Ayurveda: Truly Ancient Medicine

By Laura Gordon

Ayurveda is the oldest known continuously practiced system of health care. This ancient tradition has been studied and practiced in India dating back 6,000 years. Over time this approach to health has gained acceptance far and wide. Today it is an acknowledged form of health maintenance by countless millions around the world. The premise of this system is to help the individual maintain a healthy balance of body and mind through a wholistic approach of exercise, diet and lifestyle.
Each person has their own individual signature or dosha.  Your dosha is a specific blend of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Ayurveda has identified three basic types of doshas.   In Ayurvedic medicine the medical treatment protocol is based on that dosha.  Everyone has either one dominate dosha or a combination of two.
An Ayurvedic practitioner looks at each individual with careful scrutiny. By observation, palpation and answers to specific questions the practitioner can determine the dominate dosha and the best treatment for the imbalance. The practitioner must also have an understanding and be able to link the five primary elements in Indian philosophy (Fire, Water, Earth, Ether, and Air) as they relate to the governing forces of each dosha.
The following is a brief explanation of the doshas and their elements:
Vata controls body motion energy (i.e. blood circulation, respiration, and elimination). The elements are ether and air. In balance the Vata person will feel creative and vital; conversely when out of balance that same person will experience the feelings of fear and anxiety.
Pitta controls body metabolic energy (i.e. digestion, absorption, nutrition and temperature). Pitta’s elements are fire and water. In balance the feelings are contentment and intelligence; conversely out of balance the individual can have ulcers and be quickly aroused to anger.
Kapha controls body growth energy (i.e. cerebral-spinal fluid, intestinal mucosal lining) Kapha’s elements are water and earth. In balance the feeling is love and forgiveness; conversely out of balance the feeling is insecurity and envy.
As confusing as this may seem to the Western mind, a thorough study into these doshas combined with the elements reveals much about the human condition and insight into assisting the client into a balanced and healthful state of being. “Ayurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a state of balance and integration of body, mind and spirit.” Deepak Chopra

1.  Go to the following site and take a very brief quiz that will tell you your individual dosha.  

2.   Comment and tell us all about your dosha and your opinion on the correctness of the  dosha quiz.  http://www.whatsyourdosha.com/quiz/


36 thoughts on “Ayurveda: Truly Ancient Medicine”

  1. My mind is vata, my body is kapha, and my overall is vata. Let’s go back to the kapha. It says the kapha dosha is slow, slow to eat, slow to digest, slow to speak and they learn slowly with a methodical approach, but also retain information well with a good understanding of it. THEY LEARN SLOWLY!!!

  2. I’m pitta, I’ve really gotten to learn a lot more about ayurveda at the resort I work at. They are really into ayurveda there, even in the kitchen! This has become one of my favorite modalities!

  3. It said I’m a Pitta over all body is 7 and brain is 9. I am curious about this because it says we are of warm nature but I am always freezing cold my hands and feet especially always have been that. But I like it. I learning about myself and new ways I can take care of my body. Thanks for teaching us a little bit about this Modality

  4. The quiz told me I was a Vata. In my body my score was Vata 5, Pitta 3, Kapha 4 and in the mind it scored me Vata 7, Pitta 3 and Kapha 2. The main thing I got from this was, Vata’s tend to be thin and have trouble gaining weight this is true for me, and that I have difficulty falling asleep and that I am a very imaginative person. All of those answers fit me very well. I enjoyed this test greatly but I do disagree with some aspects, as for one “Vata’s can tire easily” I am a very energetic person I love doing things and getting outside. Also that Vata’s keep a regular lifestyle routine, that is not me I tend to do things when they need to get done.

  5. My results were double dosha pitta-kapha. I, honestly, have no idea what all this means for me. I look forward to finding out!

  6. My results came back and labeled me Vata. I predicted that might be my dosha after reading the above description. I definitely feel creative upon starting a new project or entertaining a new idea. If I am a part of something, I always feel vita and put the time and energy into being a contributor.
    When I do feel out of balance, a feeling of anxiety can overwhelm me all in a matter of minutes. I can sometimes take those feelings to the extreme, but it is best if I sleep it off. I felt like this quiz was on target with me.

