Understanding Different Body Types in Ayurveda
ayurvedic body type General Health/Immunity
Understanding Different Body Types in Ayurveda
NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Different Ayurvedic Body Types

We see the human body as a complex system of organs, bones, muscles, arteries and veins. But we often overlook how this complex system is interconnected to sustain life.

This is where Ayurveda sheds light on different aspects that make up the human body and facilitate various internal functions.

According to Ayurveda, the human body is governed by three principal energies, also known as doshas. These doshas are Pitta, Vata and Kapha.

Every individual has all three fundamental doshas; however, one dosha is more prominent than the rest. This prominent dosha determines the Ayurvedic body type or constitution, also known as Prakriti.

For instance, a person with a predominant Vata dosha will have a Vata body type.

What does that mean? How do these body types differ, and why does any of that even matter?

In this blog post, we will discuss Ayurveda body types, what they mean, how they influence your lifestyle, and physical and mental characteristics.

Ancient wisdom defines the human body as a conglomeration of water, air, earth, fire, and ether. These 5 elements make up the human body and handle its functioning. However, all the elements must exist proportionally to ensure balance and stability. If this balance is disturbed beyond a certain point, the body may experience discomfort or collapse altogether.

Further, Ayurveda groups these five elements into three fundamental energies, hence three body types: Kapha, pitta and Vata.

Vata is the principal energy derived from air and ether elements; Kapha is water and earth; Pitta is fire and water.

What is my Ayurveda body type? - you might ask. So, let’s understand all three types of body according to Ayurveda to give you some context and clarity.

Kapha Body Type

Kapha is characterized by the binding nature of water and earth. It provides structure, stability, and cohesiveness. Apart from maintaining immunity and hydrating the cells, Kapha is also responsible for moisturizing the skin and lubricating the joints.

Kapha is primarily in the lungs, throat, head, connective tissues, ligaments, fatty tissues, and tendons.

People with Kapha body types have an easygoing demeanor and a laid-back approach to life. However, their graceful appearance makes up for the qualities they lack. They have the stomach for constructive criticism and rarely get offended. They get attached quickly and cling to things and people for a long time.

Physical Traits of Kapha body type

While Kapha body type is well-developed, it is highly likely to be on the heavier side. Kapha people may have broad chests, fully developed muscles, and thick skin that conceals almost all of their tendons and veins. Because of the predominant Kapha dosha, their skin is naturally oily, and their hair is dark, thick, and wavy.

Kapha people have a slow metabolism and eat less than their counterparts. Despite that, Kapha people show commendable stamina and ‌remain centered and optimistic about life.

Mental Traits of Kapha Body Type

Kapha people portray a calm and poised demeanor. It’s challenging to provoke them, but they get possessive about things or people they hold close to their hearts. They make peace and forgive easily because they like tranquility and harmony around them. Kapha people may not be quick to comprehend complex concepts, but once they do, the information sticks around for a long time in their heads.

Also read: Kapha Dosha: Everything You Need to Know

Pitta Body Type

Pitta is the fire energy with water as its secondary element. It is the force that drives transformation and governs the body’s metabolism and temperature. Pitta is neither stable nor mobile but mobilized through carrier substances like enzymes, organic acids, bile, and hormones.

Primarily, pitta lives in the liver, pancreas, small intestines, eyes, and blood. It renders energy and heat to the body and facilitates transformation. For instance, pitta breaks down food molecules and converts them into energy that supports the body and mind.

Physical Traits of Pitta Body Type

Pitta people ‌exhibit medium height with moderate muscle development, and their overall body frame seems to be on the delicate side. People with a pitta body type usually have soft skin and silky hair prone to thinning and premature graying.

Their radiant skin is perfectly complemented by copper or green eyes of medium prominence.

Regarding the internal systems, pitta people have good digestion, which also implies strong metabolism. Their slender body frame may make you think otherwise, but they have a relatively enormous appetite with a strong craving for sweet foods.

Mental Traits of Pitta Body Type

Pitta people show excellent concentration power and a sharp mind. They are quick to comprehend complex equations and respond swiftly, making them prominent leaders and decision-makers. People with pitta body type love to explore their competitive side and take on challenges that help them get ahead in life.

Also read: Guide to Pitta Dosha | Symptoms, Home Remedies & Diet

Vata Body Type

Vata dosha corresponds to the air and space elements and governs various biological activities, like breathing, heart pulsations and muscle contractions, while also mobilizing the other two doshas. That is why it is called the energy of movement.

Vata imbalance can often mean that the bodily fluids are not being mobilized how they should, which can seriously threaten the organs and the body's functioning. Besides physical symptoms, the Vata imbalance can also affect the mental faculties and lead to confusion, impulsive behavior, anxiety, mood swings, etc.

Physical Traits of Vata Body Type

Vata people have an underdeveloped body frame‌. They are slim and slender, and you can see the veins and muscle tendons right through their thin skin.

People with a Vata body type often have to deal with dry, cracked skin, especially during winter. Their hair is wavy and sparse, with chiseled jawline, thin eyelashes, and sunken eyes defining their facial characteristics. Vata people may have brittle and rough nails; their hands and feet are cold to the touch, and they often experience irregular sleep patterns or sleep less than their counterparts.

People with a Vata-dominant body constitution may also experience digestive concerns, which lead to toxins accumulation in tissues and joints.

Mental Traits of Vata Body Type

Vata people quickly grasp and understand things but struggle to keep the information for a long time. With short-term memory, it may be difficult for Vata people to recount an event from the distant past.

