What's Your Dosha?

October 2012

By Mehtab, Founder YOGA YOGA

Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, is one of the world’s oldest healing systems.  According to Ayurveda, each person is a unique combination of three basic types, or doshas, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

The doshas help us understand our individual constitution and how we can best achieve a natural state of balance and harmony through lifestyle habits, diet, and yoga practices. 

Some of the teachers at Yoga Yoga have studied Ayurveda and incorporate its teachings in their yoga classes. Yoga Yoga also has an Ayurvedic spa at its 360 location that works with your individual constitution, or dosha.

A person may have one or more doshas as their predominant type.

VATA – The Energy of Movement

Vata dosha is associated with creativity and flexibility and evokes feelings of lightness, happiness and joy.

People with a predominant Vata dosha benefit from:

  • Warm, nourishing, calming, hydrating and lubricating food and surroundings.
  • Regular, moderately paced, and gentle exercise.
  • Routines that help them stay relaxed and grounded.

Out of balance, the Vata dosha produces fear, nervousness and anxiety.

Use Yoga in this way to balance the Vata dosha to stay grounded and quiet the mind:

  • Keep a slow and steady pace in your yoga practice to stay grounded.
  • Close the eyes while in a pose to reduce distractions to the mind.
  • Link movement with breath to encourage a meditative mind.
  • Practice meditation to promote mental tranquility and equanimity.

PITTA – The Energy of Fire

Pitta dosha is associated with a decisive mind, understanding and learning.

People with a predominant Pitta dosha benefit from:

  • Cooling, soothing and hydrating food and surroundings.
  • Slowly paced and non-competitive exercise.
  • Activities that channel their energy in a creative and balanced way.

Out of balance, the Pitta dosha arouses fiery emotions such as frustration, anger, criticism and jealousy.

Use Yoga in this way to balance the Pitta dosha to cool the body:

  • Practice forward bends to help turn inward and cool the body and mind.
  • Use breathing techniques that emphasize the exhale over the inhale.
  • Avoided heated yoga practices and rooms.
  • Enjoy longer periods of relaxation.

KAPHA – The Energy of Water and Earth

Kapha dosha is associated with the qualities of love, calmness and forgiveness.

People with a predominant Kapha dosha benefit from:

  • Warm, stimulating and invigorating food and surroundings.
  • Quickly paced and energizing exercise.
  • Activities that build strength, vigor and stability.

Out of balance, the Kapha dosha causes lethargy, sluggishness and sometimes depression.

Use Yoga in this way to balance the Kapha dosha to invigorate the body and mind:

  • Emphasize dynamic movement and breathing.
  • Practice sun salutations and flow movements to provide a dynamic and heating practice.
  • Use standing poses to energize and backbends to invigorate. 
  • Maintain a daily practice.
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