What if a simple quiz can tell you what foods and activities will make you feel more balanced, healthy and happy?
According the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda, there are three basic physiological principles or doshas that interact to create health. Kapha, Pitta and Vata are the three dosha types. Each of us has a unique mix of these three mind and body principles, which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics.
To find out your dominant dosha, take this quiz. Your dosha type will be determined by the majority of (i.e. mostly k, p or vs) of your responses. Take the quiz and then tally your responses to learn more about your personality, the best foods and activities for you and more.
v) I am a slender person and I hardly gain weight
p) I am medium build
k) I am well built and I gain weight no matter what I do
v) My skin is dry, thin, and itches often
p) My skin looks flushed; I have lots of moles and freckles on my body
k) My skin is smooth and soft, it looks pale sometimes
v) My hair is dry, thin and brittle
p) My hair is neither dry nor oily (men, receding hairline)
k) My hair is thick, full, lustrous, and slightly oily
v) My face is oval
p) My face is triangular (pointed chin, prominent jaw line)
k) My face is round
v) My eyes are small; they feel dry often and have a bit of dullness (usually brown)
p) My eyes are medium in shape; sharp & penetrating (usually blue)
k) My eyes are big and round in shape, full eyelashes
v) My hands are generally dry, rough; slender fingers; dry nails
p) My hands are generally moist, pink; medium fingers; soft nails
k) My hands are generally firm, thick; thick fingers; strong & smooth nails
v) My joints are small, prominent bones, and often crack
p) My joints are medium and loose
k) My joints are large, sturdy, with lots of muscle surrounding
v) I am a very active person (always on the go, mind constantly thinking)
p) I like to think before I do anything
k) I am steady and graceful (I don’t like to rush)
v) I walk fast and talk fast
p) My actions are very thoughtful and precise
k) I like a slower pace and I take my time to accomplish things
v) I do not sleep soundly at night. I tend to toss and turn. I wake up early in the morning
p) I am a light sleeper but if something wakes me up, I can go back to sleep easily
k) I am a heavy sleeper
v) Varies, sometimes I feel hungry, sometimes not, I feel anxious if I don’t eat
p) I always feel hungry. If I don’t eat I get irritable and angry
k) I don’t feel very hungry. I can go without food easily for a day
12. Bowel Movement
v) I tend to have constipation and can go a day or two without a bowel movement
p) I am regular and sometimes stools are loose (tend to get diarrhea)
k) I have no problem. I wake up to go to the bathroom.
v) My voice tends to be weak or hoarse
p) I have a strong voice, I may get loud sometimes
k) My voice is deep, has good tone
v) I am a born worrier, I often feel anxious and nervous
p) If things don’t happen my way, I feel irritable and angry
k) I am a happy person, very caring and loving
15. Weather Preference
v) I love warm and humid weather
p) I enjoy cool weather, I dislike a warm climate
k) I like wam but dry weather
v) I sweat little but not much
p) I sweat profusely and it might have an unpleasant odor
k) I never sweat, unless working very hard
v) I remember quickly and forget quickly
p) I remember what I want to remember and never forget
k) It takes me a while to remember, but once I do I never forget
v) I tend to be spontaneous
p) I am a list maker. Unless I plan,I don’t do anything
k) I don’t like to plan, I prefer to follow others
v) I like to do things in spurts and I get tired very easily
p) I have medium stamina
k) I can work long hours and maintain good stamina
v) My mind gets restless easily (it starts racing
p) I get impatient easily
k) It takes a lot to make me mad. I usually feel very calm
21. Decision Making
v) I change my mind more often and will take time to make a decision
p) I can make a decision easily and stick with it
k) I want others to make the decisions
v) “can I change my mind”?
p) “it’s my way or the highway”
k) “don’t worry be happy”
v) I like action
p) I like to win
k) I like to have fun
24. Health Problems
v) My symptoms are mainly pain, constipation, anxiety and depression
p) I often get skin infections, fevers, heart burn, hypertention
k) I tend to get allergies, congestion, weight gain and digestive problems
v) I like art (drawing, painting, dance) and travel
p) I like sports, politics, and things that get my adrenaline pumping
k) I like nature, gardening, reading, and knitting.
