1. Constitutions (Pakriti)

Pakriti is an inherited constitution or body type that you have had/been since birth. It’s extraordinarily important to assess/determine one’s constitution in order:

1) To maintain health of body and mind by following the diet and lifestyle according to one’s prakriti.

2) To understand the prognosis of disease.

3) To understand the effectiveness of medicine.

There are two types of constitutions:Physical/Bodily constitution (on the basis of predominance of doshas in the body) and Mental constitution (on the basis of mental components).

A person’s constitution is according to the three biological operating humors (dosha): the Vata, the Pitta and the Kapha. Thus, there are seven possible constitutions.

  1. Vata Prakriti                                                   
  2. Pitta Prakriti                                                     
  3. Kapha Prakriti
  4. Vata-Pitta Prakriti
  5. PittaKapha Prakriti 
  6. Vata-Kapha Prakriti                                                      
  7. Vata-Pitta-Kapha Prakriti

Constitution is determined on the basis of predominance of doshas in the body. There is rarely dominance of single dosha in our body, and a balanced state of all three biological humors is also very rare. So, the constitution of most of us is usually duel, i.e. vata-pitta or pittakapha or kaphavata.

To determine your constitution, I recommend taking a written test. This website has a great and accurate quiz. In Nepal, I was diagnosed as Kapha-Pitta being Kapha dominant. This website got it right as well and asks the standard questions. I absolutely recommend doing it (takes about 3 minutes AND BE HONEST) then reading the rest of this post – much more interesting.

Since you have figured out your constitution already, let’s continue to what these dosha mean and stand for:

Vata Energy

– controls movement (kinetic energy),

– permeates the subtle body,

– dominated by Air and Space elements

 

Those who are Vata dominant usually have these CHARACTERISTICS:

– Are Enthusiastic & Vivacious by nature

– Thin physique – does not gain weight very easily

– Difficult in falling sleep or having sound sleep or easily interrupted while sleeping

– Mind very active, sometime restless, very imaginative

– Tend to be over exertive. Easily fatigued.

– Tend to be constipated

 

To maintain the Vata dosha in BALANCE:

– Keep a calming, regular routine,

– Go to bed early

– Eat meals at the same time every day

– Have regular elimination

– Keep warm in cold weather

– Drink plenty of warm liquids

– Avoid stimulants

– Favor sweet, sour and salty foods

 

Pitta energy

– controls metabolism,

– permeates mental status of the body,

– thermal energy,

– dominated by fire element

 

Those who are Pitta dominant usually have these CHARACTERISTICS:

– Activities: precise & orderly

– Irritable & angry easily and frustrated

– Skip/delay meals

– Fond of cold foods, ice creams, cold drinks

– Sharp intellect and articulate speech.

– Tend to be demanding

– Sensitive skin

– Do not tolerate hot weather

 

To maintain the Pitta dosha in BALANCE:

– Moderation is the key.

– Avoid excessive heat or exposure to the sun

– Abstain from alcohol and smoking

– Favor sweet, astringent and bitter foods

– Avoid excessive activities

– Finish work on time to avoid stressful deadlines

– Avoid skipping meals

– Avoid spicy, sour, or salty foods

 

Kapha Energy

– Controls structure,

– Permeates the physical status of the body,

– Cohesive energy,

– Dominated by Water and Earth elements

 

Those who are Kapha dominant usually have these CHARACTERISTICS:

– Gain weight easily more easily/ loose more slowly

– Calm disposition/feel complacent or dull

– Skin oily to normal

– Slow digestion

– Possessive and over attached

– Need more hours sleep

– Cool, damp weather bothers

– Very good stamina & physical endurance

– Steady level of energy

 

 

To maintain the Kapha dosha in BALANCE:

– Stimulation is the key to feel better

– Avoid excessive rest and over sleep

– Favor spicy, bitter and astringent foods

– Get plenty of exercise

– Seek out variety in life

– Don’t eat too much heavy and oily food.

