Dosha Evaluation
A way to discover your unique constitutional type

Circle the aspects listed below that match the best with your own qualities, as you think of yourself at your healthiest and happiest, or of yourself as a small child. Then add up the circled items for each column. The column marked most often will indicate your primary Dosha, and others will indicate secondary tendencies. Take this quiz again as yourself at a different state of health in your life..see if there are differences. Following this evaluation are descriptions of the three constitutional types of Ayurveda. This will help you become aware of your unique strengths and likely areas of imbalance. Most of this information is adapted from the very helpful book, The Yoga of Herbs   by Dr.'s Vasant Lad and David Frawley (c. 1986 Lotus Press, Twin Lakes Wisconsin). I hope you will read more about the herbs, foods and practices that will promote balance for your constitutional type.

 

Aspect of Constitution

Vata Pitta

Kapha

Frame  Thin Moderate   Large
Body Weight  Low  Moderate  Heavy
 Skin  Dry, Rough, Cool, Brown, Black  Soft, Oily, Warm, Fair, Red, Yellowish  Thick, Oily, Cool, Pale, White
 Hair  Black, Dry, Kinky  Soft, Oily, Yellow, Early Grey, Red  Thicky, Oily, Wavy, Dark or Light
 Teeth

 Protruded, Spaces Between, Crooked, Gums Emaciated

 Moderate in Size, Soft or Bleeding Gums  Strong, White, Full, Well-Formed    
 Eyes  Small, Dry, Active, Brown, Black  Sharp, Penetrating, Green, Grey, Yellow  Big, Attractive, Blue, Thick Eyelashes
 Appetite  Variable, Low  Good, Sharp, Excessive  Slow but Steady

 Disease Tendency

   Nervous Disorders, Pain                                  Heat, Infection, Inflammation  Excess Water, Mucus
 Thirst  Variable  Excessive  Slight
 Elimination  Dry, Hard, Constipated  Soft, Oily, Loose  Thick, Oily, Heavy, Slow
 Physical Activity  Very Active  Moderate  Lethargic
 Mind  Restless, Active, Curious  Aggressive, Intelligent  Calm, Slow, Receptive
 Emotional Excesses  Fearful, Insecure, Anxious  Aggressive, Irritable, Jealous  Greedy, Attached, Self-Contented
 Faith  Wavering, Changeable  Determined  Steady, Loyal
 Memory  Recent Memory Good, Remote Memory Poor  Sharp  Slow but Prolonged
 Dreams  Flying, Jumping, Running, Fearful  Fiery, Angry, Passionate, Colorful  Watery, Ocean, Swimming, Romantic
 Sleep Scanty, Interrupted  Little but Sound  Heavy, Prolonged, Excessive
 Speech  Fast, Chaotic, Uninterrupted  Sharp, Clear, Cutting  Slow, Monotonous, Melodious
 Spending Habits  Spends Quickly, Impulsively  Spends Moderately and Methodically  Spends Slowly, Saves
 Pulse  Thready, Feeble, Moves Like a Snake  Moderate, Jumping Like a Frog  Broad, Slow, Moves Like a Swan
 Tongue  thin, long, pale, dry, cracks, may have brownish coat more in back  medium size, may be pointed, red to purple, yellow coat, dry but not cracked  large, round, pale, white wet coat, may be excessive or with froth/bubbles

Vata - Air and Ether..Cold and Dry..Visionary Abstract Thinkers (who can not find their keys)..

Vata people tend to be physically underdeveloped. Musculature can be long or thin, with veins and tendons easily visible. Complexion is brownish, a few moles are typically present, and skin can be cool, rough, dry with a tendency to cracking. Vata skin rarely sweats. Hands and feet are often cold. Nails can be brittle or rough also. Hair is scanty, thin, often curly, and eyelashes are scanty. Vata eyes can seem to be focusing on distant miracles, but they can physically look worn, sunken, with dry and darkish conjunctiva (inner lids).  The Vata appetite and digestion are variable; they can have no appetite at all, and then be ravenous, eating large meals. They prefer hot drinks. They tend to become dehydrated easily (possibly from just forgetting to drink) and can have problems with dark scanty urine and constipation. Sleep is often light and easily disturbed, but Vata people can experience great ideas while dreaming and wake suddenly to write them down or otherwise retain them for further development. They are creative, active, alert and restless. Vata people move and talk quickly but like the cool wind they can change, and just as quickly become fatigued and need to withdraw briefly. They have curious, original minds but can have short memories and be absent-minded, impatient but unable to focus.

To balance out their cold, dry, air/ether qualities, Vata-predominant people can think of warming, moistening earth and water qualities to add to their lives. Sweet and nutritive herbs and foods, with careful use of pungent tastes, are helpful. Bitter tonics, which are cooling and drying, are contraindicated. Vatas, visualize sinking into a lovely hot tub with a warm nog or spiced mulled wine to sip, with some nice visceral, rhythmic drum choir music to listen to. Or Barry White. And then go get a massage with lots of jasmine-y oil. No meditating or Kundalini! Be in your body! Then when you go back to formulating the Unified Field Theory of Everything, you will be able to concentrate much better.

Pitta - Fire and Water..Political and Business Leaders..excel at the game of life

Pitta people are usually moderate in height, weight, frame and muscle development, showing veins and tendons a moderate amount, and bony prominences not as much as Vata's. They can have a lot of freckles and moles. Complexion may be bronzed, yellowish, reddish or fair. Skin is soft and warm, with good color and can flush easily. Pitta skin sweats easily. Hands and feet are usually warm. Pitta's do not tolerate moist heat climates too well. Nails can be smooth but a bit thin and soft. Hair is thin, silky, red or brownish with a tendency to early greying or baldness. Eyes are of medium prominence within the face, and vision is often poor. Eye color can be grey, green or golden-brown, with moist conjunctiva. Noses are often sharp and the tip can be red. Pitta folks have great appetites of all kinds and good digestion. They usually sleep moderately well. Their body temperature is high and they like cold drinks. Feces are soft and yellowish; Pitta's can easily have a variety of inflammatory bowel problems if they are not careful. Pitta's are intelligent and sharp and can be good orators and make wonderful leaders of competetive groups. They can be jealous, ambitious, angry and manipulative.

To balance out the hot, goopy, driven Pitta nature, Pitta-predominant people can think of gently uplifting, cooling and drying  Air, Water and Ether..balanced by just enough Earth to keep a person feeling solidly grounded. Dilute cool, sweet nutritive herbs and foods, along with astringent materials and bitter tonics, will help many Pitta imbalances. Pitta's, I recommend that you go fishing but do not catch anything; just hang out in the boat with a bottle of pomegranate juice and a good book (Thoreau, not Tom Clancy!) and maybe a good old dog to scratch. Stay away from the acid-y salsa..once a month do something nice for yourself or someone else without having it double as a resume-builder. Let go of the game a little and your digestion will thank you.

Kapha - Water and Earth..Loving and Nurturing..curled up on the couch for the Winter

Kapha people are well-developed, with broad expansive chests and rounder musculature; they can tend to put on extra weight. Bones, veins and tendons are not obvious. They are usually fair, white or pale, with soft oily moist cool skin. Sweat is moderate but slower to develop than Pitta's. Hair can be dense, thick, dark and wavy. Kapha eyes are large, moist and with pronounced whites, and are a dark brown or blue color; conjunctiva can be moist and pale. Kapha people have slow but steady appetites, and move slowly but deliberately. Their digestions can be slow, especially on arising, and bowel movements though regular may take quite awhile. Their sleep can be prolonged and deep. Kaphas are often healthy and contented, with good strength and endurance. They are thoughtful and tolerant, calm and forgiving, but can also be possessive and envious. It may take Kaphas time to understand something; they gather all the details they need, and then have a very good long-term memory. Kaphas collect too much cool moisture, especially in the chest, developing lingering colds.

 To balance out the heaviness and cold moisture of Kaphas, warming, drying and stimulating (Ether, Air and Fire) herbs, foods and materials will be helpful. Pungent and sour things applied carefully will warm without overstimulating, dry without cooling and clogging things up more. A measure of bitter tonics will help "break up the sludge" as well, if not overdone to the point of over-cooling also.  So Kapha's, rise up off your couches! You can have the salsa! Jumpstart your tea with slices of ginger! A little coffee in the morning is okay! You can take dry saunas with eucalyptus and juniper twigs, and learn about lymphatic drainage massage and gentle skin-brushing with a nice nubby washcloth or natural sponge. The other Doshas need you, but you can't balance them if you stay hidden away in that lovely kitchen. Go find a Vata or Pitta and take a dance class together..