Vata people may lack willpower, confidence and tolerance, but they make up for it with their sharp wits.

Also read: Vata Dosha: Symptoms, Causes and How to Balance High Vata Levels

How to Identify Ayurveda Body Type

How to know your dosha, and why does it matter?

Each body type exhibits certain physical, mental, and emotional indicators. Identifying these indicators can lead you to your body type so that you can follow the recommended diet and lifestyle to maintain good health.

Identifying Vata Dosha

  • You have a Vata body type if your skin is‌ dry and chapped.
  • If you struggle to gain weight despite eating complete meals, you have a Vata body type.
  • You are highly active and talkative but can’t memorize information too long. It’s a sign that you have a Vata body type.
  • Have you ever been told that you sleep with your eyes half open? If so, you could be the data type.
  • Sleep is another area where Vata people struggle, which may affect their appetite.
  • Vata people are more likely to feel anxious than their counterparts. If this describes your general state of mind, you may be the data type.
  • With Vata energies governing your body, it’s common to have gastric issues.

Balancing Vata Dosha

Having a Vata body type is far from being virtuous. You may face specific physical and mental challenges, which can be counterproductive. Therefore, Vata people must balance their Vata dosha through dietary and lifestyle interventions. And here are a few pointers to help you‌:

  • Eat small meals at regular intervals to keep your digestive system from acting up and causing gastric troubles.
  • Include warm herbs and spices in your meals, such as ginger, cardamom, and pepper.
  • Eat sweet fruits like papaya, banana, berries, mangoes, grapes, apples, etc.
  • Avoid sour fruits, potatoes, white sugar, lettuce, and raw onion in the salad.
  • Eat well-cooked vegetables. Do not eat stale or cold food as it can impair digestion and aggravate Vata in your body.
  • Choose hot beverages over cold drinks ‌ and drink plenty of water, especially after waking up in the morning.
  • Take Dhanwantharam Gulika (Tablets) or perform a self-massage using Dhanwantharam thailam. These herbal formulations contain ingredients like ginger and cardamom, which are suitable for the Vata b‌ody type. With nationwide shipping on all orders, you can buy Dhanwantharam thailam and tablets from Kerala Ayurveda.
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Identifying Pitta Dosha

Pitta dosha is associated with micro-processes involved in digestion, from the assimilation and absorption of food to the formation of energy and heat. Pitta lives in the liver and regulates various fluids and enzymes that aid digestion.

Following are the signs of a pitta body type:

  • Would you describe yourself as medium-built? Do you find it easy to lose or gain weight at your will? If so, you may be a pitta, body type.
  • When pitta people get hungry, either make them a sandwich or stay six feet away. Pitta people cannot tolerate thirst or hunger and often become cranky when deprived of food for too long.
  • Pitta people are ‌brave. They don’t run away from a dangerous situation. Instead, they like to get in the storm's eye and emerge victorious.
  • Pitta people do not feel comfortable during warm weather and sweat profusely as the temperature increases.

Balancing Pitta Dosha

If you identify with the traits mentioned above, it is recommended that you follow these lifestyle and dietary suggestions to stay healthy and avoid diseases.

  • Set a fixed time for your meals, work, and sleep routine. Try to be in sync with nature.
  • Consume at least 1-2 tsp of ghee daily or use it in your cooking. Doing so will help nourish your joints and ligaments.
  • Maintain 4 liters of water intake daily. Drink warm water.
  • Pitta people are highly likely to get angry or irritated. Meditating 30 minutes daily can help them control their emotions and pacify pitta.
  • Pitta people should avoid meat and take eggs in moderation, as these foods can aggravate the pitta.
  • It is also recommended to use spices sparingly in cooking.
  • You can consider taking herbal remedies from Kerala Ayurveda, such as Alsactil, Amrutharishta (Arishtam), Amruthotharam Kwath, or Amruthotharam Kwath Tablets to ensure your pitta dosha is at its optimum level.
Amrutharishta (Arishtam)
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Identifying Kapha Dosha

Kapha people are laid-back and calm. If you couldn’t associate yourself with the traits defined under pitta and Vata body types, you will find the following traits relatable.

  • Kapha people have fully developed bodies. While they tend to gain weight without trying, losing weight is like climbing Everest.
  • They often show a laid-back attitude toward life, but they can endure mentally and physically challenging situations with aplomb.
  • Kapha people are blessed with thick, long hair and radiant skin.
  • They are good at maintaining their poise; inciting them is difficult.

Balancing Kapha Dosha

  • Eat less than what you think will satisfy your appetite or craving.
  • Avoid cold drinks and cold food. Plus, Kapha people are not required to drink plenty of water daily.
  • Add spices and chili to your cooking as much as you desire or can tolerate.
  • Eat fruits like apples, apricots, berries, pomegranates, peaches, and raisins.
  • Drink herbal teas with cinnamon or ginger as the primary ingredient.
  • Kapha people are prone to cold and nasal discharge. In that case, using Anu thailam or Karpooradi Thailam can help them find relief and avoid chest congestion.
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Key Takeaways

  • Every human has three principal energies or doshas: Pitta, Vata, and Kapha.
  • One out of three doshas is prevalent in every individual, which defines their overall constitution.
  • It is crucial to identify whether you have a Pitta, Vata or Kapha body type.
  • Based on this knowledge, you can alter your diet and lifestyle to maintain good health and prevent illnesses.
  • For additional support in managing your prevalent dosha, you can consider buying herbal supplements and remedies from Kerala Ayurveda.



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