How to Determine Your Dosha

Image DoshaIn Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of health science, there are three main metabolic types, or bodily humors, that make up a person's constitution. These are called "doshas," and they are the essential forces behind an individual's physical, mental, and emotional makeup. The three doshas are called "Vata," "Pitta," and "Kapha." With its sister science, yoga, Ayurveda offers tools to achieve bliss in this lifetime. Read through the following questions to determine your predominant dosha, then head on over to iSport's guides, An Introduction to Ayurveda and Yoga and Ayurveda, for more information on incorporating this ancient health science into your life.

What's Your Dosha?

Select the answer under each category that most applies to you. If more than one answer is applicable, choose the one that fits 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 favorite 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

Mind and Emotions

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

Add up your responses to determine your dominant constitution. Your (A) responses correspond to Vata, (B) to Pitta, and (C) to Kapha. The characteristic that received the highest number of responses is the most predominant force in your overall constitution. 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 rare, to be equally balanced between all three. For more information regarding your dosha and how it relates to Ayurveda and yoga, please check out iSport's guides, An Introduction to Ayurveda and Yoga and Ayurveda.