Checkout

We noticed you're not signed in to a Banyan account. Before you check out would you like to:

sign in create an account continue as guest

Vata-Pitta-Kapha Type

By admin

Congratulations you have determined that you have a "vata-pitta-kapha" constitution. If you would like your results emailed to you, enter your email address below. You will also receive occasional emails with information specifically for vata-pitta-kapha types. You can easily unsubscribe anytime.


We respect your privacy. Email addresses are not sold, rented or shared with third parties. Each email comes with a link that allows you to quickly unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

Next Steps for Vata-Pitta-Kapha types

1) Subscribe to our special email list for Vata-Pitta-Kapha types

If you would like to receive occasional emails specifically for vata-pitta-kapha types, you can sign up above. You will receive information that will help you optimize your health throughout the year, including special guides for vata-pitta-kapha types on managing seasonal changes, cleansing and rejuvenation.

2) Managing a Vata-Pitta-Kapha Constitution

Being a vata-pitta-kapha type means that all three doshas are strong forces in your constitution. If you are one of the rare people who possess this Prakriti, good news: you have a very sturdy constitution. You tend to get sick less than others and can tolerate a wide variety of seasons and environmental conditions. By nature, your constitutional forces will tend to balance each other and maintain a healthy equilibrium. Whether your doshas are quantitatively equal or one or two are a bit more dominant, the strategy for managing them is the same. You manage them primarily according to the season. In general, follow a vata-pacifying regimen during the fall and early winter, during the change of seasons and especially when the weather is cool, dry and windy. Follow a pitta-pacifying regimen during the late spring and summer seasons and especially when the weather is hot. Follow a kapha-pacifying regimen during the late winter and spring and especially when the weather is cool and damp. Read more about vata, pitta and kapha below.

Vata

Tatra ruksho laghu sheetah, khara sukshma chalo nilah  The qualities of Vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile -Ashtanga Hrdayam 1:11
The Qualities of Vata
This Sanskrit line lists the main qualities of Vata and provides a key to understanding what it means to have a predominantly Vata Prakriti. The main qualities of Vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile. So, having a Vata-predominant Prakriti means that these qualities express themselves generously throughout your mental, emotional and physical make up. If you look back over the Prakriti test, you can get a feel for how these qualities manifest themselves. A Vata predominant individual's strengths and weaknesses both reflect these qualities.
  • In excess, the dry and rough qualities may manifest themselves as dry or brittle skin, lips, hair, nails or bones (e.g. osteoporosis), as constipation, or as feeling "dry" emotionally.
  • The "light" quality may manifest itself as giving you a lanky physique but excess lightness may manifest as being underweight, having muscle wasting, light bones, insomnia or feeling "spacey" or insecure.
  • The cold quality of Vata may lead you to feel cold more easily than others around you, have cold hands and feet and crave warmth.
  • The subtle quality may express itself as being introverted, creative and having an active fantasy life.
  • The mobile quality may lead to a healthy ability to "multi-task" or, in excess, to scattered attention, a fidgety tendency, tremors, and nervousness. It may manifest as extremes; as in being very tall or very short or being drastically different weights at different times in your life.
Decreasing or Balancing Vata
Like Increases Like
A basic tenet of Ayurveda is "like increases like." Therefore, increasing the inherent qualities of Vata will increase Vata in your body, mind and spirit.

For example, because vata is inherently cool - cool weather, cool foods, the cool seasons and times of day, and even cool emotions can increase Vata. Likewise, dry seasons, foods, environments or emotions will increase the dry quality and thereby increase Vata.
Example: You are a Vata individual. One of the qualities of Vata is dryness. You live in a dry climate, like a desert, and you regularly snack on dry crackers. This added dryness adds to the dry quality of Vata, which you already have plenty of. This usually increases Vata and can lead to dry conditions like constipation or dry skin. This is an extreme example to illustrate the point.
Tastes That Increase and Decrease Vata
Along with the main qualities of Vata, it is also helpful to know those tastes that increase and decrease Vata.

Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes increase Vata by increasing its drying and cooling qualities. An example of the pungent taste is chili peppers. Bitter and astringent tastes are common in most leafy greens and many herbs.

The sweet, sour and salty tastes decrease Vata by bringing moisture, bulk and warmth to the body, which are opposite qualities to those of Vata. An example of a naturally sweet taste is wheat; of sour: pickles; of salty: seaweed.

