Ayurvedic body type – Deha prakruthi
All of us are unique in some way or other. Some of us get a cold if exposed to wind easily while others don’t. Few get heat boils in summer after having 1 egg, others can eat 3 in a day without any issues. Why does this happen? All these are explained in Ayurveda through the concept of our inborn prakruthi or body type. This is explained by the basic Ayurveda Tridosha principle of Vatha Pitha and Kapha.
The universe is made up of pancha mahabhoothas . Prithvi (earth), ap (water), agni (fire), Vayu
(wind), akasha (space). Body is also made up of pancha mahabhoothas. The properties of pancha mahabhootha, at the functional level in the body is divided into 3 doshas – Vatha, Pitta and Kapha. Each one has a set of body functions. All of us have all the three doshas in our body. At the time of conception, as per the contribution of prakruthi from mother and father and depending on the environmental conditions, each individual’s prakruthi is formed. There are 3 single dosha prakruthis – Vatha prakruthi, Pitha prakruthi and Kapha prakruthi, all doshas in equal combination as sama prakruthi and combination of 2 doshas as Vathapitha, Vathakapha, Kaphapitha. Single dosha prakruthi and sama prakruthi are not common. Usually it is a combination of 2 dosha prakruthis. In 2 dosha prakruthi also the amount of one of the dosha will vary from individual to individual. That is the reason that each of us are unique.
So how will knowing your prakruthi help you? Knowing your prakruthi is essential to understand yourself. Your diet, physical activities and therapies can be formed as per your prakruthi so that you can have a healthy balance of all doshas. Knowing your body type or prakruthi will make prevention more specific and allow you to have a lifestyle which is in sync with the natural balance of your body.
Main characteristics of VATA type personalities are
- Thin build
- Perform activities quickly
- Irregular digestion habits
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Tendency towards constipation
- Tendency to worry and overexert
- Cannot tolerate cold
- Excited and Changeable mood
- Joints and veins stand out prominently
Main characteristics of PITHA type personalities are
- Medium build
- Sharp hunger and thirst, good digestion
- Tendency towards anger and irritability
- Aversion to hot weather and spicy food
- More prone to acne, rashes and inflammation
- Sleep normally sound
- Ambitious with leadership qualities
- More prone to loose motion
Main characteristics of KAPHA type personalities are
- Strong build
- Slow in action
- Relaxed personality
- Oily skin and thick hair
- Prolonged sleep
- Slow digestion and tendency to be obese
- Affectionate and forgiving
To keep the balance of your body type, we have to give attention to 3 areas. AHARA (food), VIHARA (exercise and other activities) and VICHARA (our thoughts and beliefs).
What kind of food each body type should take is a vast subject. We need to have a customized diet plan for proper balance. At a high level, it can be summarised like this.
Vatha type should have warm and soothing foods. They can add butter and oil in the food. For example, hot cream soup. Cook vegetable with oil. Salads and dry snacks are not good for Vatha type.
People of Pitha type should eat cool refreshing food. Salads and legumes are good. Milk, cool sweet beverages and ice creams are good. They should reduce spicy and salty food. They should reduce fermented food and avoid processed and fast food.
For Kapha type, they should take warm and easily digestible food. They can choose dry cooking methods like baking etc. Spicy food is good. They should avoid oily and deep-fried food.
Now about vihara and vichara. Vatha type should get enough rest. They should have regular sleep patterns and do meditation. They should stay warm. Oil massage on regular intervals is best suited for them. They should avoid overstimulation like loud music, violent movies before going to bed. Basically, they should have regular habits like on time sleep, regular food timings and avoid any overstrain.
For Pitha type, do things in moderation. Even though you are ambitious, do not push yourself too much. Take time off with nature. Balance rest and activity. Choose physical activity which do not make your body too hot, like swimming or walking in open spaces. They will respond to toxins or impure items pretty fast. So, keep a healthy lifestyle with natural food.
For Kapha personalities, you might have to push yourself a little to come out of your comfort zone. Regular exercise is a must. Dry heat like sauna is good. Put effort to change the status quo and seek new experiences.
These are the preventive measures to be taken to keep the balance of doshas as per prakruthi. But if your doshas are in imbalance, you might see some changes in your lifestyle.
If your body is of more of Vatha type, the main changes you can watch out for are lack of sleep, constipation and anxiety. Pitha imbalance could result in burning sensation, loose motion and skin irritation or acne. Kapha imbalance could show as lack of appetite, sinus congestion, heaviness of body, allergies asthma etc. If you notice any of the above changes, follow the lifestyle as per your prakruthi that I explained earlier. But if your doshas are in imbalance due to any other disease, specific assessment by a doctor is required.
For complete assessment of prakruthi, it needs a lot of specific information. Diet and exercise also should be personalized for better balance. For personalised prakruthi assessment and lifestyle modification please contact us.