Determine Your Ayurvedic Constitution. ~ Brian Leaf

Via elephant journal
on Apr 18, 2012
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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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22 Responses to “Determine Your Ayurvedic Constitution. ~ Brian Leaf”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posted to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  2. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the brand new Elephant Food Homepage.

    Also posted to Elephant Food on Facebook and Twitter.

    Lorin Arnold
    Blogger at The VeganAsana
    Please "like" Elephant Food on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

  3. Brian Leaf says:

    Thanks, Tanya!

  4. Brian Leaf says:

    Thanks, Lorin! Love the new page!

  5. Rajni Tripathi says:

    Affirmed another test i took! 🙂

  6. […] my previous column Determine Your Ayurvedic Constitution, I gave you six questions to determine your vikrti or current […]

  7. Laura Plumb says:

    Thank you, Brian. I, too, have devised a simplified, more relevant to our modern world questionnaire, so I was curious to see yours. Curious to see what we each see in the science and in each other. In you, I see greatness, and a compassionate heart. Namaste!

  8. Brian Leaf says:

    Thank you very much, Laura. Can you post your survey as well? I'd love to see it.

  9. Brian Leaf says:

    Cool. Which survey?

  10. Rajeev Rawat says:

    "Expedient and convenient", that's become the American mantra for life. It is not the core of a Yogic life or Ayurvedic principles. Questionnaires are good tickling gimmicks for amateurs, but not sufficiently comprehensive for meaningful application or transformation. Ayurveda is a deeper study of mind, body, chemistry, physiology, psychology, and a person's total makeup. Good yoga and Ayurveda practices align spirit, actions, meditation, soul, peace, and harmony. These books and questionnaires must be seen as small markers or entertainment stops on a journey that's powered by self and affixes good karma in life. They cannot possibly encapsulate the wisdom attained by lifetimes of yogis and repackage in snippets. Read to be inspired to do more on your own. Take the questionnaire, but be mindful of what it is. Your life is worthy of more than "expedient and convenient" discourses. Honor yourself and seek your own light.

  11. Padmavati says:

    Vikruti=imbalance Prakruti=constitution

  12. Rajni Tripathi says:

    I dont remember the name of it, but i had taken it a few months ago as part of my yoga teacher training. 🙂

  13. Brian Leaf says:

    Thanks, Rajeev. A bit intense, I'd say, but very well put.

  14. Brian Leaf says:

    Yes, vikruti (or vikrti) is the current constitution, the way a person is out of balance from their natural or birth constitution, called prakruti (or prakrti). The vikrti helps show us what needs to be balanced to achieve optimal wellbeing.

  15. Louise says:

    So what if you have 2 of each?

  16. […] science of Ayurveda, of which I am a student, separates people into three basic body types, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. While everyone has a bit of all three, most people have one type that is dominant. While I am not […]

  17. […] Determine Your Ayurvedic Constitution. ~ Brian Leaf ( […]

  18. […] practitioner to help you. If you cannot find one and you would like to have a general idea, you could take few Ayurvedic tests online. I can honestly tell you that you should take several of them and average the results out but keep […]

  19. Laura says:

    Love this! Thanks!

  20. Jason says:

    What if I have 3 A's and 3 C's?

  21. Michelle says:

    Well apparently I’m a tri dosha because I got 2 of each. Most of the other tests I’ve taken has been even on pitta and vata, so this is interesting.

  22. Thanks a lot! very informative!