Opposites as Medicine
As said above, each of us has a unique proportion of the three doshas in our Prakritis. Ayurveda teaches us that if a dosha increases beyond its original, natural proportion for us, it fosters an environment where disease can flourish.

It is common for our predominant dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) to increase more quickly than other doshas because we tend to perpetuate what we know best. For example, if your dominant dosha is Vata, you will naturally incline towards a life filled with activity, due to the mobile quality of Vata. However, if you are too active, you are likely to eventually aggravate Vata and thereby exhaust the nervous system.

If a dosha increases in our bodies, Ayurveda suggests that we will want to decrease it in order to regain a healthy balance in our constitution.

Medicines are substances that decrease the excess dosha by providing the opposite qualities to it. For example, if Vata has increased due to excess activity, a quiet, calm environment can be a medicine. If it has increased due to excess dryness, wetness can be the medicine. Too much cold? Use heat.

One of the wonderfully practical aspects of Ayurveda is that anything can be used as a medicine because everything that exists has a quality. This includes but is not limited to: herbs, foods, colors, drinks, environments, smells and lifestyles.

Qualities opposite to Vata are moist, grounding, warming, smooth, oily and stabilizing. It is therefore best for Vata individuals to seek out physical and emotional environments, routines, and foods that possess these opposite qualities.

Opposites in Diet as Medicine
A Vata individual does well to have warming, freshly cooked, nourishing, mushy foods, like soups, stews and one-pot-meals. Because of the inherent "light" quality in Vata, you may think that heavy foods would nicely balance that quality but actually too much heavy food-or just too much food at a sitting--is too heavy for the lightness of the Vata digestive system.

Because the sweet, sour and salty tastes decrease Vata, these tastes should be predominant in your diet.

When selecting sweet foods, note that naturally sweet foods like many grains, squashes, and most fruits are appropriate, but processed foods high in refined sugars are not at all balancing for Vata. Refined sugars merely offer a quick burst of energy, followed by a "crash," a pattern that is already a hallmark feature of Vata, and one that the Vata individual does well to avoid.

Herbal Support for a Vata Constitution
Using herbs to manage your constitution compliments the changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Vidari Kanda are three of the primary herbs used to remove excess vata from the body and maintain balance. All of these herbs can be found in our Healthy Vata herbal tablets.

Opposites in Climate and Lifestyle as Medicine
The ideal environment for a Vata individual is warm and wet, like Hawaii. Sweet or grounding scents, like the essential oils of rose, jatamansi or mitti; sweet music and sweet emotions are also good "medicines" for Vata. A daily, 10-20 minute, gentle self-massage with warm sesame oil can positively change the life of a Vata-type.

The mobile quality of Vata can drive Vata-types to do "1000" things at one time. This can lead to exhaustion of the nervous system, which in turn causes emotional and physical restlessness and eventual "dis-ease." While a routine can feel contrary to your nature, it can be extremely beneficial for you to incorporate into your life. For example, rising and going to bed at about the same time every day, giving regular time to meditation, gentle yoga or other strengthening exercise that is easy on the joints. Also try having regular meals, chewing them thoroughly and taking a breath before moving on to your next activity.

In general, it is best to move through life as if you were a master. Ask yourself, "If a master were faced with this situation, how would she act?" Then enjoy playing that part.

Yoga for Vata Types
Visit the Vata Pacifying Yoga section on our website for information on how to customize your yoga practice to help balance vata.

Famous Vata Examples
Christy Turlington. Lanky. Moves around a lot. Very tall. Angular face.
Mick Jagger. Jumps around. Creative. Lanky. Disproportionate features.

Pitta

Pittam sasneha tikshnoshnam laghu visram, saram dravam
Pitta is oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy-smelling, spreading and liquid
-Ashtanga Hrdayam 1:11
The Qualities of Pitta

This Sanskrit line lists the main qualities of Pitta and provides a key to understanding what it means to have a predominantly Pitta Prakriti.

The main qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy smelling, spreading and liquid. So, having a Pitta -predominant Prakriti means that these qualities express themselves generously throughout your mental, emotional and physical make up. You may find them reflected in your strengths and weaknesses.

