What is Prakriti (body constitution)
Prakriti (body constitution) is a unique Ayurvedic concept (not available in conventional medicine). It determines many things including your physical characteristics, your tendencies to illnesses, your digestive and metabolic system’s strength and many others. In modern terminology, it can be equated to your genetic road-map.
Prakriti is determined by the proportion of 3 dynamic energies (also known as “dosha”s) present in all human beings – they are Vata(V) or wind energy, Pitta(P) or fire energy and Kapha(K) or water energy. The proportions of these energies is different in each individual thus making each individual unique. At the time of our birth and when we are healthy, these energies are in a dynamic balance, but when any one or all three of these energies go out of their natural balance, that is the start of the illness process.
Why do I want to know my Prakriti?
Knowing your Prakriti is very important because it can tell you which foods are good for you, what illnesses you may be prone to (e.g. a person with Pitta prakriti is more like to have acidity problems), what precautions you need to take when seasons change etc. It also tells an Ayurvedic doctor what imbalances within your body are causing your health problems and what needs to be corrected to restore your health. Remember, Ayurveda always aims to remove the cause of the health problem/s and the diagnostic process starts with knowing your Prakriti. That is why it is important to know what is your or Prakriti.
Prakriti – Determining Yours
Are you ready to know your Prakriti? Here is a questionnaire. Under each point, there are various choices. Circle the choices, which describe you over all your life (not who you want to be). We want to know your tendencies.
1. Physical Stature
V) I am a slender person; I hardly gain weight
P) I am medium built
K) I am well built; I tend to gain weight easily
V) My skin tends to be dry, thin and/or itches often
P) My skin looks flushed; I have lots of moles and freckles on my body
K) My skin is smooth and soft. It looks pale sometimes
V) My face is oval
P) My face is triangular (I have a pointed chin)
K) My face is round
V) I am hyperactive person, always on the go
P) I always think before I do anything
K) I am steady and graceful. I don’t like to rush
V) I walk fast, talk fast and I drive fast
P) My actions are very thoughtful, and precise
K) I am slow, I like to take my time
V) interrupted, I toss and turn often, may wake up early in the morning (~3.00 am)
P) I am a light sleeper, If something wakes me up, I can easily go back to sleep
K) I am a heavy sleeper; I sleep like a log
V) Varies, sometimes I feel hungry, sometimes not. I feel anxious if I don’t eat
P) I always feel hungry; if I don’t eat, I get irritable and angry
K) I don’t feel very hungry; I can go without food easily for a day
8. Bowel movement
V) I tend to constipate, may skip a day or two
P) I have regular bowel movements, sometimes they are loose,
K) I have no problem; I wake up to go to the bathroom
V) I am a born worrier, I often feel anxious and nervous
P) I often feel irritable and angry, especially when things don’t happen my way
K) I am a happy person, calm and content
10. Weather preference
V) I love warm and humid weather
P) I enjoy cool weather, I hate warm climate
K) I like warm but dry weather
V) I hardly sweat
P) I perspire easily/profusely
K) I sweat moderately
V) I remember quickly, but forget quickly too
P) I remember what I want to remember, and never forget
K) I am a little slow to remember, but once I do, I never forget. I remember details
V) I never plan, I tend to do things on the spur of a moment
P) I am a list maker, unless I plan, I don’t do anything
K) I don’t like to plan; it is easy to follow others
V) I like to do things in spurts. I get tired very easily
P) I have medium stamina
K) I can work long hours. I have a good stamina
V) My Mind starts racing often, I get restless
P) I get impatient easily
K) Generally I feel very calm, sometimes my mind becomes sluggish
V) “Can I change my mind”?
P) “Do it my way or the highway”!
K) “Don’t worry, be happy”!
V) I like action
P) I like to win. I am very competitive
K) I like to have fun
18. Health problems
V) My symptoms are mainly pain, constipation, anxiety, depression etc.
P) I often get skin infections, fevers, heartburn, etc
K) I tend to get allergies, congestion, weight gain, sluggish digestion
V) I like art, (drawing, painting), love to dance, travel
P) I like sports, politics
K) I am a nature person; I like gardening, reading, and knitting
Good! You finished the major part. Now count all Vs, Ps and Ks.
V ________, P _________, K _________
This proportion of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is your Body Constitution. If you fit in “V” category more, then you may have more Vata predominance. If you circled more “P” choices, you may have strong Pitta, dominating your personality and if “K” choices seem more appropriate, Kapha may be responsible for your looks and likes.
Here are more details about your Prakriti:
VATA PREDOMINANT: Generally slim and slender, either short or tall with prominent bones and less muscle mass. Oval face, small eyes, dry skin, thin hair, small joints (may crack often), and long fingers are the special characteristics of Vata people. Their metabolism and sleep pattern is always variable. They talk a lot, walk a lot and complain a lot. Hand gestures, fidgety movements, rolling of the eyeballs are ingrained in Vata people. They are story tellers. They are good at attracting people with their talking and expressions. They are very intuitive, imaginative and artistic. They are good in writing poems, creating art, or dancing. They love to travel, or to be constantly on the go. The Vata mind is like a busy bee, constantly buzzing around, moving in circles. They are born worriers – worry about everything and anything. Often feel anxious, nervous and worried. Many times their mind is in the future, not enjoying the present moment. They are good at playing “what if” games. Vata‘s slogan is “Can I change my mind?”
PITTA PREDOMINANT: Medium built and height, with strong muscles. Sharpness is the main characteristic of the Pitta personality – Sharp nose, sharp eyes and sharp chin and (unfortunately) sharp tongue. They tend to have a receding hairline or early graying or balding. Pitta people are good speakers. They speak to the point (no beating around the bush). They are very precise, goal seeking, orderly and tidy.Pitta people are list makers; they can’t do anything unless planned. They are always “on time” machines. The Pitta mind is like a bull. Once set on the goal, it is difficult to change. Many times it is in the present, so Pitta people are generally witty. Many times they are also opinionated, criticizing others or telling people what is right and wrong (that is why they create enemies). Pittas get irritable or angry quickly, especially when things don’t happen their way. Pitta‘s metabolism is very sharp. They are always hungry and angry. Their slogan is “Do it my way or the highway”.
KAPHA PREDOMINANT: Well built, full-bodied people. Their features are rounded – Round face, round big eyes, roundish nose, and sweet looks. They have long, thick hair. Kapha people are loving, nurturing, caring and are peacemakers. They want everybody to be happy. Their slogan is “Don’t worry be happy.” They have good endurance and strong immune systems. They are good listeners and speak very little. At times they tend to be shy. Kaphas tend to gain weight very easily and retain water, causing swelling. A bit lazy, Kaphas like to rely on others, and like to follow others. The Kapha mind tends to get heavier, stays in the past a lot – day dreaming about past incidences. Kapha people get attached quickly and have a hard time letting go.