Ayurveda, the ancient medical/holistic system from the vedic civilization of India, teaches that health is maintained by the balancing of three subtle energies known as Doshas - individually they are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
This system teaches maintenance and protection of the whole person (mind, body and soul). Ayurvedic medicine is based on an individual's characteristics and body frame rather than oriented toward treating disease or sickness.
Each of us are made up of a combination of the three types of Dosha. The three Doshas are comprised of these five universal elements:
Vata is a combination of air and space.
Pitta is mostly fire with some water.
Kapha is mostly water with some earth.
Although there are only three Doshas, they can be combined in ten possible ways to arrive at ten different body and behavioural types:
3 single Dosha types
6 double Dosha types
1 tridosha type
If you're interested in finding out your constitution i.e. your combination of the 3 Doshas you can use the following link to complete a short questionnaire.
However, the most reliable way to discover your Dosha type is to visit an Ayurvedic Doctor, who by simply taking your pulse can ascertain it.
The single Dosha type:
If one Dosha is much higher than the others, you are a single-Dosha type. A true single - Dosha type displays the traits of Vata, Pitta or Kapha very prominently.
Your next highest Dosha will still show some influence in your natural tendencies but to a much lesser degree.
The two Dosha type:
Vata - Pitta or Pitta - Vata
Pitta - Kapha or Kapha - Pitta
Kapha - Vata or Vata - Kapha
If no Dosha is extremely dominate, you are a two-Dosha type. This means that you display qualities of your two leading Doshas, either side by side or in alternation. The higher one comes first in your body type, but both count.
Most people are two - Dosha types. In some, the first Dosha is very strong which would qualify them as a single-Dosha type except for the prominence of another Dosha. In other cases, the difference is smaller, the first Dosha still predominates, but the second will be almost equal. And in still others, one Dosha will stand out but the other two are exactly tied. They are probably still a two-Dosha type, but the written test did not pick up the second Dosha. If your score is like this, pay attention to the first Dosha as your dominant one, and with time the second will become more clear.
The three Dosha type:
Vata - Pitta - Kapha
If your three scores are nearly equal, you are a three-dosha type. This type is considered rare, however.
Interpreting body types
Your body type is the mould you were cast in and is genetic, it is inherited at birth. Knowledge of your body type enables you to evolve to a more ideal state of health. Understanding it's corresponding behavioural characteristics gives you a better appreciation for the inherent behavioural traits and instincts that you display so easily, without thinking. To grasp hold of yourself and attempt to develop a life of balance, the way you approach the world through your thoughts may be more important than even your body type. Everything you create in your life first starts out as a thought and even your body follows the directions of these same thoughts.
The pure Vata type
Light, thin build.
Quick to grasp new information, also quick to forget
. Performs activity quickly.
Tendency to worry
. Irregular hunger and digestion
. Tendency toward constipation.
Enthusiasm, vivaciousness, imagination
. Tires easily, tendency to over exert.
Excitability, changing moods.
Mental and physical energy comes in bursts
The pure Pitta type
Enterprising character, likes challenges.
Medium strength and endurance
. Sharp intellect
. Sharp hunger and thirst, strong digestion.
Precise, articulate speech.
Tendency toward anger.
Cannot skip meals.
Irritability under stress.
Blond, light brown or red hair
. Fair or ruddy skin, often freckled (or reddish undertones)
The pure Kapha type
Solid, powerful build.
Slow to grasp new information. Good physical strength and endurance. Good retentive memory.
Steady energy; slow and graceful.
Tendency to obesity.
Slow digestion, mild hunger.
Tranquil, relaxed personality; slow to anger.
Affectionate, tolerant, forgiving
. Cool, smooth, thick, oily and often pale skin.
Tendency to be possessive
Overall well-being and striving for longevity depends on keeping your doshas balanced. Any imbalance among the tridoshas causes a state of unhealthiness or disease. Factors that can bring about balance of the tridoshas are diet, exercise, good digestion, and elimination of toxins.