Self-Test: What’s My Dosha?
Ayurveda starts by recognizing that each one of us is made up of a distinct combination of three primary energies (called doshas): Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The following quiz can help you to better understand your constitution from birth (called prakriti) and your current state of balance (called vikruti). This provides a starting point for understanding how to make balanced dietary and lifestyle choices.
Instructions: For each category, choose either V, P or K. For example, if I always had a thin body type for most of my life, but am now gaining weight, I would put a V under lifetime and a K under present state. If you are really unsure, you can leave the box empty or make two selections.
|1. Body Frame
V-Very tall or short; thin, weak or poorly developed;
P-Medium build, athletic, average;
K-Larger physique, curvy, well-built or heavier build;
|2. Body Weight
V- Difficult to gain weight
P- Gains and loses weight easily
K- Difficult to lose weight
V- Dry, coarse, frizzy, split ends;
P- Fine, soft, can go grey or bald easily;
K- Thick, lustrous, oily
|4. Tongue Shape
V- Long and thin (more narrow than teeth); cracked;
P- Same width as teeth, with an oval or pointed tip;
K- Wider than teeth; thick & round;
V- Dry, cracked, rough, prominent veins, cold
P- Pinkish, freckles, slightly oily, warm;
K-Smooth, soft, oily, pale, cool;
V- Variable appetite; satisfied by small amounts; loves snacking;
P- Strong appetite, likes regular meals;
K-Medium or slow appetite; may not feel a strong appetite but loves eating;
V- Tends toward allergies, indigestion, gas, bloating or constipation;
P- Tends toward hyperacidity, bad moods when hungry, diarrhea;
K-Medium or slow digestion; tends toward bloating, water retention or slow metabolism;
V-Easily motivated but poor endurance; can be jumpy, erratic, hyperactive or subtle;
P- Goal-oriented & driven. Can be sharp or dominating. Moderate endurance;
K- Slow, steady, grounded, methodical, good endurance but slow to move;
V- Learns quickly but forgetful; indecisive, impulsive, intuitive. creative;
P- Factual, penetrating, critical, independent thinker;
K- Slow, steady, methodical, good long term memory;
|10. Love Relationships
V-Tends to have many partners; versatile.
P-Tends to marry for status or out of passion;
K-Tends to be devoted to one partner; loyal and stable.
|11. Social/Friend Relationships
V- Relates easily, can have many friends; tends toward superficiality;
P- Connects well, has several friends and some who are close; tends to be dominating;
K-Relates less easily to others, slow to respond; tends to have few, but very deep relationships;
|12. Life Goals
V- Not very important; can change easily.
P- Very Important. Determined & focused
K – Fixed (decided upon early in life)
|13. Financial Tendencies
V- Tends to spend quickly; doesn’t consider money to be important;
P- Tends to invest; purposeful; money is important to be respected & achieve goals;
K- Tends to save or hoard; money is very important for practical purposes or comforts;
|14. Emotional Tendencies
V- anxiety, nervousness, depression;
P- extreme anger, violence, temper tantrums or rage;
K- Sadness, grief, depression, withdrawal, lethargy;
V- Light, restless, tends toward insomnia;
P- Moderate; may wake up in the middle of the night;
K-Sleeps deeply & has a hard time getting up in the morning.
Understanding Your Results
Your constitution is predominantly vata dosha, reflecting the physical, emotional and mental qualities of the elements of air and ether. Vatas typically have a thin, light bodies; are quick thinking, fast-moving and light-hearted; possess natural gifts of communication and creativity; tend to “think outside the box” and resist social norms and structures.
Signs of vata imbalance include anxiety, nervousness, dryness, constipation, low vitality, weakness and fatigue, insomnia, weight loss, arthritis, and digestive issues. Read more about vata dosha here.
Your constitution is predominantly pitta dosha, reflecting the elements of Fire and Water. Pittas typically have medium builds and an athletic physique; have sharp, fiery personalities; are goal-oriented, disciplined and possess natural leadership skills; have reddish hair/complexion and sometimes, freckles.
When the energy of pitta is in excess, it will create anger, competition, control, jealousy and rage. Signs of pitta imbalance include hyperacidity, heartburn, ulcers, acne, rashes or inflammations of the skin, skin cancer, liver problems, stress, insomnia, dry or burning eyes. Read more about kapha dosha.
Your constitution is predominantly kapha dosha, reflecting the elements of Earth and Water. Kaphas typically have a solid, strong, well-developed bodies and large, watery eyes; a calm, patient, loving temperament, and have incredible powers of endurance.
When kapha is in excess, it tends to create too much earth and water: sluggishness, laziness, overindulgence in sweet and heavy foods, greed, apathy and resistance to change. Read more about kapha dosha.
Note: This quiz is intended to provide an introduction to the doshas and not to diagnose complex health issues. The best way to accurately assess your constitution is by seeking the advice of a qualified ayurvedic practitioner.
About the Author
Briya Freeman has been teaching courses in meditation and natural healing since 2011. She is the creator of The Bloom Project, an online course in self-care and radiant living for women.
Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa.