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Self-Assessment: Determine Your Dosha

"He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened."

Ayurveda means the "science of life and longevity" in Sanskrit. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years in India. It emphasizes meditation, yoga, massage, herbal medicine and diet. It seeks to achieve mental, physical and spiritual health by attending to body, mind and spirit.

Ayruvedic tradition holds that five elements -- space, air, fire, water and earth -- make up the Earth. Each element is associated with certain principals, which in the human body create a unique combination, called your dosha. In Ayruvedic medicine, there are three basic dosha types: Pitta, Vata, and Kapha.


The elements of air, earth, and fire are present in everyone, but the one that dominates determines your dosha. The key to good health is determining your dosha, so that you can bring your body back into balance.

Take this test twice. The first time, let your answers reflect your whole life. This will determine your prakruti, your nature which does not change. The second time, let your answers reflect the last 6 months. This is your vikruti, your present condition.

Discuss your answers with a good friend or partner. They often have more objectivity, and may offer great insights.

Emotional Characteristics
A. I am flexible, lively, optimistic, enthusiastic, intuitive, an initiator.
B. I am calm, peaceful, resilient, content, slow paced, loyal, careful, patient, nurturing, and stable.
C. I am ambitious, intense, perceptive, friendly, independent, courageous, a leader, competitive.

A. I am quick to remember & to forget.
B. I am slow to remember & to forget.
C. My memory is average, clear, distinct.

Thought process
A. My thinking is restless & quick.
B. My thinking is slow, methodical, exacting.
C. My thinking is organized, efficient, accurate.

A. I am filled with ideas, but don't tend to follow through.
B. I have my best ideas in business.
C. I am inventive in many areas & have good follow through.

Handling Stress
A. When stressed, I am anxious, insecure, tense, and tend to hyperventilate.
B. When stressed, I am lethargic, dull & deny I'm stressed.
C. When stressed, I become angry, irritable, am prone to headaches.

A. My dreams are active; often running & flying & frightening things.
B. My dreams are romantic, sentimental; often images of water & snow.
C. My dreams are violent, angry, passionate; often images of fire & the sun.

A. I talk quickly.
B. I talk slowly.
C. My speech is precise.

Spending Habits
A. I spend money easily.
B. I am frugal.
C. I am moderate.

Decision Making
A. I am unsure when making decisions.
B. I am deliberate when making decisions.
C. I am quick & decisive when making decisions.

Body Characteristics
Bone Structure
A. Slim, slight, bony
B. Thick, solid, heavy
C. Medium

A. I am above or below average height.
B. I am average height or tall.
C. I am average height.

A. My muscles are wiry, undeveloped.
B. My muscles are solid, well developed.
C. My muscles are moderately developed.

A. My weight is below average & I lose weight easily.
B. My weight is above average & I gain weight easily.
C. My weight is average & I am able to gain or lose weight easily.

Fat location
A. My fat is located around my waist.
B. My fat is located around my hips & thighs.
C. My fat is evenly distributed around my body.

A. My skin is dry, flaky, rough, cool.
B. My skin is oily, smooth, soft.
C. My skin is oily, smooth, with freckles or moles.

A. My eyebrows are thin.
B. My eyebrows are thick, bushy.
C. My eyebrows are average.

A. My nose is thin, small, crooked.
B. My nose is short, rounded, thick, oily.
C. My nose is average, sharp, pointed.

A. My veins are prominent.
B. My veins are not visible.
C. My veins are somewhat visible.

Internal Characteristics
A. My appetite is irregular. I often skip meals.
B. My appetite is constant. I can skip meals.
C. My appetite is strong. I can't skip meals.

Sleep Pattern
A. My sleep is irregular, light (5-7 hours a night).
B. My sleep is deep (8+ hours a night).
C. My sleep is sound & even (6-8 hours a night).

A I have a quick pace, with short steps.
B. I walk slowly, with grace.
C. I have a medium pace, with purpose.

A. I have erratic energy; it comes in spurts & then I need to rest.
B. I have good energy; long lasting.
C. I have well managed energy.

A. My circulation is low and variable.
B. My circulation is slow and steady.
C. My circulation is excellent, warm.

Immune System
A. I have a weak immune system.
B. I have a strong immune system
C. I have a moderate immune system.

Dosha Types
There are three doshas - Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. You may be a single dosha type, two dosha type, or three dosha type.

Add up your A answers - this will be your Vata score.
Add up your B answers - this will be your Kapha score.
Add up your C answers - this will be your Pitta score.

If the score for one dosha is much twice as high or higher, you are a single dosha type. If two doshas outweigh a third dosha, you are a two dosha type (this is the most common). One dosha still usually predominates - follow the recommendations for the dosha that dominates or is most out of balance. If all three scores are equal, you are a three dosha type (this is rare).

VATA (Air)

Vatas are usually thin, talkative, light, changeable, unpredictable, have quick minds and get cold easily.

When in balance, they are cheerful, enthusiastic, charming, sensitive and creative. When imbalanced, they are anxious, tire easily, have short attention spans and irregular eating habits. They can also be prone to nervous disorders, constipation and insomnia. Continue to Vata Weight Loss Therapies.

KAPHA (Earth)

Kaphas are earthy, heavy, and powerful. They have great endurance. They act and think methodically. When in balance, they are calm, compassionate, loving, nurturing, peaceful, and slow to anger. They seek comfort in food and gain weight easily. When imbalanced, they can be overweight, envious, possessive, depressed and lethargic.

Since excess weight is generally a Kapha disorder, you may be inclined to believe you are a Kapha dosha because of this one imbalance. Please consider all of your characteristics. Continue to Kapha Weight Loss Therapies.

PITTA (Fire)

Pittas have medium builds, are intense, have a strong drive, healthy appetites, are very intelligent, competitive and have self-discipline. When in balance, they are joyful, creative, organized, precise, have a sharp intellect and articulate speech. When imbalanced, they can be overly demanding, impatient, prone to perfectionism, critical, sarcastic, angry and irritable. Continue to Vata Weight Loss Therapies.

When you understand your prakruti (your nature) and your vikruti (your present condition) you understand your strengths and weaknesses. You can anticipate imbalances and adjust your lifestyle to keep your doshas - and your health - in balance. Use your knowledge of your prakruti to see where you should be. Then use your knowledge of your vikruti to restore balance.

Take time to consider what is out of balance in your life and in your body. Look at what is in balance as well - do not dwell only on negative characteristics. Then continue onto our General Weight Loss Therapies and then choose your specific dosha type for more customized weight loss therapies:

Kapha Weight Loss Therapies
Pitta Weight Loss Therapies
Vita Weight Loss Therapies

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