  • The oily quality allows for softness of skin but, in excess, can manifest as oily skin, acne or perhaps the quality of being a "snake oil salesman"; manipulating situations to your advantage.
  • The sharp quality may manifest as a sharp, bright intellect or, in excess, as a sharp tongue.
  • "Hotness" can manifest as a warm, rosy complexion, warm body temperature, strong metabolism and appetite or, in excess, as ulcers, heartburn or a hot temper.
  • The light quality may lead you to have a slender body or to get light-headed if you miss a meal.
  • The "fleshy-smelling" quality may manifest as a strong body odor.
  • The spreading quality may manifest as a tendency to spread your name or influence or opinion around the local or global neighborhood. This quality can also manifest as a spreading rash.
  • The liquid quality may manifest as excess sweating; when it's combined with the hot quality it can present as excess stomach acid.
Decreasing or Balancing Pitta

Like Increases Like
A basic tenet of Ayurveda is "like increases like." Therefore, increasing the inherent qualities of Pitta will increase Pitta in your body, mind and spirit.

For example, because Pitta is inherently hot - hot weather, hot foods, the hot seasons and times of day, and even hot emotions can increase Pitta. Likewise humid environments will increase the liquid quality and thereby increase Pitta.

Example: You are a Pitta individual. Pitta is hot in nature. You visit the equator for a vacation and you sunbathe for six hours daily and enjoy hot, spicy food daily for one week. At the end of the week you suffer from an acute rash and terrible heartburn and find yourself in an awful temper. Ayurveda would say that your heat-increasing indulgences increased the natural heat in your Pitta constitution and lead to hot conditions "erupting" in your body and emotions. This is an extreme example to illustrate a point.

Tastes That Increase and Decrease Pitta
Along with the main qualities of Pitta, it is also helpful to know those tastes that increase Pitta and those that decrease Pitta.

Pungent, sour and salty tastes increase Pitta, by increasing its hot quality. An example of the pungent taste is chili pepper; of sour: pickles and of salty: salt.

Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes will decrease Pitta by providing the opposite qualities to those of Pitta. An example of naturally sweet taste is wheat; of bitter and astringent (which are often coupled): many leafy greens and herbs.

Opposites as Medicine
Each of us has a unique proportion of the three doshas in our Prakritis. Ayurveda teaches us that if a dosha increases beyond its original, natural proportion for us, it fosters an environment where disease can flourish.

It is common for our predominant dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) to increase more quickly than other doshas because we tend to perpetuate what we know the best. For example, if your dominant dosha is Pitta, you may be intellectually bright, due to the hot and sharp qualities of Pitta. However, this very quality that is inherent in Pitta may eventually aggravate it and create mental or physical "burn out."

Medicines are substances, which decrease the excess dosha by providing the opposite qualities to it. For example, if excess mental wrestling has resulted in "burn out," a comfortable, soft couch and a cool mind can be medicines. If it has increased due to excess heat, coolness can be the medicine. Too much moisture? Use dryness.

One of the wonderfully practical aspects of Ayurveda is that anything can be used as a medicine because everything that exists has a quality. This includes but is not limited to: herbs, foods, drinks, environments, colors, smells and lifestyles.

Qualities opposite to Pitta are those that are dry, soft, cool, heavy, sweet smelling, and contained. It is therefore best for Pitta individuals to seek out physical and emotional environments, routines, and foods that possess these opposite qualities.

Opposites in Diet as Medicine
A Pitta individual does well to have fresh, cooling foods. They have difficulty skipping meals because they tend to have strong appetites. Because they also have strong digestive systems, they tend to tolerate raw foods better than the other doshas but they must be careful to avoid hot foods, alcohol, caffeine, irritability, high aggression and anger because these will create too much Pitta and weaken the digestive system.

Because the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes decrease Pitta, these tastes should be predominant in your diet. Note that this is not necessarily a green light to eat refined sugary foods and drinks. The naturally sweet taste that is found in many grains, squashes, natural sweeteners and fruits is most appropriate and can help balance Pitta.

Herbal Support for a Pitta Constitution
Using herbs to manage your constitution compliments the changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. Brahmi, Bhringaraj and Guduchi are three of the primary herbs used to remove excess pitta from the body and maintain balance. All of these herbs can be found in our Healthy Pitta herbal tablets.

