April 18, 2012

Determine Your Ayurvedic Constitution. ~ Brian Leaf

Six quick questions that could change your health.

When I was in school for a degree in Ayurveda in the 1990s, I read a lot of ayurveda books. And I saw many questionnaires designed to help people determine their ayurvedic dosha or constitution. It seemed to me that every questionnaire was obsessed with things like the size and frequency of a person’s poops. While this is actually very useful information in ayurveda, I’ve found that the following six questions are even more effective both in nailing down a person’s vikrti (current constitution) and in determining recommendations for diet, exercise, and lifestyle to reduce stress, improve vitality, and achieve balance.

To determine your vikrti, or current ayurvedic constitution, answer the following six questions:

1. Under stress, I become __________.

A. scattered and anxious

B. focused and angry

C. stuck

2. When I’m hungry, I get __________.

A. scattered and anxious

B. angry

C. depressed

3. I hate to feel _________.

A. too cold

B. too hot

C. too wet and cold

4. My biggest psychological struggles involve __________.

A. anxiety

B. being judgmental, irritation, anger

C. feeling stuck

5. When I have digestive problems, they involve ___________.

A. intestinal gas and bloating

B. heartburn

C. slow digestion,   feeling stuck

6. When I get sick, I feel ___________.

A. Worried, fried, constipated.

B. Fevers, skin rashes, diarrhea.

C. Congested, stagnant, blocked up.

Now count the number of As, Bs, and C’s in your answers.

Mostly A’s indicate vata, mostly B’s pitta, and mostly C’s kapha. This is your vikrti or current ayurvedic constitution.

Vata is the energy of air; pitta is the energy of fire; and kapha is the energy or water and earth.

So a person with a constitution dominant in the vata dosha will often have airy qualities (creative, quick, possibly anxious and flatulent); a person with a constitution dominant in pitta will often have fiery qualities (intense, focused, possibly critical); and a person with a constitution dominant in kapha will often have earthy qualities (steadfast, grounded, possibly stuck).

In the next part of this article, we’ll discuss recommendations for each constitution. Stay tuned!

Brian Leaf is the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, coming to bookstores in September, 2012. You can follow his adventures and misadventures on facebook.



Prepared by Aminda Courtwright/Editor: Tanya L. Markul

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