How to determine your unique personal dosha yourself

The concept of the dosha is at the core of the Ayurveda. Determining your personal dosha with precision is best left to an expert but there is no harm in trying to decide what it is yourself. Here’s how!

Moon on guard … Photo by malith d karunarathne on Unsplash

The Ayurveda health system has been described in a previous article How Ayurveda can help diabetics, and this article assumes that you have read it and understand the meaning of the term dosha, ie body type or constitution.

Your unique personal dosha is best and most accurately determined by a qualified practitioner of the ayurvedic lifestyle system.

But if you want to have a go yourself and determine your predominant dosha, here’s what you can do … answer these questions in the following way:

Select the answer (A, B or C) under each category that most applies to you. If more than one answer is applicable, choose the one that fits you best. For personality and mental traits, answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life.

Physical Characteristics

1. Your height is:

  1. Taller or shorter than average
  2. Average
  3. Tall and large

2. Your body frame is:

  1. Slim and light, with thin muscles
  2. Moderate and symmetrical, with well-developed muscles
  3. Large and ample, with strong muscles

3. Your weight is:

  1. Below average
  2. Average
  3. Above average

4. Regarding your weight changes, you find it:

  1. Hard to gain weight
  2. Easy to maintain weight
  3. Hard to lose weight

5. Your skin texture is:

  1. Dry, rough, and thin; prone to goose bumps
  2. Warm and oily; easily irritated or inflamed
  3. Cool, clammy, and thick

6. Your eyes are:

  1. Small, dry, and active
  2. Piercing; sensitive to light
  3. Large and soft

7. Your hair is:

  1. Dry and brittle; easily knotted
  2. Medium texture and oily; tendency toward thinning or graying
  3. Thick and oily; abundant

8. Your teeth are:

  1. Crooked or protruding; receding gums
  2. Moderately sized, with a tendency toward yellowing; red or bleeding gums
  3. White, strong, and well-formed; hearty gums

9. Your nails are:

  1. Dry, rough, and brittle; they break easily
  2. Soft, pink, flexible, and lustrous
  3. Thick, smooth, shiny, and hard

10. Your joints are:

  1. Prominent; they crack easily
  2. Medium, loose, and flexible
  3. Large and well-padded

11. Your hands are:

  1. Thin; long fingers with prominent knuckles
  2. Medium; warm, pink, and soft
  3. Large and thick; smooth knuckles

12. Your body temperature runs:

  1. Cold, especially your hands and feet; you have poor circulation
  2. Higher than average; you tend to “run hot”
  3. Cool; clammy

13. Your urine tends to be:

  1. Scanty, clear
  2. Abundant, yellow
  3. Moderate amount, concentrated color

14. When you get sick, it’s usually in the form of:

  1. Pain and inflammation
  2. Fever and skin irritations, such as cold sores
  3. Congestion

15. When it comes to weather, you dislike:

  1. Cold, dryness, wind; you prefer warm weather
  2. Heat, blazing sunshine, fire; you prefer cool, well-ventilated areas
  3. Cool and damp weather; although you can tolerate many different climates, you prefer it not be cool and damp.

 Personality Traits

16. Your speech tends to be:

  1. Fast and frequent
  2. Sharp and cutting
  3. Slow and melodious

17. In general, you are mostly:

  1. Active, busy, hustling, changeable, or nervous
  2. Ambitious, motivated, competitive, and witty
  3. Calm, content, conservative, and rarely irritated

18. At your best, you are:

  1. Adaptable, creative, spiritual, and imaginative; an abstract thinker
  2. Courageous, intelligent, focused, and efficient; a perfectionist
  3. Loving, trustworthy, caring, calm, and patient; a kind soul

19. At your worst, you are:

  1. Fearful and nervous
  2. Angry and critical
  3. Overly attached and lazy

 Food and Activity

20. When it comes to activity, you like:

  1. To be active and on the go; it’s hard for you to sit still
  2. Physical activities with a purpose; competitive pursuits
  3. Leisurely activities; sitting around

21. You walk:

  1. Quickly, often looking at the ground
  2. Purposefully, with focus and attention
  3. Slowly and leisurely

22. Your appetite:

  1. Varies daily; you sometimes forget to eat
  2. Is regular; you never skip a meal
  3. Is steady; you like eating, but can skip meals easily

23. You tend to eat and digest:

  1. Quickly
  2. Moderately
  3. Slowly

24. When your digestion is out of whack, you get:

  1. Gassy or constipated
  2. Ulcers and heartburn
  3. Lethargic and overweight

25. Your favourite foods are:

  1. Salty, crunchy, or cold; carbonated or caffeinated drinks
  2. Spicy, sour, or bitter; BBQ sauce, meat, pickles, fried food
  3. Creamy, sweet, heavy, or soft

26. Your stamina is:

  1. Quickly depleted; you get worn out easily
  2. Fairly strong; you can handle various physical activities
  3. Good; you have a steady energy level

27. Your sleeping habits are:

  1. Light; you have difficulty falling and staying asleep
  2. Consistent; you sleep well for an average amount of time
  3. Deep; you sleep long and sound, and have difficulty waking up

28. Your moods:

  1. Change quickly
  2. Change slowly
  3. Are mostly steady

29. When under stress, you become:

  1. Excited, anxious, worried, and fearful
  2. Angry, critical, demanding, and aggressive
  3. Withdrawn, depressed, and reclusive

30. When it comes to making a decision:

  1. You have lots of ideas and change your mind easily
  2. You gather facts before forming an opinion
  3. You are stubborn; you make up your mind quickly and don’t change your mind often

31. Your attention span is:

  1. Short
  2. Detail-oriented and attentive
  3. On the “big picture”; you can focus for long periods

32. Your memory is:

  1. Short; you learn quickly and forget quickly
  2. Generally good
  3. Good for the long-term, though you learn slowly

33. When it comes to projects, you are:

  1. Good at getting things started, but have trouble finishing them
  2. Organized and will see a project through from start to finish
  3. Slow at getting started, but good at getting things accomplished

34. Your friendships:

  1. Change often and are made easily
  2. Are mostly work-related or team-related
  3. Last a very long time and are deeply meaningful

35. When it comes to money, you:

  1. Like to shop and often overspend
  2. Don’t like to spend except on special items
  3. Prefer not to spend and would rather save

36. Your dreams are:

  1. Frequent and colorful
  2. Romantic and occasional
  3. Infrequent and disturbed, or intense

Determine Your Dosha

Your (A) responses correspond to Vata, (B) to Pitta, and (C) to Kapha … add up your responses to determine your predominant constitution.

The characteristic that receives the highest number of responses is the most predominant force in your overall dosha.

Note that it’s common to have a dual dosha, such as Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, or Vata-Kapha. It’s also possible, though more rarely, to be equally balanced between all three.

But your unique personal dosha will be a combination of all three in some proportion or other.

Once you have determined your unique personal dosha, you need to find out what changes to your lifestyle and diet you need to make in order to improve and maintain your health. Again, this is best determined by your ayurvedic consultant.

The next article Can an ayurvedic diet help control blood glucose levels? is a general discussion of the ayurvedic diet.

Author: Paul Kennedy

Paul D Kennedy is a qualified accountant and an international business consultant who used his skills as a researcher to uncover the mysteries of type 2 diabetes and gain control over his health and wellbeing.

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