Ayurveda and finding your Dosha
I first came across Ayurvedic medicine in Sri Lanka, where I spent 2 weeks in Barberyn Resort an Ayurvedic resort for westerners on the coast, south of Colombo (Im not going to lie, it was pretty bougi).
Without going into too much detail, Ayurveda is an ancient approach to mental and physical wellness from India, dating well over 5000 years old. It approaches health from a holistic sense and comprises of a number of aspects including diet, massage, and movement such as yoga.
The system is based around three “Doshas” or constitutions. Each of us is made up of a certain ratios of each, and they dictate things such as the foods we crave, the oiliness of our skin and our sex drive. For me, understanding the ratio of my Doshas was really beneficial as I had asthma and was constantly getting sick. Ayurveda helped me know what foods/herbs and spices to eat, how to eat them, what sorts of physical activity best suited me as well as a plenty of other tips and tricks to remaining healthy or noticing when I need to pay closer attention to my body.
Nick Broadhurst does two series in his podcast on Ayurveda. Haven’t heard of him? Yeah neither had I, but he is extremely knowledgable and his podcast will give you a solid base understanding on the Ayurvedic system, each of the Doshas, and how to work with them.
The podcast does have a few ads and he does include some of his music in each episode, but the content is great. Series one (Episodes 21-24) gives you an introduction, while Series two (Episodes 77-83) goes into a little more depth. I would highly recommend having a listen.
You can find links here:
Podcast direct from his page here or search: The Nick Broadhurst show
Below is a series of questions to work out your own constitution.
Don’t scroll through the questions first as at the bottom is the scale for working out which dosha you are and we don’t want the knowledge of this to influence your answers. Try to answer as truthfully as possible and answer how you usually feel toward the questions, not just how you are feeling today.
Which Dosha are you?
Part 1 – Emotional or behaviour assessment
1) I am:
A. Flexible, optimistic
B. Ambitious, practical, intense
C. Calm, peaceful, solicitous
2) I consider myself as:
A. Lively, intuitive
B. Motivated, perceptive, warm
C. Resilient, content, loyal, slow
3) My acquaintances describe me as:
A. Enthusiastic, changeable
B. Friendly, independent, courageous, discriminating
C. Deliberate, relaxed, compassionate
4) My friends describe me:
A. A initiator
B. A good leader, goal oriented, competitive
C. Patient, nurturing, stable
5) My thinking style is:
A. Restless, quick
B. Organized, efficient, accurate
C. Slow, methodical, exacting
6) My creative level is:
A. Filled with ideas but tends to follow through poorly
B. Intensive in many areas, with good follow through
C. Best in the field of business
7) I dream of :
A. Activity, running, flying, frightening things
B. Violence, fire, anger, passion, the sun
C. Romance, sentimentality, water and snow
8) My lifestyle is:
A. Highly active
C. Rather inactive
9) My spending habits are:
A. Wasteful, can’t save, throw money away on trifles
B. Moderate, can save, but spend money on luxuries
C. Thrifty, accumulate wealth but spend money on food
10) Emotionally, I:
A. Worry, am anxious, moody and emotional
B. Get angry and irritated easily
C. Stay calm, complacent, get angry slowly
11) I love:
A. Traveling, art, esoteric ( specialized) subjects
B. Sports, politics, luxury
C. Good food
12) The pace of my activity is
B. Medium speed, intense
C. Slow and steady
13) When threatened, I become
A. Fearful, and anxious
B. Angry, irritable and flight
C. Indifferent and withdrawn
14) I am most sensitive to:
B. Bright light.
C. Strong odours
15) My ways of learning is:
A. To learn quickly. I enjoy more than one thing at a time. I can lose focus.
B. To focus sharply, discriminate (distinguish/perceive). I finish what I start.
C. To take my time. I tend to be methodical.
16) I learn new material best by:
A. Listening to a speaker
B. Reading or using visual aids
C. Associating it with another memory
17) If there was one trait to best describe me, it would be:
A. Vivacious (lively, active, spirited and full of life).
18) Regarding my relationships:
A. I Easily adapt to different kinds of people.
B. Often choose friends on the basis of their values.
C. Am slow to make new friends but am forever loyal.
19) My family and friends might prefer me to be more:
20) My energy endurance is:
A. Low, energy comes in spurts, and then need to rest.
B. Is moderate of high. I can push myself too hard. C. Good, long-lasting
Part 2 – Mental or Functional Assessment
1) My memory is:
A. Quick to remember-and to forget. (Best in the short term)
B. Average, clear, distinct. (Good over all)
C. Slow to remember and to forget. (Best in long term)
2) I process information:
B. At medium speed
3) Under stress I become:
A. Anxious, insecure, fense and sigh and hyperventilate(breathe excessively hard and fast) B.Aggressive, angry, irritable, headachy, nauseated
C. Lethargic, dull, in denial
4) My speech pattern is:
A. Quick, often imaginative or excessive, talkative
B.Clear, precise, detailed, well-organised, convincing
C. Slow, monotonous, melodic, Soothing, and rich with moments of silence
5) My voice sounds:
