A step towards better health: Know your body type

  • Anjali Mukerjee, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2015 12:48 IST

Discovering your body type is the most important step towards achieving better health because your constitution tells you how nature intends you to eat and live. Also, knowing your body type makes you aware of the diseases you are prone to.

Ayurveda has identified three body types or doshas, which we inherit and which govern our behavior pattern.

1) Vata: Vata types are usually thin-framed, but at times overweight. These are the most adjustable body types, as they are imaginative, sensitive, spontaneous, resilient and exhilarated. They are prone to worry, restlessness, anxiety and insomnia. All body aches, joint pains, and excessive gas are attributed to this dosha. Vata types should get sufficient rest and avoid overworking.

2) Pitta:Pitta types are warm, loving, confident, enterprising, and have a happy disposition. They have a radiant complexion, shining hair, high energy level and a good appetite. They are in total command of a situation, very intelligent, and with good powers of concentration. When out of balance, they are typically short tempered, impatient and demanding. They like to argue, and have a strong opinion about every topic.

3) Kapha: They are loving,forgiving, courageous and sympathetic. They have a sturdy frame and tend to put on weight easily. They remain calm even under stressful situations, and therefore enjoy sound health. They are sensitive to people's feelings, take a long time to make a decision, and seek emotional comfort from eating. They enjoy high carbohydrate meals and love to oversleep. When out of balance, they tend to become complacent, dull and thickheaded.

A person who belongs to a certain body type may exhibit the characteristics of another body type due to external factors like stress. It is very important to know the reason for the imbalances in the doshas, which are a root cause of many illnesses.

Causes of Vata imbalance
* Constant stress.
* Advanced stages of alcohol or drug addiction.
* A sudden change in life.
* A diet comprising cold, raw and dry foods or spicy and bitter foods, salads, beans, potatoes and leafy green vegetables.
* Skipping meals.

Causes of Pitta imbalance
* Constant stress, anger and frustration.
* Living under a lot ofpressure.
* Consumption of impure food and water as well as excessive amounts of hot, spicy, oily, sour or fermented food.

Causes of Kapha imbalance
* Genetics and heredity.
* Excessive weight gain.
* Diet consisting large amounts of sugar, salt, fatty or fried foods.
* Constant stress, and reacting to it by withdrawing and feeling insecure.

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