Mind-Body Health

What Is a Dosha?

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Doshas are the three energies that define every person's makeup. Knowing your dosha can help you live a healthier, more balanced life.

Discover your dosha type here.

In Ayurveda, the five elements that are found in all living things—ether, air, fire, water, and earth—are the building blocks of life. While this foundation unites all humans, the manifestation of those elements through the doshas is what gives rise to our different constitutions. How the three doshas appear, and in what proportion, is what makes each of us unique.

The 3 Doshas

  • The fiery and intense Pitta type may enjoy the occasional power trip. She will devour a mountain of food with ravenous hunger and yet be ready to eat again when it comes to the next meal.
  • In contrast, a delicate Vata can never seem to get warm. She will nibble, snack, and graze her way through the day, and she may feel the need to rest often. She’s also inclined to talk about a number of diverse subjects, probably repeating herself more than once.
  • The contented Kapha type may, with great deliberation, consume three pieces of cake. She will spend quality time curled up on a couch making phone calls to loved ones with uplifting, motherly advice.
  • The contented Kapha type may, with great deliberation, consume three pieces of cake. She will spend quality time curled up on a couch making phone calls to loved ones.

The role the doshas play is a dynamic one, constantly changing in response to weather, conditions, and stress. Your tendencies—good or bad—that you create are manifestations of your dosha. You may be inclined to go a bit overboard on ice cream, spend too much time talking on the phone late at night, or neglect sleep when you need it most. You habits can influence your make-up in positive or negative ways.

Getting to know and appreciate your dosha is key to knowing yourself. It provides clues for what you should eat and what things you should address when your energy gets out of whack. The more you know about what may cause certain reactions or tendencies, the easier it will be to balance them.

To learn which dosha you are, take this online dosha quiz. For guidance on how to make adjustments in your life based on your dosha, visit an Ayurvedic health practitioner or doctor. Addressing your needs according to your dosha may prevent expensive and painful conditions down the road, and could even add years of quality living to your life.