Total up your v’s, p’s and k’s and see which dosha(s) are dominant in you!
V____________ P ____________ K ____________
Skip to your Dosha below:
VATA: CREATIVE & ENERGETIC
Elements air + ether
Season fall through mid-winter
Vata is referred to as the ‘king of the doshas’ because it is responsible for every movement in the body. Without vata, pitta and kapha cannot move. Eyes blinking, heart beating, talking with your hands, jumping, circulation, elimination, are all because of vata.
Since vata people are made of air and ether, they don’t have a lot holding them together. They will quickly go out of balance and quickly come back into balance – think of the wind. Vatas tend to get cold easily and are prone to dry skin due to the dry, cold and rough qualities.
Vata personality. You can pick out who has vata as their dominant dosha because they tend to talk a lot, move a lot, and worry a lot. They are creative worriers and usually have twelve million things going on at one time. Their mind is constantly going and they have a very hard time sitting still. This is due to the movement quality of Vata/wind – mind and body are zipping everywhere often times finding it hard to find peace and grounding within themselves. Because vatas have such creative energy, they make good teachers, artists, actors, and professional speakers. And believe you me, vatas like to talk! And wiggle. And complain. Because something usually hurts, including their brain. They also forget things, tend to be late and change their mind all the time. Balanced vatas are contagiously energetic and are the people you might say, “light up the room.”
Vata body. Vatas tend to be slender and can be tall or short. Bones are prominent, their hair is dry and usually curly. Face is oval in shape and eyes are small with teeny lashes. Fingers are long and nails are brittle with a tendency to split. Dry and thin skinned, vatas are easily browned by the sun.
Vatas need grounding. Vatas like to run around (mentally and physically), so one of the best things they can do for themselves is to slow down – or even stop. Meditation, yoga practice, and pranayama are all wonderful for bringing some grounding and nourishment to vata. Remember, vatas are air and ether so they need grounding to keep them from flying away. Nutritionally, vatas can do this by adding oils (ghee!), fully cooked vegetables, milk, and grains to their diet. Vatas need to keep warm and oiled. In the day-to-day, having a solid reliable schedule is best to ease and ground their fluttery mind. They love the sun and warm, humid weather. Steam rooms are great too.
Vata digestion. Vata appetite is erratic and vata digestion is usually sluggish. Yep, constipation. To help vata digestion, they need oleation (ghee!) and warm foods. Oils & sauces lubricate the body to counterbalance the rough & dry qualities in vata and warm foods will help balance the cold qualities
PITTA: LEADERSHIP & INTELLECT
Elements fire + water
Season late spring through summer
Pitta is responsible for digestion and transformation.
Pitta is the heat that transforms food, thoughts and physical exertion into energy.
Pitta is the medium and agni (digestive fire) is the content so the state of your pitta dosha determines whether you are digesting food properly. Ama is caused by undigested food and it is toxic. Therefore you have healthy pitta, you have healthy agni, and you won’t get ama.
Since pitta people are made of fire and water, they are more sturdy than vata types and it takes them a moderate amount of time to get out of balance and come back into balance. Pittas tend to be on the warm side and are prone to “heated” imbalances like fevers, hypertension, pink eye, and skin problems (acne, eczema, rash).
Pitta personality. Pittas have firey personalities. They love a good debate or sporting event where they can be competitive. They make great leaders and have very sharp and quick witted intellect. Pittas are quick problem solvers but have a tendency to be opinionated and controlling. They want everything done their way and they want explanations for everything. For example, pittas are the first people to start arguing with the umpire at a recreational softball game. They are the lawyer-types and will argue, using logic until people see things their way. Pittas are also extremely punctual-often times doing a ‘drive-by’ before the appointment so that they are sure to be on time. Pittas are also list-makers and extremely organized. Their socks are probably ironed, folded, in rows, according to color. Balanced pittas have razor sharp minds, glowing skin, a witty sense of humor and have the ability to attract others to follow their direction.