A. High pitched, fast, dissonant, weeping.
B. Medium pitched, sharp, laughing, sarcastic.
C. Low pitched, melodious, slow, pleasant, and deep
6) My sex drive is:
A. Frequent, either in very high or very-łow gear
B.Moderate frequency, but passionate and domineering (authoritative)
C. Infrequent, constant or cyclic, loyal and devoted.
7) Regarding the weather:
A. I dislike weather that is cold, windy, and dry.
B. I dislike weather that is hot, with strong sun.
C. I dislike weather that is cold and damp.
8) Regarding temperature:
A. I am comfortable in the heat.
B. I am comfortable in the cool. I perspire easily.
C. Tolerant extremes well
9) When making decisions I am:
B. Ambitious, practical, intense.
C. Calm, peaceful, solicitous
10) When making my mind up, I am:
B. Quick and decisive
C. Slow but deliberate
11) My taste preference is:
A. Oily, heavy, sweet, soupy, salty, sour.
B. Medium, light, sweet, warm, bitter, astringent.
C. Dry, light, low-fat, sweet, pungent
12) My mental tendencies are:
A. Questioning, theorising
B. Judgmental or artistic.
C. Stable and logical
13) I generally eat:
B. Moderately fast
14) My sleep is most often:
A. Interrupted, light
B. Sound, moderate
C. Deep, long. I am slow to awaken.
15) My perspiration is:
A. Scanty with no odour
B. Heavy with strong odour.
C. Moderate or heavy with pleasant odour.
16) My appetite:
A. Irregular, with skipped meals.
B. Strong must eat regular meals
C. Constant, but can skip meals.
17) My sleep pattern is:
A. Irregular, light, interrupted, 5-6 hours a night.
B. Sound and even, 6-8 hours a night.
C. Prolonged and deep, difficult to wake up.
18) My bowel movements are:
A. Dry, hard, constipated
B. Soft, oily loose
C. Heavy, slow, thick.
Part 3 – Body Characteristics or Physical Assessment
1) Compared to others of my height, I have:
A. Smaller bones
B. Average sized bones
C. Larger bones
2) My height is:
A. Average to tall or short
C. Average to below average
3) My muscles are:
A. Wiry, undeveloped.
B. Moderately developed
C. Solid, stocky, well developed.
4) My weight is:
A. Below average, I lose weight easily
B. Medium, able to lose or gain weight
C. Above average, I gain weight easily
5) Most of my fat is located:
A. Around my waist
B. Evenly over my body
C. Around the hips and thighs.
6) My skin is:
A. Dry, flaky, thin, rough, cool to touch
B. Delicate, sensitive, with freckles or moles, warm to touch, glowing.
C. Oily, thick, smooth, soft to touch.
7) My complexion (compared with other of my race) is:
B. More reddish, freckled, or yellowish
C. Lighter or pale
8) My hair is:
A. Dry, brittle, this, coarse, brown, black.
B. Fine and straight, blond, red, greying early or balding
C. Oily, thick, luxúriant, wavy or curly, dark brown, black.
9) My eyebrows are:
A. Thin, dry and firm
C. Thick, large, firm, bushy, oily
10) My eyes are:
A. Small, nervous, dry, black or brown
B. Sharp, bright, sensitive to light, gray or green, with a penetrating gaze.
C. Big, clam, blue, with a loving gaze (sleepy eyes)
11) My teeth are:
A. Big, crooked or protruding, with thin receding gums
B. Medium-sized, yellowish and soft, with tender gums.
C. Strong and white with healthy gums.
12) My nose is:
A. Uneven in shape, small, thin.
B. Long and pointed.
C. Short, rounded, thick, oily
13) My lips are:
A. Dry, thin, dark
B. Soft, pink, red or yellowish
C. Oily and smooth, large, thick and firm, pale
14) My veins are:
B. Somewhat visible
C. Not visible
15) My shoulders are:
A. Narrow and sloped down
C. Broad, firm, well developed
16) Mý hips are:
B. Medium width
17) My hands are:
A. Small, dry, cool, with small long fingers
B. Medium-sized, moist, warm, pink
C. Large, oily, cool, firm
18) My joints are:
A. Thin, small, and make cracking noises
B. Moderate in size, soft and loose.
C. Large, well lubricated and well knit.
19) My nails are:
A. Dry rough, brittle, and break easily
B. Flexible, pink and lustrous
C. Thick, smooth, shinny and hard
20) My gait (walk style) is:
A. Quick, short steps
B. Medium-paced purposeful
C. Slow and graceful
Calculating the scores to determine YOUR Prakruti Prakruti Totals:
Write the totals for each part.
Row 1 denotes Vata,
Row 2 denotes Pitta and
Row 3 denotes Kapha characteristics