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Discovering The Three Doshas: Yoga's User Manual To Personalised Wellness

Mar 04, 2024

In ancient yoga tradition, yoga was never meant to be separated from it’s sister science Ayurveda. They are intricately woven together to help guide you towards self discovery, balance and wellness. Ayurveda covers everything from spirituality to the more practical side of wellness such as nutrition. It acts as an user manual to your body and mind, to help you address your health holistically.


Understanding Ayurveda: The Three Doshas


Ayurveda explains that your body and mind is made up of three doshas—Vata (Air) Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Earth) —each representing a unique combination of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) present in the universe. See Fig 1 to see how the 5 elements and the doshas interlink. Ayurveda shows us that we are all a mixture of the three doshas, with one being dominant. Personally I’m a firey Pitta, with a heavy dash of Vata thrown into the mix!

Figure 1 The Elements & The Doshas


  1. Vata:
    • Air and ether elements
    • Characteristics: Creative, energetic, prone to anxiety
    • Physical traits: Thin build, cold hands and feet
  1. Pitta:
    • Fire and water elements
    • Characteristics: Intelligent, focused, can be competitive
    • Physical traits: Medium build, warm body temperature
  1. Kapha:
    • Earth and water elements
    • Characteristics: Grounded, calm, may resist change
    • Physical traits: Solid build, tends to retain water


Discover Your Dosha: Take the Quiz!


How would you describe your body frame?

A. Extremely thin and lanky, struggling to gain weight

B. Moderate build with defined features

C. Solid and sturdy, tending to gain weight easily


What best describes your skin?

A. Very dry, prone to cracking, and cool to the touch

B. Sensitive with occasional redness or inflammation

C. Smooth, well-hydrated, and cool or moist


In stressful situations, what is your typical reaction?

A. Feel anxious, restless, and overwhelmed

B. Get irritable, intense, and may experience heartburn

C. Become calm but resistant to change, potentially feeling lethargic


How do you respond to cold weather?

A. Very sensitive, dislike cold, and often cold extremities

B. Moderate sensitivity, enjoy warmth, but may become overheated

C. Tolerate cold well, prefer it to heat, and tend to stay warm


Your digestion is best described as:

A. Irregular, with occasional bloating and gas

B. Strong, with occasional acidity and a strong appetite

C. Slow and steady, but prone to weight gain and sluggishness


How is your sleep pattern?

A. Light sleeper, prone to insomnia

B. Intense dreams, may wake up during the night

C. Deep sleeper, but may struggle to get out of bed in the morning


What is your typical reaction to new experiences or changes in routine?

A. Feel anxious and resist change

B. Adapt well but may become impatient

C. Embrace change but may feel a bit insecure initially


Which environment do you naturally gravitate towards?

A. Warm and cozy spaces

B. Moderately cool and comfortable environments

C. Cool and well-ventilated spaces


How would you describe your energy levels throughout the day?

A. Inconsistent, with bursts of energy and sudden crashes

B. Moderate and steady, with peaks in the afternoon

C. Stable but may feel lethargic, especially in the morning


What types of physical activity do you enjoy the most?

A. Active and fast-paced activities

B. Moderate activities with a competitive edge

C. Gentle, steady activities like walking or swimming


Understanding Your Dosha: A Personalized Wellness Guide


Mostly A’s? – You’re Vata Dominant - Embrace warmth, routine, and grounding practices. Warm baths, comforting foods, and gentle, mindful movement will soothe your energetic nature.

Mostly B’s? – You’re Pitta Dominant - Keep cool, both mentally and physically. Opt for cooling foods, practice moderation, and engage in activities that bring joy without fostering excessive competitiveness.

Mostly C’s? – You’re Kapha Dominant - Embrace movement, warmth, and variety. Engage in invigorating exercises, favour light, spicy foods, and invite change into your routine.


Your goal here isn’t to experience the doshas as equal thirds, instead it’s to find the unique balance of doshas that suits you best, this is the unique blend you were born with or your Prakriti. When you feel in the state of balance you will know because your life will feel authentic and joyful.

For example for me, my firey pitta self can be a workaholic, or push myself really hard physically, so I have to be aware that often what I actually need is to learn when to stop and step away from the laptop and to listen to my body during my practice to prevent myself pushing too hard!

I also have a lot of Vata (Air) tendencies, I’m creative and at times skatty, so I try really hard to balance this with attention to being more organised and focusing on one thing at a time, nurturing my Kapha (earth) dosha.

Without understanding your dosha, what can happen is that your dominant dosha will rule your life into a state of unbalance, this unbalance is known as Vrakriti.  By understanding your dosha and your unique needs you can personalise your yoga practice and your life to truly nourish yourself.


Doshas and Yoga: Your Personalised Toolkit


Understanding your dosha is the first step to using yoga as a personalised toolkit. As an example Vata-dominant individuals will benefit from grounding poses, Pitta-dominant from cooling postures, and Kapha-dominant from invigorating flows.

Tailoring your practice will help you to balance your unique constitution, allowing your authentic self to shine through, leaving you calmer, more present, and joyful.

Discovering your dosha is a transformative step toward profound self-awareness and holistic well-being. Embrace the wisdom of these sister sciences, and let the journey toward balance and joy begin.

The Cyclical Yogi Studio is an online space where you get the opportunity to explore the doshas through movement practices, breathwork, meditation and guided journaling. Raise your vibration with the empowering benefits of yoga. Take the first step today and journey with us through a month dedicated to the doshas!


Love Lizzie X


Cyclical Yogi Studio


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