Pitta body. Pittas are medium in size often with an athletic build. Their skin has nice tone and glow and they may have freckles or some moles. The features on their face are sharp – sharp chin, nose, and piercing eyes. Eyes tend to be blue or light in color. The finger nails are pink and strong and their hair is straight and shiny. Pittas have a tendency to have a receding hairline and/or early . Pittas are sensitive to the sun and can easily burn their skin if not careful.
Pittas need cooling. Since pittas run hot they need to be kept cool, mentally and physically. Nadi shodhanam, sheetali, shekali are the best pranayama for cooling. They also respond well to sweetness, so be kind to pittas and give them ice cream! They should be careful of excess salt, cheese, hot spices, sour fruits, yogurt and alcohol. To keep them cool and balanced pittas need sweet fruits, salads, legumes, breads, rice, milk, cucumber water.
Pitta digestion. Pittas have strong digestion and can eat almost anything. They are always hungry and if they don’t get fed (watch out!), they get irritable and angry. If pitta digestion is too sharp, it can result in an acidic stomach, heartburn, and diarrhea. Sweet foods are the best bet for pitta to cool and sweeten their hot and sharp fire
KAPHA: STEADY & NURTURING
Elements water + earth
Kapha is the dosha responsible for lubrication and structure of the body. Because of their sturdiness, Kapha people tend to be the healthiest of the three doshas, including mental health. Kapha is our lubrication in the brain, around the joints, reproductive fluids, and is responsible for building most of our tissues. Kapha keeps our bodies from turning into raisins.
Since Kapha people are made of water and earth they are very sturdy, grounding and they are difficult to move. They are comfortable and happy in one place and don’t like change. Kaphas are prone to “static & heavy” diseases like obesity, lethargy, dullness of mind, and diabetes.
Kapha personality. Everybody loves a Kapha! They are the peacemakers, the joyous hosts, the listeners, and the nurturers. They are almost always happy. They are extremely tolerant, patient and they are the first one to offer a helping hand. They won’t ever lead, but are very happy to follow. It is not easy to exhaust or upset a kapha, but once you’ve upset a them, they will hold a grudge. Their mind is steady, their attitude is positive and their bodies are very strong. Kaphas need encouragement to get them moving-because they don’t like to. Kaphas also have a tendency to attach to things because remember, they don’t like change. They like to grab a hold of something and stick there forever. Attachment could be anything, like emotions (those grudges I mentioned), the past, people, relationships, and collections of “stuff.” Kaphas looove stuff. Balanced kaphas are gentle, nurturing, and are genuinely happy about everything.
Kapha body. Kaphas have big and strong structure. They have strong joints, thick skin and strong bones. Their skin is usually pale and oily (clammy). Their hair is thick and oily. Kaphas have big beautiful eyes and teeth! Their eyelashes are long, full and curly. Kapha hands are meaty with thick knuckles, thick palms and strong nails. They tend to gain weight easily due to the earth element that is prominent.
Kaphas need to keep dry & light. Kaphas are cold, heavy and static so the best thing they can do is to get moving. Moving will make them feel so much lighter as well as bring up the heat inside the body. If you can get a Kapha to perspire (it takes a while cause they don’t sweat much), they will feel wonderful. Remember, Kapha is water and earth, so they need to soak up the excess water with airy and dry foods (veggies, fruits, salads, legumes). A light diet is best and Kaphas can (should) fast. Fasting doesn’t bother kapha because they hold food for a while. Kaphas would love a daily walk in the morning just before sunrise. And they would be extra happy in a sauna.
Kapha digestion. Kapha appetite and metabolism is slow. Due to their earthy and watery structure, they can easily skip meals (and should) and remain content and happy. Fasting is necessary for Kapha because it will lighten their load and it also increases their agni. Kaphas need to keep dry, warm and spicy! These qualities will help kapha feel lighter and they also strenghten their agni, which is what Kaphas need the most.