Ayurveda

Dosha Dreaming: Intention Setting According to Your Dosha

Woman in seated meditation facing a pristine mountain lake
Woman in seated meditation facing a pristine mountain lake

It’s that time again, when we are collectively dreaming about a new year and all the fascinating possibilities it could bring. Intention setting around the start of a year is a powerful tradition that actually dates back to ancient Babylon (~2000 BC). In those days intentions were most likely about pleasing the Gods. Presently, there is still a spiritual thread woven through many people’s intentions. With so many challenging things happening in our world, it’s helpful to feel connected to something sacred.

Because I am a psychiatrist (loves to help people) and astrologer (understands their souls’ goals), as well as an Ayurvedic practitioner, I have pondered the possibility of people consciously orienting their dreams with their doshas (“energy type” in Ayurveda). Doing this, individuals may be more likely to make progress with their intentions because their goals will naturally align with their dharma (soul purpose).

If You Are a VATA

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Vata is the dosha associated with air and ether. It is an energy that is cool, light, fast, dry, enthusiastic, creative, and idea oriented. Vatas naturally have a shorter attention span. Their energy comes in spurts. It is quite high for brief periods of time, then it drops dramatically and must be restored with rest and grounding. For this reason, Vatas are, in most cases, the least likely to maintain their “resolutions” beyond a brief period of time.

This is actually to be expected. Vatas, generally, are starters, rather than finishers. Instead of feeling bad about this, if you are a Vata, I encourage you to embrace it! Vatas are here to seed the world with wonderful ideas, books, articles, lectures, projects, programs, classes, etc. Vatas most likely will not be able to single-handedly maintain everything they create. This is okay. If you are a Vata and you want something to endure, it’s probably best to work with a Pitta or a Kapha to translate your idea into a lasting form.

Similarly, regarding dreams, it’s most aligned for Vatas to set intentions related to shorter-term projects, including retreats, videos, ideas for collaborations, etc. Vata’s typical intention lists have an abundance of ideas. Generally, only 1 or 2 come to fruition. Focusing on the endeavors that are within the natural domain of Vata will increase the probability that an intention will manifest.

If You Are a PITTA

Pitta is the dosha associated with fire and water. Pitta is warm, moist, active/reactive, direct, passionate, and purposeful. Pitta is the most assertive dosha. Because of its driven nature, it is the dosha most likely to take action and make quick progress toward its dreams. Because of its naturally high energy, abundant motivation and intensity, Pittas are probably the most likely of all the doshas to manifest what they intend (or die trying).

Of the three doshas, Pittas are in the middle regarding stamina and endurance. They have more robust energy than both Vatas and Kaphas but they lack the versatility of Vata and the fortitude of Kapha. Thus, ideal Pitta-type intentions fall in the realm of growing and maintaining an already existing goal, business idea, or project. Health-related intentions, especially those connected to sports or fitness, are very well suited to Pittas. Business achievements, “Bucket List” adventures, remodeling projects and/or learning goals are usually easily achievable intentions for Pittas.

Really, since Pitta is the most competitive and ambitious dosha, it can take on and accomplish almost any sort of goal, as long as it doesn’t last super long. Long-term projects fall in the realm of Kapha. One key thing for Pittas to keep in mind is not to set so many goals that they wear themselves out trying to actualize them all. If you are a Pitta, a better approach is to choose carefully the dreams that light up your HEART.

If You Are a KAPHA

Kapha is the dosha associated with water and earth. It is slow, solid, wet, nurturing, purposeful and supportive. Kapha is the most gentle and practical dosha. It wants to create a foundation and provide lasting structure for longer-range plans, goals, projects, and dreams.

Kaphas can be quite adept at intention-setting (and realization) because they are usually practical people prepared to work hard over months or years. Because they usually know this about themselves, they do not agree to projects that don’t sincerely interest them or have the required ingredients necessary for success.

Self-aware Kaphas are thus likely to create fewer goals or resolutions each new year (compared to Pitta’s 10 and Vata’s 20+ things). The goals they do create will usually be sensible and achievable without too much “magic” or “manifesting.” Kaphas usually take a more logical approach toward their goals, laying down enduring structure that supports steady growth over time.

Kaphas who are still awakening to their full self-understanding may help themselves by setting intentions that are feasible within the structure of their current life, are longer-term in their scope, and are of a more supportive/foundational nature. They may want to partner with a more creative and idea-oriented starter (a Vata) and/or a more action-oriented Pitta (excellent at generating momentum) for more complex and multi-dimensional projects or goals.

Guiding Your Dreams Through the Doshas

Time and energy are precious. It’s fun to fantasize about what our souls could be, do and create, but it’s sometimes hard to know what is truly “for us” in this lifetime. One thing we can know is our dosha. If we align our ideas and intentions with what is natural for our energy, we have an easier time completing what we start and bringing our dreams to realization. We can also more readily make peace with goals that truly don’t seem consistent with our purpose.

Guiding your dreams from your heart and body (rather than solely from the mind) will help your soul move in the direction it is meant to go. Follow the dreams that create an inner sparkle. Activate your aspirations with the power of your love. Held with the simple wish to joyfully contribute something positive to the world, the things you attempt, whether completed or not, will always help you grow.


Unlock personalized meditations and well-being practices to tune into your creative potential and elevate your life with our quick in-app dosha quiz.