if we’re not related, we often find we share certain traits with others that we meet.

Why is that?

Ayurveda will tell us that it’s due to our Doshas!

The Five Elements

But before we talk about Doshas, we need to know about the five elements, as these are the building blocks of nature. 

If you recall from last week's blog, Ayurveda tells us that our essential nature, and that of everything in the universe, is pure consciousness.  This consciousness then gives rise to what we perceive through our senses, and that is the five elements. These five elements exist both within us and in the world around us. They are known as space, air, fire, water, and earth.

  • Space is the open expanse in which everything is contained. It’s the vast emptiness out in the universe, and within our bodies, it is the gaps between and within cells through which information flows.
  • Air is the animating force of life; it is present in everything that moves. This force is seen as the wind; and internally, it is the movement of breath, circulation, and nerve impulses.
  • Fire is present in everything that generates heat, light, or transformation. Everything from the fire of the sun, to our internal digestive and cognitive processes.
  • Water connects and nourishes our physical bodies. Our bodies are made up of roughly 70 percent water, as is the planet itself. Our organs and systems are nourished by the river of our plasma, our joints are lubricated by synovial fluid, and our central nervous system is protected by cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Earth expresses itself as solidity, mass, and form. It is reflected in nature as planets, mountains, rocks, and all solid structures. Internally, the earth element gives rise to our bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. 

The Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

The three doshas are derived from the five elements. The elements are organized into three essential principles of life: movement, metabolism, and structure. These principles are named in Sanskrit: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These three principles are the forces that govern every natural function and regulate every process within our mind and body.

Each of us is a unique expression of nature, as we each have an inherent tendency towards one or more of these principles.

This explains why we each respond so differently to the same stimulus. Some of us are naturally earthier, while others are more fiery or airy. As you learn about the functions and characteristics of each of these principles, which ones do you most identify with?

So what's your dosha?

You can find out by taking a test.  It’s an inquiry into your basic physical characteristics, as well as your mental and emotional tendencies, to assess your respective mind-body constitutions at birth. When answering the questions, think in terms of which statement or statements have been true for you for most of your life. For objective physical traits, your choice will usually be obvious. Since mental traits and behaviour tend to be more subjective, you should answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

There are many tests available, but I recommend the one here, at https://chopra.com/dosha-quiz

Before taking the quiz:

  • Find enough time, and a location where you won’t be disturbed.  
  • Take a moment to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and connect to yourself.
  • Remember there are no right or wrong answers, or better or less desirable doshas. 
  • Each dosha is important and has unique qualities to offer.  
  • Try to answer the questions as close to the way you really are, not the way you think you “should” be.

It’s important to know that even though we may have one dosha that is predominant, each of us has elements of all the doshas within us. We are made up of all five elements. However, our individual proportion of each of these elements varies. 

It’s also not uncommon to have 2 of the 3 doshas score very closely together, making you Bi-Doshic, meaning you will notice that you have traits of both of these doshas.  What’s much more rare is to be Tri-Doshic – but it does happen!

Once you take the Chopra test, you will get your results right away, with an outline of the characteristics of your dosha(s).

Let me know how closely you think this comes to how you see yourself!

A Sneak Peak:  

Next week we’ll talk about the foods that may be most suitable for you, depending on your dosha. 

In the meantime, here is a delightful snack for you to enjoy –  Baked Veggie Pakoras!

For more info on this and other natural health topics:

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