Ayurvedic Body Types

Ayurvedic nutrition is one of the world's oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.  It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.  These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).  Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick -- and the health issues you develop -- are linked to the balance of your doshas.

VATA

ELEMENT:  Air

BODY TYPE: Thin, delicate bone structure, low body fat, hard to gain weight

CHARACTERISTICS: Sensitive, spiritual, running late, can’t sit still, forgets to eat, routine of the day feels diffucult and overwhelming, flightiness, memory problems, easily confused, not too present, baldness

SIGNS OF BALANCE: Sharp, quick thinking, creative, fast talking, abstract, creative types might have propensity toward arts, writing, poetry, music

SIGNS OF IMBALANCE: Gas, bloating, unfocused, spacey, dry skin, hair and nails, coldness and chills, nervousness, sleeplessness, worry, cavities

ORGANS TO NOURISH: Nervous system, colon, bones

FOODS TO REDUCE: Low-fat diets, raw and cold foods, need very careful planning if vegetarian or vegan to stay grounded and focused

FOODS TO INCREASE: warming, lubricating, grounding, heavier foods to calm down, good quality oils, warming foods to counteract coldness

BENEFICIAL: creamy tasting soups, lighter proteins like fish and eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, root vegetables, heavier grains, regular and balanced meals, weightlifting, Pilates, yoga