A lot of people think yoga and picture a tall, slender body. But there is no such thing as a “yoga body”, rather Ayurveda teaches us that there are three different body types, doshas, each with their own set of benefits. Typically people have traits from one or two doshas, but a few will have traits from all three. However it is the primary dosha which will have the biggest effect on us.
Doshas affect us both physically and mentally. Once we know which dosha(s) we are, we can live and eat in a way which benefits us individually. A balanced dosha means a healthy body.
Elements: Space and Air
Traits: Cold body, high metabolism
Vata bodies like to move fast, just like their thoughts, and have difficulty sitting still. They benefit from a slow and static practice, rather than rushing through vinyasas.
The vata body is typically very thin as the food rushes through them, just like most other things. This means that they absorb less nutrients and struggle to gain muscles, compared to the other doshas. People with predominant vata bodies have higher metabolism than their counterparts and often need to eat larger quantities as well as more carbs.
Common signs of Vata imbalance include anxiety and skin disorders related to dryness.
Elements: Fire and Water
Traits: Hot body, stable
The pitta body is typically proportional, with oily skin. A healthy pitta body has a well functioning digestive system, and finds it easy to gain weight, loose weight, or build muscle. If they miss a meal they are likely to become grumpy and may take a “bite” out of somebody instead.
Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body as infection, inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.
Elements: Water and Earth
Traits: Static, slow metabolism
The influence of the earth and water elements makes them innately stable, compassionate, and loyal. Kapha bodies have slow metabolism compared to the other body types, and absorb more nutrients. This body tends to be more bulky than the other types and easily gains muscle mass and fat. Because kapha bodies are slow and stable, they are suited for fast types of exercise, such as ashtanga.
Kapha imbalance leads to lethargy, attachment, and depression.
It takes a few minutes to find out your dosha through online tests. Once you know your dosha, you can implement an Ayurvedic diet. If you have existing health issues, you should consult with a doctor before making drastic changes to your diet.
image source: doshafit.com