  7. I am a VATA very much so. In body is vata 7 pitta 1 kapha 4, In mind was vata 5 pitta 2 kapha 4. I think my answer changes every single time I take this quiz. I am usually the same as far as the overall vata, but the pitta and kapha change.

  8. My mental dosha usually goes back and forth between vata and pitta. My body dosha is almost always kapha. I do find the quiz to be accurate because I feel like my mind is constantly racing over all that I have to do, but my body is tired and usually feels like it can’t keep up with my mind.

  9. I scored highest in Pitta for body and mind. For body I scored 3 each in Vata and Kapha and a 6 in Pitta. For mind I scored 4 in Vata, 8 in Pitta, and 0 in Kapha. I think that this fits me pretty well.

  10. My results were mainly kapha and pita. This makes sense because I have a sturdy, heavy frame, and have pretty good physcial strength and stamina. I also have a generally positive outlook on life which is what kapha is. I tend be slow and like to go at my own pace and it’s also true from kapha that my digestion is somewhat slow. It’s really interesting to, to see that an imbalance in my dosha tends to cause colds, allergies, and asthma, because I get especially the first 2 often! I also need deep sleep, but not necessarily a lot of it, or i’ll feel groggy and ineffective. My dosha’s probably way out of balance because it says I need to have a routine bed schedule and I go to bed and wake up at different times all throughout the week. I’m pretty fascinated how accurate the descriptions are!

  11. I found I am an overall Pitta. It was interesting to read how Pitta’s are prone to ulcers and I have an ulcer. I do agree with the results of the test. I can see how classifying myself by dosha can lead to a much more fulfilling trip to the therapist. Using dosha classification for my clients can also be a good indicator of what may suit the client best, and allow the client to get the most out of their experience.

  12. The exercise stated that I am a Vata. This is very true. It’s not hard to get me fired up (be nice Mel). After watching today I am becoming more and more a believer in techniques to keep the body and mind in harmony.

  13. My mind is Vata…no surprise there, as I fit the description. My body dosha was evenly distributed among all three. Does this mean I’m in harmony, integrated, or am I in conflict, with my doshas fighting for dominance? Hmmm.
    I found the demonstration today to be fascinating. Thank you, Laura.

  14. When I took the quiz it said that I was a Kapha. When I started reading about Kapha it didn’t seem to describe me real accurately. SOme parts of it might describe me some but it seemed pretty inaccurate.

  15. My overall Dosha is Pitta. In body I scored Vata-4 Pitta-6 and Kapha-2 In my mind I scored Vata-5 Pitta-4 and Kapha-3. I think this fits me well and I learned I am supposed to keep jealousy and hatred out of my life and I find this interesting as I don’t enjoy being around people who have those types of personalities.

  16. The quiz said that I am Pitta, which I completely agree with. When I am out of alignment or become moody, I get irritated very easily. My digestive tract is very sensitive and I have an ulcer as well. Matt, we are ulcer buddies!

  17. I am Pitta, and I agree with most of it. When reading the dosha, I could see the practical counsels they have there, especially the one about sleeping. I am trying to be in bed at the same time every night and try to unwind from work and school. It works. My Body is Pitta and my mind is Vata. It is an interesting concept.

  18. According to the quiz i am a Vata. This doesn’t surprise me at all since i know my primary element is Air and that is one of the elements to Vata. My body is mostly Vata while my mind is half Vata and half Pitta. I found this to be pretty cool, now i wish i had gotten to experience the oil treatment demo we watched in class monday night.

  19. I am double Dosha Pitta and Kapha only diferencing one in each. I believe that this test is true as I have long sleep patterns can easily remember my dreams, and most of my sickness are either cold ,flus, or sore throats. I am also of husky body build. I like this test and more people should know there dosha in order to take care of themselves more adequately.