– Keep warm in cold weather

 

The following charts and pictures will help demonstrate these theories better:

 

Characteristic Vata Pitta Kapha
Body frame Thin, irregular, very short or very tall Medium, proportionate, toned Heavy, broad, evenly proportioned
Weight Hard to gain,easy to lose Easy to gain,easy to lose Easy to gain,hard to lose
Skin Cold, dark, tans easily Warm, light and reddish, sunburns easily Cool, fair & oily tans easily
Hair Dry, frizzy, thin, dark Straight, fine, reddish, premature balding or graying Oily, wavy, thick, blonde, black or dark brown
Eyes Brown, gray, violet or unusual color, small Green, hazel, light brown, almond shaped Black, blue, dark brown, big, sensual
Nails  Dry, grayish, ridged Clear, well formed, pliable Square, white
Appetite  Irregular Strong Slow, Steady
Evacuation  Constipated, irregular, small quantity Loose, regular, large quantity Slow, regular, moderate quantity
Perspiration   Scanty Profuse Moderation
Stamina  Poor, exertive Moderate, driven Excellent, lackadaisical
Sleep Poor, variable Moderate, light Long, deep
Menstruation Spotty, irregular Intense, Heavy Regular, smooth
 
Daily routine Variable Precise Methodical
Activity style Active, restless Sharp, Precise Calm, Slow
Weather Preference Warm Cool Not cold and wet
Teeth Irregular Yellow White, even
Body Temperature Cold Warm Cool
Tendons, Veins Visible Moderate Hidden
Joints Stiff, Cracking Flexible Strong
Abdomen Thin Muscular Thick, Soft
Under stress Anxious Irritable Calm
Temperament Fearful, indecisive, nervous, perceptive Angry, intelligent, arrogant, successful Greedy, calm, stable, stubborn
Memory Learns quickly,forgets quickly Learns quickly,forgets slowly Learns slowly,forgets slowly
Speech Erratic, talkative Decisive, articulate, Forceful Slow, cautious, Deep, Resonant
Spirituality Spiritually disciplined Tendency to material success Fundamentally material
Financial Spends easily on trifles Spends on luxuries saves
Dreams Flying, fearful, erratic Fiery, violent, intense Watery, sensual, long sequences
Sexuality Cold, variable Hot, intense Warm, enduring
Under stress Anxious Irritable Calm
Temperament Fearful, indecisive, nervous, perceptive Angry, intelligent, arrogant, successful Greedy, calm, stable, stubborn
Memory Learns quickly,forgets quickly Learns quickly,forgets slowly Learns slowly,forgets slowly
Speech Erratic, talkative Decisive, articulate, Forceful Slow, cautious, Deep, Resonant
Spirituality Spiritually disciplined Tendency to material success Fundamentally material
Financial Spends easily on trifles Spends on luxuries Saves
Dreams Flying, fearful, erratic Fiery, violent, intense Watery, sensual, long sequences
Sexuality Cold, variable Hot, intense Warm, enduring

Now, let’s discuss Mental Constitutions. There are three different mental constitutions:

Sattvic

Rajasic

Tamasic

 

These following graphs and charts will help you understand the difference between each constitution and help you determine which one you mostly are:

 

Mental constitution    Character Food likes Food types you have to avoid if you want to be
Sattvic Patience,happy,helpful, maintains hygiene properly,not influenced by others in bad ideas but follows the good ideas after thinking,always encourage others to be good
  • Milk and milk products
  • fruits
  • sweets
  • selective in food that is good for health
  • Meat and meat products
  • Eggs
  • Chilly-spicy-   oily foods
  • unhygienic
  • left over/ basi foods
Rajasic Dominating to others, proud,angry,showy personality, helps others if happy but hampers if unhappy,easily influenced by others without thinking Meat and meat products,chilly- spicy -oily foods,interested in eating more without thinking the food is good for health or not.
Tamasic  Lazy,depressed,unhappy,not helpful,never maintains hygiene,never influenced,

no interest in the things happening around his environment

 

Eat whatever is available

 

Constitution

 

Constitution2

All of these notes and pictures were provided to me by the Ayurveda Health Home of Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

 

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