Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in everyone and everything. Since there are no single words in English that convey these concepts, we use the original Sanskrit words vata, pitta and kapha. These principles can be related to the basic biology of the body.

Energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body to function. Energy is also required to metabolize the nutrients in the cells, and is called for to lubricate and maintain the structure of the cell. Vata is the energy of movement; pitta is the energy of digestion or metabolism and kapha, the energy of lubrication and structure. All people have the qualities of vata, pitta and kapha, but one is usually primary, one secondary and the third is usually least prominent. The cause of disease in Ayurveda is viewed as a lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of vata, pitta or kapha. Disease can also be caused by the presence of toxins.

In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance. They are simply viewed as different facets of one’s being. To learn how to balance the body, mind and consciousness requires an understanding of how vata, pitta and kapha work together. According to Ayurvedic philosophy the entire cosmos is an interplay of the energies of the five great elements—Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Vata, pitta and kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation. In the physical body, vata is the subtle energy of movement, pitta the energy of digestion and metabolism, and kapha the energy that forms the body’s structure.

Vata is the subtle energy associated with movement — composed of Space and Air. It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety.

Pitta expresses as the body’s metabolic system — made up of Fire and Water. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy.

Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure — bones, muscles, tendons — and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together, formed from Earth and Water. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness. Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed and envy.

Life presents us with many challenges and opportunities. Although there is much over which we have little control, we do have the power to decide about some things, such as diet and lifestyle. To maintain balance and health, it is important to pay attention to these decisions. Diet and lifestyle appropriate to one’s individual constitution strengthen the body, mind and consciousness.

Take this dosha quiz and discover which constitution type is more dominant in you according to ayurveda and which nutrition tips are more beneficial for you. This test is an orientation.


A. slim

B. moderate

C. robust


A. Very tall or very small

B. Medium

C. Generally small, but can be tall and big


A Difficulty to gain weight

B  Medium, they can gain or lose weight easily

C  Generally overweight, difficulty losing it


A Dry, rough, cold, prominent veins

B  Hot, freckles, acne

C Thick, cold, oily


A Cold hands and feet 

B warm 

C cold or normal 


A Dry, fine, frizzy 

B Oily, premature baldness, gray hair 

C   Strong, wavy, shiny 


A  narrow 

B  Moderate, furrows 

C wide 


A Small, nervous 

B  penetrating, easily irritated 

C big with big eyelashes 


A Irregular small, malformed 

B medium-sized, gums bleed easily 

C   Large, well-formed 


A rough 

B soft, pink 

C thick 


A Small, wrinkled, dry 

B Delicate, reddish, sharp profile 

C   Large, soft profile 


A Thin, Cracking joints 

B  Medium, loose joints 

C  Thick, strong joints 


A Brittle, rough 

B  Soft, pink 

C  Wide, strong 


A changing, nervous 

B high, irritable if hungry 

C Moderate but constant 


A Scarce 

B generally thirsty 

C  Moderate 


A Hard, dry stools 

B Soft, loose stools, tendency to diarrhea  

C  Regular, normal stools 


A scarce 

B Abundant, intense yellow 

C Moderate, clear 


A  Scarce without odor

B  Deep, intense smell 

C  Moderate 


A Light, with interruptions  

B  Changeable 

C deep, excessive 


A Variable sexual interest, active sexual fantasy 

B  high sexual interest and impulse 

C  constant sexual interest and impulse 


A Fast, tendency to forget 

B  Sharp, clear 

C  slow but steady 


A Spontaneous 

B  Average 

C  Requires time to understand 


A changeable mood and ideas 

B  Intense when expressing ideas and feelings 

C Stable, reliable, slow to change ideas 


A Hot climates, sun, humidity 

B  Cool climates, well ventilated 

C  Any weather provided it is not humid 


A  restless 

B  Moderate 

C  they move slowly 


A Adaptability 

B courage 

C friendly 


A Fear

B Anger

C Attachment


A Fear and anxiety under stress 

B  frustration, irritability, anger under stress  

C they manage stress well 


A Poor, variable immune system 

B  Medium, tendency to infections 

C  Good, stable, strong immune system 


A Nervous and mental disorders, neuralgic and joint pains 

B Infectious and inflammatory diseases, blood disorders  

C Systemic and respiratory diseases, edema, mucus, joint inflammation 


Three possible results are below:


Body features: thin, fine hair, fingers, and joints, cold skin

Physiology: irregular appetite and thirst, weak digestion, tendency to constipation, little sweat

Biochemistry: thin body mass, little waste

Psychology: acts fast, speaks fast, fearful, excited, captures things quickly, forgetful
Weak points: nervous system, locomotor system

Nutrition tips on dosha: Vata

—Flavors: sweet, salty, slightly spicy and sour

—Meals easy to digest

—At least 3 meals a day

—Raw food, only in small portions and at noon

—Legumes only well cooked and in small quantities


Body features: normal size, thin warm skin, with freckles

Physiology: great appetite and thirst, enough sweat and odor, strong digestion, tendency to diarrhea
Biochemistry: average body mass, normal waste
Psychology: good memory, little tolerance, adventurous, passionate
Weakness points: stomach, skin and heart

Nutrition tips for dosha: Pitta

—Flavors: sweet, bitter and astringent
—Cold meals
—They can take heavy meals
—They must give up coffee, alcohol, spicy, acidic and salty foods


Result Image

—Body features : large features, cold, fat and thick skin

—Physiology: low appetite and thirst, slow digestion, non-odorous sweat, regular and well-formed stools
—Biochemistry: thick complexion, many body fluids
—Psychology: good long-term memory, slow, good mental stability and self-esteem
—Weakness points: respiratory and lymphatic system, lack of appetite, and weak digestion

Nutrition tips for dosha:Kapha

—Flavors: spicy, bitter, astringent
—Hot meals
—Food that is not too fat or sweet
—Small portions are advised
—Dairy products are discouraged
—Dried fruits are not recommended because they produce mucus

Explore our yoga quiz category for many other types of quiz.

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