Why your dosha (constitution) isn't JUST a body type

Ok, so after watching the Ayurveda mini-training, you hopefully have a general idea of the 3 different doshas, or energies of ayurveda. Notice how I said energies, NOT body types?

For a refresher, check out our cheat sheet we made to help you keep it all straight :)

Moksha Yoga & Wellness Dosha Cheat Sheet
Download • 119KB

When we are first learning Ayurveda, it's really easy to think that vata, pitta, and kapha, are just like endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph, right?

I get it- it totally makes sense! the tall lanky vata is the ectomorph, the muscle middle weight pitta is the mesomorph, and the big boned kapha is the endomorph.


We have to remember that determining our constitution is a way to understand our DOMINANT ENERGY. But, we ALL have ALL THREE doshas within us. It wouldn't be physically possible to be 100% kapha, 0% vata, and 0% pitta. You'd be pretty durn dead.

So sure, you may be Kapha dominant, but you still have the energies of vata and pitta in you. And if we remember the bucket analogy, all of us have varying levels of each of these energies. That is how ayurveda can be a totally personalized science. No two of us have exactly the same constitution!

So how can we call a dosha a 'type' when there is so much variation between person to person? Someone who is 78% kapha will look much different than someone who is 51% kapha, but we would consider them both 'kapha types'.

We also don't want to follow sports medicines' definition of ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph, as their recommendations for diet and exercise in most cases directly contradict the ancient wisdom or ayurveda. We instead want to use the knowledge of our constitution to work WITH our body instead of trying to run/lift/starve it into submission or the unattainable beauty ideal (that's a whole other post...amirite?)

Dosha quizzes and other tools to help you determine your constitution are certainly helpful, don't get me wrong. We obviously have to oversimplify in these quizzes in order to reach some sort of baseline conclusion, but we also need to have the awareness that all three energies are active within all of us, in varying amounts.

So use your constitution as a starting point, and then as your knowledge of ayurveda expands, you can start to finesse how you understand your body and how to best nurture it.

Still unsure of your dosha? Check out Banyan Botanical's Dosha Quiz

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