Basic Body Constitution
In the holistic science of Ayurveda it is recognised that we are born with our own unique ratio of the three dosas or energy types; Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water). This ratio is what creates our 'prakriti', known as our 'basic body constitution' or 'natural state'. Prakriti is the unique combination of the doshas we are born with. Each individual and their unique dosha express a blend of mental, emotional and physical characteristics known as 'qualities'. These qualities are used to describe us living beings aswell as everything else around us. According to Ayurveda your prakriti / dosha you are born with is determined at the time of conception. Each indivudal persons specific combination and proportion of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is determined according to the genetics, diet, lifestyle and the current emotions of their parents. Essentially the dominant doshas in the parents combine to form the constitution of the child.
The prakriti that you are born with does not change during a persons life. It is your natural body type and your basic body constitution, that is your DNA and identity that will always be with you. When Ayurveda says health comes from balancing the doshas, this does not mean that an individual should try to equalize their Vata, Pitta and Kapha ratio, but rather they must maintain the balance with the constitution they were born with. Most commonly this ratio is more dominant by a specific dosha, which then guides the way to a holistic lifestyle that helps sustain the balance of your mind and body determined by your prakriti. You may have a second dominant dosha, or be 'tridoshic' which means you are an equal blend of all three energy types.
Dosha You Are Born With
Your Current Dosha
Current Body Constitution
In Ayurveda a persons 'vikriti' is their 'current body constitution' which is your current dosha. Virkriti is your current body and state of health- how it is physically, emotionally and mentally in the present moment. As conditions change many factors can cause imbalance to your prakriti. Due to diet, lifestyle, emotion, stress, fatigue, weather and environment, the balance of the doshas in our body and mind also change leading to imbalance. Imbalance is caused by not supporting our natural constitution through continually eating food or using lifestyle habits, that are not naturally suited to our unique mind-body type. Vikriti in sanskrit translates too 'one that has gone away from its natural form'.
If ones health is in balance, then the current Dosha status will be the same as the Prakriti. But it is more likely there is an imbalance and the aim is always to re-establish Prakriti in a persons life. Think of your natural state of being as your home, the aim is always to go back home. Your state of Self before physical or mental imbalance manifested within. The initial signs of Vikriti or symptoms of illness in the mind are body, are key signals that there is imbalance.
Dosha = Mind-Body Type
Listening To Your Body
Physical, mental and emotional symptoms of discomfort are your bodys way of communicating with you. It is trying to signal to you that something in your lifestyle, emotions or environment is causing you imbalance that needs to be shown awareness. The initial stages of vikruti range from bloating, digestive discomfort, acne, hives, rashes, eczema, hot flushes, itchy skin, fatigue, dull body aches, migraines, sleeping but not refreshed when you wake, mood swings, depression, angry temper, anxiety, panic attacks, loss of appetite or excessive eating. These signs of imbalance in our mind and body are the beginning of an unfortunate path to disease and chronic illnesses if dismissed and left unseen too. Fortunately in the holistic healing science of Ayurveda by analysing the doshas and their qualities, we can identify which dosha is causing imbalance and treat the symptoms accordingly. Starting with nutrition and lifestyle as 'medicine', we can restore equilibrium within the mind and body by gently guiding it with the right tools, to return back to its natural state of well being. In Ayurveda the aim is to always restore balance within the person as a whole- physically, mentally and emotionally. Not just to target or numb a singular symptom that does not identify the root cause.
Types Of Constitution
According to Ayurveda there are 7 main body types or constitution:
1. V A T A
2. P I T T A
3. K A P H A
4. V A T A - P I T T A
5. P I T T A - K A P H A
6. V A T A - K A P H A
7. V A T A - P I T T A - K A P H A
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are mono types
Vata - Pitta, Pitta - Kapha and Kapha - Vata are dual types
Vata - Pitta - Kapha is a triple type
All three doshas are present within every person, but the unique proportion of each energy varies from individual to individual. Each person is so unique and can not be compared to any other individual. The wellbeing system of Ayurveda gently guides you to follow nutrition and lifestyle advice that is determined by your prakriti to maintain health and prevent illness. Vitality and longevity of health exists when an individuals own unique ratio of the three doshas is is balanced to their prakriti.