One of the most popular questions any Ayurvedic Health Counselor receives is “what is my dosha?” The word “dosha” doesn’t have a perfect translation; however, when most people think of what their dosha is, they are thinking of their Prakruti. In Ayurveda, Prakruti refers to your individual inherent nature or constitution and is often referred to as your “dosha” or as your “mind/body type.”. Your Prakruti determines your physical, physiological and mental character as well as your disease vulnerability.
Your Prakruti is genetically determined and remains unaltered during your lifetime, so your prakruti or you dosha doesn’t change. Your Prakruti is the unique combination of the 3 doshas of vata, pitta and kapha that were present in your body at the time of your birth. The doshas are the primary life forces in the body and each of us possesses all three dosha in our physical and psychological makeup.
There are 10 different Prakruti combinations:
Vata (mono-doshic; one dosha most predominate without a close secondary dosha)
Pitta (mono-doshic; one dosha most predominate without a close secondary dosha)
Kapha (mono-doshic; one dosha most predominate without a close secondary dosha)
Vata/Pitta (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Pitta/Vata (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Vata/Kapha (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Kapha/Vata (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Pitta/Kapha (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Kapha/Pitta (dual-doshic; one dosha most predominate with a close secondary dosha)
Vata/Pitta/Kapha. (tri-doshic; all three dosha are in equal proportions)
Roughly 75% of people are dual-doshic, 20% are mono-doshic, and 5% are tri-doshic.
What Determines My Dosha?
the genetic prakruti determined at the moment of conception;
this is influenced by the unique combination of vata, pitta and kapha in your mother and father at the time of conception; the diet, lifestyle and mental states of your parents will affect the sperm and ova at time of conception
the prakruti influenced by the fetal life in the womb
this is influenced by the mother’s diet, lifestyle, environment as well as mental and emotional states including the relationship of the parents
the prakruti that is represented by the ratio of vata, pitta, and kapha present at the time of birth
this is influenced by the season, time of day, place of birth, date of birth and the alignment of the planets
the prakruti of the mind or the mental constitution
this is influenced by the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas
How Can I Determine My Dosha?
The best way to determine what dosha you are is to see an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Practitioner or Ayurvedic Doctor. They will use the Darshanam or visual examination/assessment, Sparshanam or palpation, and Prashnam or questioning. They will also use the Ashtavidha Pariksha or the 8-fold method of clinical examination used in Ayurvedic medicine. This is when the Ayurvedic healer will examine your pulse, tongue, eyes, appearance, and discuss your urination and elimination habits to discern which dosha are most prevalent in your body/mind.
You may have also heard of dosha quizzes and many can be found online. These can be a jumping off point in determining your dosha, but should not be used as a replacement for an Ayurvedic Consultation with an Ayurvedic professional. These quizzes do not use the assessment tools used by Ayurvedic healers to determine your unique combination of vata, pitta and kapha. The assessment tools that have been used for centuries by Ayurvedic healers produce the most accurate results when determining dosha or prakruti.
If you are interested in learning what your dosha is, schedule an Ayurvedic Consultation with us.