Opposites in Climate and Lifestyle as Medicine
The ideal environment for a Pitta individual is cool and dry. Cold weather sports like skiing and ice-skating or early morning exercise is best. Sweet smells, like the essential oils of rose, and khus; melodic music and sweet emotions are also good "medicines" for Pitta. A daily, 10-20 minute, gentle self- massage with warm sunflower oil will cool the heat of Pitta and support you to surrender and "go with the flow" rather than using your will to force the flow.

It is easy for the Pitta individual to feel that, if he just works long and hard enough, he can control everything. It is this quality, on a global scale, that allows human beings to think nothing of controlling or manipulating nature to bend to our idea of what is best. This works well if it is a balanced approach, enabling us to predict nasty weather and thereby prepare for it or to diagnose certain illnesses and thereby enable us to treat them better. An extreme example of this outlook, is manipulating genetic material without regard to problematic future ramifications. An incredibly extreme example of this outlook gone out of control would be that of a dictator attempting genocide in an attempt to align global reality with his personal view of how things should be.

On a more personal scale, this tendency may lead us to strive for control and personal domination in our relationships or career, or we may allow our rampant personal ambition to drive us into eventual mental or physical "burnout."

One of the best medicines for Pitta is surrender. If you can develop a gentle faith in-- or relationship with-- a divine power or natural force that you believe can do a fine job of orchestrating personal and universal life, then you can give your will a rest and take off some pressure. For this reason, it is beneficial for a Pitta individual to enjoy regular meditation. (And really enjoy it; not just do it as if it is another task they need to master).

Yoga for Pitta Types
Visit the Pitta Pacifying Yoga section on our website for information on how to customize your yoga practice to help balance pitta.

Famous Pitta Examples
Madonna: Sharp businesswoman. World-famous. Ambitious. Moderate build.
Bill Gates. Sharply intelligent. His fame has spread everywhere, even beyond his own professional sphere. Ambitious. Balding.

Kapha

Snigdhah shita gururmandah slakshno mritsnah sthirah kaphah
Kapha is unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft and static
-Ashtanga Hrdayam 1:12
The Qualities of Kapha

This Sanskrit line lists the main qualities of Kapha and provides a key to understanding what it means to have a predominantly Kapha Prakriti.

The main qualities of Kapha are unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft and stable. It is also dense, cloudy and viscous. So, having a Kapha-predominant Prakriti means that these qualities express themselves generously throughout your mental, emotional and physical make up. You may find them reflected in your strengths and weaknesses.

  • The unctuous quality can allow for smooth joint function but, if pronounced, can lead to excess mucous.
  • The cool quality may manifest as cool skin and a laid-back, cool temperament.
  • Heaviness may manifest as a large, sturdy, grounded physical and emotional constitution and, in excess, as being overweight or experiencing a subjective feeling of heaviness in the mind.
  • Slowness may manifest as a slow gait or a slow, steady pace that you can maintain. In excess, you may get stuck in a pattern that may not be the best for you.
  • Softness can manifest as a soft heart that is easily empathic. Another manifestation of this quality is having soft skin.
  • Stability can be an asset that friends, family and colleagues probably recognize and perhaps lean on, but in excess could become stubbornness or sluggishness. You could become so stable that you are disinclined toward any physical activity.
  • Density can manifest as good stamina and strong, well-formed muscles and bones. This enables the Kapha constitution to withstand vigorous exercise. This quality is also responsible for dense, luxurious hair.
Decreasing or Balancing Kapha

Like Increases Like
A basic tenet of Ayurveda is "like increases like." Therefore, increasing the inherent qualities of Kapha will increase Kapha in your body, mind and spirit.

For example, because Kapha is inherently cool, heavy and wet - cold weather, heavy foods or wet seasons tend to increase Kapha. Knowing this can help identify which lifestyle choices, foods or environments will bring balance to your constitution.

Example: You are a Kapha individual. Kapha is heavy, dense, wet, cold and static. If you eat a large bowl of ice cream (heavy, dense wet and cold,) at night (cold) in winter in Vermont (cold, wet), you can be sure that Kapha will increase in your system. The next morning you may find yourself with a cold, having gained a pound or two (the increase of heavy and dense) and less likely to move than ever (static).

Tastes That Increase and Decrease Kapha
Along with the main qualities of Kapha, it is also helpful to know those tastes that increase or decrease Kapha.

Sweet, sour and salty tastes increase Kapha by increasing bulk and moisture in the body and mind, and by perpetuating the qualities of Kapha. An example of the naturally sweet taste is wheat; of sour: a pickle; of salty: salt.

The pungent, bitter and astringent tastes traditionally decrease Kapha by drying the body and providing the opposite qualities to those of Kapha. An example of the pungent taste is chili pepper; of bitter and astringent (which are often coupled): many leafy greens and many herbs.

Opposites as Medicine
Each of us has a unique proportion of the three doshas in our Prakritis. Ayurveda teaches us that if a dosha increases beyond its original, natural proportion for us, it fosters an environment where disease can flourish.

It is common for our predominant dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) to increase more quickly than other doshas because we tend to perpetuate what we know best. For example, if your dominant dosha is Kapha, due to the slow quality of Kapha you may be naturally inclined toward calming activities. In excess, this quality may lead to stagnation.

If a dosha increases in our bodies, Ayurveda suggests that we will want to decrease it in order to restore a healthy balance to our constitution.

Medicines are substances that decrease the excess dosha by providing the opposite qualities to it. For example, if Kapha has increased due to excess stagnation in your life, activity can be a medicine. If it has increased due to excess coolness, you can use heat as a medicine. Too much heaviness? Use lightness.

One of the practical aspects of Ayurveda is that anything can be used as a medicine because everything that exists has a quality. This includes but is not limited to: herbs, foods, drinks, environments, colors, smells and lifestyles.

Qualities opposite to Kapha are predominantly warm, dry, light and active. It is therefore best for Kapha individuals to seek out physical and emotional environments, routines, and foods that possess these opposite qualities.

Opposites in Diet as Medicine
A Kapha individual does well to have a moderate amount of warming, light, freshly cooked foods to maintain balance.

Because pungent, bitter and astringent tastes decrease Kapha, these tastes should be predominant in your diet.

Herbal Support for a Kapha Constitution
A Kapha individual does well to have a moderate amount of warming, light, freshly cooked foods to maintain balance.

Using herbs to manage your constitution compliments the changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. Bibhitaki, Chitrak and Punarnava are three of the primary herbs used to remove excess kapha from the body and maintain balance. All of these herbs can be found in our Healthy Kapha herbal tablets.

Opposites in Climate and Lifestyle as Medicine
Although Kapha may be able to tolerate a wide variety of temperatures, the ideal environment is a warm and dry one. Active sports like jogging, hiking, biking or competitive sports, especially in the morning, are best. Aromatic, invigorating or heating scents, like essential oils of hina or myrrh and light and lively music are also good "medicines" for Kapha. A vigorous, daily, 10-20 minute self-massage with warm sesame oil will help keep Kapha from becoming stagnant.

One of the best medicines for Kapha is activity. It is well worth the effort for the Kapha individual to find that golden key to what motivates them. For example, if you have a difficult time motivating yourself to exercise regularly, you could enter yourself in a local bike race. This may give you just that extra push and you may be surprised by how much you enjoy yourself.

Yoga for Kapha Types
Visit the Kapha Pacifying Yoga section on our website for information on how to customize your yoga practice to help balance kapha.

Famous Kapha Examples
Oprah Winfrey: Large, luminescent eyes and frame. Compassionate. Generous.
Luciano Pavarotti: Deep, resonant voice. Large frame.

Now What?
Knowing our Prakriti is useful because it increases awareness of our natural strengths and challenges. This is a positive first step towards understanding health.

The second step is to understand if and how we have strayed from our natural, healthy constitution. In Ayurveda, we determine this by comparing our Prakriti (natural constitution) with our Vikriti, our current condition.

The next step is to determine your current condition (Vikriti).

Copyright

The above information was written by Dr. Claudia Welch and Melody Mischke for the exclusive use of Banyan Botanicals. The information is protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without the written permission of Dr. Claudia Welch and Banyan Botanicals. More about Dr. Claudia Welch

Disclaimer

The above Prakriti test and results are intended as a convenient tool to provide practical information on your Ayurvedic constitutional type. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. In addition, it should be noted that while this information should be considered highly useful it is not meant to replace the skilled constitutional analysis of a professionally trained Ayurvedic Physician.