Ayurveda’s Way of differentiating Body Types (Body Prakriti)
- Ayurveda Book
- 11 Mar, 2021
We are well aware that each individual has a certain body type and no two individuals can be same. They differ in terms of their anatomy, physique, or psychology. Likewise, Ayurveda has its own way of differentiating body types into distinct categories. Each of these have specific characteristics pertaining to each body type. We will know why body’s prakriti is important.
Before going further let us first discover what are these body types or body prakriti. We will also know what leads to their constitution in Ayurveda’s way.
What is Body’s Prakriti
Body’s Prakriti is the constitution of the body or the unique nature which tends to change among individuals. This constitution comprises of both “physical plane” as well as “mental plane”. ‘Pra’ means the ‘source of origin’ and ‘kriti’ means ‘to form’ which together turns out to be ‘natural form’. The nature of the body consists of the Tridoshas.
The tridoshas or the three doshas predominate in their assigned regions in the body . Below the navel is Vata, Pitta is between the clavicle and navel, and Kapha is situated just above the clavicle.
There is a natural predominance of one or more doshas as compared to the others in an individual.
- Body functions of a human such as cell division, movement, and excretion are mainly controlled by Vata prakriti;
- Growth, anabolism, maintenance of structure, storage, and stability are governed by kapha;
- Pitta is responsible for metabolism, thermal regulation, and homeostasis.
Formation of Body’s Prakriti
Our body is composed of Vata dosha, Pitta dosha, and Kapha dosha. These are the three dominant doshas. The formulation of body’s prakriti is at the time of conception. It is formed according to the predominant dosha while the egg and the sperm comes in contact.
This remains stable and unaltered throughout your life until external factors comes into play. These, then lead to illnesses and further disrupts our body’s prakriti.
- Vata Prakriti
- Pitta Prakriti
- Kapha prakriti
The combinational body prakriti in existence are:-
- Vata-Pitta Prakriti
- Pitta-Kapha Prakriti
- Kapha-Vata Prakriti
Physical Features of Different Body Prakriti
Qualities of each Prakriti
Vata represents expansible, cold, quick, clear, rough and a bit astringent in taste. People with Vata Prakriti are very quick in processing information. They take immediate actions. They usually have a low, weak, hoarse and crackling voice.
These individuals are hyperactive. They can also work comfortably while getting lesser sleep. Due to their quirkiness and involvement, the person will bring creativity in work. They also lose strength and get tired quickly.
Pitta is generally hot, liquid, slightly foul in smell, sour and pungent in taste. These individuals sweat a lot and have a higher body temperature. They possess a higher metabolic rate which makes them drink and eat a lot. These individuals generally have moles or skin eruptions. They can’t tolerate heat at all.
Individuals with pitta prakriti are easy to provoke. They also get upset about everything. They have a high metabolic rate. This leads to excess excretion as well as perspiration. Due to the foul smell of Kapha these individuals tends to have a strong body odor.
Kapha is smooth, sweet in taste, unctuous, dense, soft, rigid, stable and slow. These individuals have soft limbs, slower gait. They have a low capacity to process information. This makes them usually slow to understand.
The cold quality implies that their metabolism is slow. They have a low digestive power. They are usually slow in their activities. they have strong perseverance and are also emotionally mild.
Why is Body’s Prakriti Important?
Knowing your body’s nature is important for various reasons. It is the basis of everything and how our body reacts to the stimulus. Following are the major points that determines the importance of Body’s Prakriti:-
- It is the foundation for a healthy and Ayurvedic diet. On the basis of your body’s prakriti you can know the most compatible food and lifestyle for yourself.
- It also governs how vulnerable you are, to diseases.
- Body prakriti is important to keep your actions in control. In order to stay healthy and not become disease-prone.
- It also helps in detoxification as well as bio-purification. Processes such as Panchakarma, and rejuvenation therapies.
- Body’s Prakriti is also a basis to know the favorable factors. For e.g., people with Kapha prakriti should stay away from extreme cold weather.
Food Recommendation for different Prakriti
How to Balance your Body’s Prakriti
The three important or the roots of the body are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These are pre-decided, these often lose their balance due to our habits. These are those habits that doesn’t fall in line with body’s prakriti.
As a result of excessive food consumption, Kapha gets disbalanced very often. These individuals should take a light diet with low-fat, having a bitter, and pungent taste. This can also include ripe fruits, oats, steamed or raw vegetables, rye, barley, millets, honey. Spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, mustard and turmeric are also great.
Ayurveda expert, Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi says that “these individuals should avoid fats, rice in their everyday meal. These food-items can be consumed occasionally.”
Over consumption of spicy and astringent foods leads to vata imbalance. They should take a diet with salty, sweet and sour taste. It should be warm, moist and easily digestible. These contain vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, wheat and rice, mild spices like cumin, ginger and cinnamon.
In addition, fruits like berries, and melons can help balance the Vata’s dry quality as can other hydrating cooked foods such as soups or stews. Foods like avocado, buttermilk, cheese, eggs, coconut, nuts and seeds are also helpful.
Consumption of alcohol, spicy, oily, fried, salty and fermented foods may result in an imbalanced pitta. People with Pitta prakriti should avoid overly spiced, acidic or hot foods.
The lost balance can be attained with food-items that are sweet, bitter and astringent in taste. Consumption of heavy, and cool foods such as sweet fruits, dairy products, and curry leaves can help. Barley, oats and mint can be great to be consumed by these people. These people should strictly avoid red meat, potatoes, sour fruits, tomatoes, and eggplant.