  20. My Dosha is Kapha! my body is Vata-2, Pitta- 4, Kapha- 6
    My mind is Vata- 3, Pitta- 5, Kapha- 4, not really sure how to read it, so I think I might look further into this. I however am looking forward to putting the foods to the test that Kapha’s should eat and using the ayurveda way of healing. I already use herbs and spices to help me through some things (learned it from my mother in law, who is arabic) Love natural ways of healing and eating. Thank you for helping us to learn about this! Much appreciated.

  21. I am even steven 5/5 Vata both body and mind, according to the quiz. Usually Vata type people are thin and have trouble gaining weight. I have always been able to maintain weight. On the other side a Vata person is more likely to get out of balance by overdoing things and being sporadic in their lifestyle routines. Which I completely agree with. The Vata has to do with the digestion, nerve impulses from the brain and movements in the body. I have always had stomach problems and now by taking this quiz I have more insight on why that is and how I can possible change it. Great Blog thanks !!

  22. The dosha demonstration was very interesting to me anything that has to do with finding out more on my personality, and what im about interest me. I found out that iam kapha when i read more about it i totally understood and everything made sense as far as myself. I would love to get this treatment done after the demonstration the client felt very relaxed so much in fat that she was dizzy. The fact that it completely takes you to a different place mentally fascinates me. All it is, is warm oils running over the 3rd eye right between your eyebrows.

  23. I am Kapha, I think its amazing how this is so true about me. After I took the test I was able to understand the difference of them.

  24. This is a very interesting subject for me. I enjoy learning about things of this nature. It’s funny how i just recently took an personality quiz which hit on the button on how I am. When I took the Dosha quiz it did almost the same. Being an Kapha controls body growth energy, which I’ve been told I’m alsways full of energy.

  25. I was a double dosha with Kapha and Vata. With my mind, I’m vata (5, vs. 4 Kapha and 3 Pitta) but with my body, Kapha (5 vs. 4 Vata and 3 Pitta). I’m still exploring the elements of these, though on my initial observation, I think these are pretty accurate. I’m curious to trying out some of the food and gauging their effects. Super interesting and definitely food for thought.

  26. I took the test and I all Vata. I agreed with most of it.
    I do not think I would like ayurveda being done to me. As I wouldn’t be able to handle the oil on my face I don’t like my face massage. I think it would be annoying. I don’t know that’ll I will ever practice it. I find it interesting but it seems like it would cost a lot for the therapist and clean up would take time. I really enjoy learning about eastern medicine.

  27. I took the test and I all Vata. I agreed with most of it.
    I do not think I would like ayurveda being done to me. As I wouldn’t be able to handle the oil on my face I don’t like my face massage. I think it would be annoying. I don’t know that’ll I will ever practice it. I find it interesting but it seems like it would cost a lot for the therapist and clean up would take time. I really enjoy learning about eastern medicine.

  28. I took the test and my results said that I was all Vata. I must say that I agree with them. It also said that people who are Vata, will experience the feelings of fear and anxiety. I can also say that I feel that way alll the time when I’m alone in my room just thinking.

  29. So I took the test and it said that i was a veta I kinda agree because I do have anxiety but I think I can control that pretty good now it was scary the first time and i’m scared all the time not really the fear kind of scared,but like the fear of try new thing and talking to new people but since i’ve started my massage class it’s not that bad anymore.

  30. The quiz said I was a kapha but I disagree. i don’t eat slow or talk slow and I don’t have a slow digestive system. I must have answered some questions differently than I thought somewhere along the way. I think I’m more of a vata.

  31. The quiz said I was a kapha. I disagree. I don’t eat slow or talk slow. I must have answered some questions diffeently somewhere. I think I am more of a vata.

  32. I went to the website and took the test. The test said I was Pitta and kapha. I would have to agree with this test. When I am out of whack I am very short tempered and will snap about the tiniest of things.

  33. My dosha is Pitta, from my understanding from taking the test a Pitta. People that are pitta are warm, friendly, and have great leadership skills but we can also be direct, very stubborn, sarcastic, and we like buy luxury things. We have very good appetite we can eat anything at any time. Spicy or sour makes us imbalanced. We also have a medium frame that is well distributed. Our element is fire. I agree with the test.