Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Determining Your Dosha

The principle medical system of India is known as Ayurveda and is over 5,000 years old. This "Science of Life" is considered the art of living in harmony with nature. In Ayurvedic philosophy, people, their health, and the universe are all thought to be related. It is believed that health problems can result when these relationships are out of balance. The goal of Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.
Developed from the ancient text of The Vedas, Ayurveda views the human body as a homunculus of our cosmic Universe, regulated by the balance between three primordial humors, call dosha.
Your dosha is your Ayurveda mind & body type. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We each have all three of the doshas in our physiology, just in different proportions, so your dosha is unique and personal; it is like your fingerprint.
Each dosha is made up of one or two of the five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
Each dosha has a particular relationship to body functions and can be upset for different reasons.
A person has her own balance of the three doshas, although one dosha usually is prominent. Doshas are constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity, and bodily processes.
Each dosha is associated with a certain body type, a certain personality type, and a greater chance of certain types of health problems.
An imbalance in a dosha will produce symptoms that are related to that dosha and are different from symptoms of an imbalance in another dosha. Imbalances may be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet, too much or too little mental and physical exertion, or not being properly protected from the weather, chemicals, or germs. 

The following test will give you a good idea of the levels of your doshas. We have to remember that everyone has all three doshas, but in varying degrees. After reading each description, on a separate sheet of paper mark 0 to 7 for each question. Note that values 2 and 5 are not assigned at all (don't use them). 
Add up your totals for each Dosha and place the name of the first, second and third Dosha, beginning with most dominant in the slots below.

0, 1 = Does not apply
3, 4 = Applies sometimes
6, 7 = Applies most of the time

Evaluating My Vata
Physical Attributes:
1.My physique is thin - I don't gain weight easily.___
2. I am quick and active. ___
3.My skin is usually dry, more so in winter.___
4.My hands and feet are usually cold.___
5.My energy fluctuates and comes in bursts.___
6. I usually develop gas or constipation.___
7. I usually have difficulty falling asleep or having a sound night's sleep.___
8. I am uncomfortable in cold weather.___

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Attributes
9.My nature is lively and enthusiastic.___
10. I have difficulty memorizing things and remembering them later.___
11.It is easy for me to learn new things quickly, but I also forget quickly.___
12. I am not good at making decisions.___
13. I am anxious or worrisome by nature.___
14. People think I'm talkative and that I talk quickly.___
15. I am usually emotional by nature and my moods fluctuate.___
16. My mind is restless, but also imaginative.___
17. I have irregular eating and sleeping habits.___

Total Vata: ___

Evaluating My Pitta
Physical Attributes:
1. I don't tolerate hot weather. ___
2. I sweat easily.___
3. I can't tolerate delaying or skipping a meal.___
4.My hair is fine, straight, light, blonde, red, graying early, or balding. ___
5.My appetite is very good and I can eat big meals.___
6.My bowel movements are regular. I might have occasional loose stool but not much constipation.___
7. I like cold drinks and such foods as ice cream.___
8. I often feel hot.___
9.Spicy, hot foods upset my stomach.___

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Attributes
10.I consider myself efficient.___
11. I try to be organized and accurate.___
12. I have a strong will and my friends think I am stubborn. ___
13. I am impatient by nature.___
14. I tend to become irritable or angry quite easily.___
15. I try to be meticulous and am a perfectionist by nature.___
16. I get angry easily, but I don't hold a grudge.___
17. I am usually critical of myself and others.___

Total Pitta: ___

Evaluating My Kapha
Physical Attributes:
1.It is easy for me to gain weight but difficult to lose.___
2. Skipping meals is easy for me and does not cause any problems.___
3. I tend to have congestion, mucus, or sinus problems.___
4. I'm a sound sleeper.___
5. I have thick, oily, dark, wavy hair.___
6.My skin is smooth and soft with an almost pale complexion.___
7.My body frame is large and solid with a heavy bone structure.___
8.My digestion is slow, so I feel full after eating.___
9. I have a steady energy level with good endurance and strong stamina.___
10. I'm sensitive to cool and damp weather. ___

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Attributes:
11. I tend to be slow, methodical, and relaxed.___
12. I need to sleep a minimum of eight hours to feel well the next morning.___
13.By nature I am calm and composed. I don't get angry easily.___
14. I am not a quick learner but I am good at memorizing things and remembering them later.___
15.Many people consider me affectionate, forgiving, and peaceful.___
16.I usually oversleep and have difficulty waking up the next morning. ___
17.I am very reluctant to take on new responsibilities.___

Total Kapha: ___

My total scores are: Vata_____, Pitta_____, Kapha_____.
I am ________ first, ________ second, and ________ third.

I hope you find this interesting and have fun with it! The Ancient Science of Ayurveda is very complicated in the sense that if you want a deeper understanding of your Dosha makeup, your Prakriti, seeing a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner is suggested.

Two books with more information to support your understanding of Ayurveda are: 
Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing - A Practical Guide by Vasant Lad
Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing by Usha Lad and Vasant Lad

Next Time: Focus on Cilantro 

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