Which Ayurvedic Body Type Are You? What Should Be Your Ideal Workout?

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on May 14, 2013

Ayurveda is an age-old Indian discipline based on sound scientific principles. It is a popular misconception that Ayurveda is a stream of medicine. The fact is that it is a way of life. According to Ayurveda, each body is different from another, based on certain physical as well as emotional attributes.


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There are essentially three major factors that determine which body type you have. These are vata, pitta and kapha. These 3 types of factors determine which kind of physical activities, foods, and physical routines will be the best for your body.

Based on these factors, you can create your everyday routine.

Here’s what each of them means.

  • Vata: Also known as the vata dosha, this type of body consists chiefly of air and space elements.
  • Pitta: Also known as the pitta dosha, this type of body consists chiefly of fire and water elements.
  • Kapha: Also known as the kapha dosha, this type of body chiefly consists of earth and water.

While these are three distinct body types, most of us are a combination of two. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that 80% of the human population is a combination of any two doshas such as kapha-pitta, pitta-vata or vata-kapha. A few people may also be a combination of all three doshas. These predominant doshas are what define both our physical constitution and our emotional temperament.

Kapha - What your Dosha Says About you?

The kapha body type is a combination of water and earth. This makes the body heavy and slow, but also stable and cold. Their skin may be oily and shiny, and they tend to be heavier than others. They are also known to have smooth skin and therefore a pleasing appearance. The calm and steady qualities of the kapha dosha make the person extremely sensible and reasonable. They are also slower and calm in their thoughts and actions. They are good at planning, but they may be slower in grasping as well.

They have a good digestive system and the potential for great stamina. They can use strength exercises to improve their stamina. However, due to their nature, they tend to become lazy when stressed and may not always do well at strength training.

Ideal Workout for Kapha

Since those with kapha dosha tend to have good stamina, cardio exercises like swimming, running and cycling can be very beneficial for them. Apart from these, hatha yoga with its smooth movements and breathing exercises is also excellent for those with the kapha dosha. They can also do well at strength training and weight lifting as they tend to be heavier.

Pitta - What your Dosha Says About You?

Pitta is a combination of fire and water which lends heat to them. They are excitable and have heat and intensity qualities. They can get upset or angry very quickly. Physically, they tend to be of a medium build and tend to show a good appetite and digestive system. They are usually very strong in their thoughts and actions. They also have very high concentration levels, but tend to get pushy when stressed. Since they have heat qualities, they prefer chiller weather. They also prefer enough sleep and tend to feel stressed when they are not able to get enough of it. To subdue their heat and control their qualities, they are recommended to indulge in water sports to control on these aspects.

Ideal Workout for Pitta

Those with the pitta dosha benefit from water sports. Swimming is a great release for them as it not only helps them with their fitness goals, it also helps them de-stress.

Vata - What your Dosha Says About You?

Vata is a combination of air and water, and so the vata body types tend to be lighter than the rest. They are characterized by their fast and light qualities. They are usually slim and thin and have very dry skin. They are quick and lively in thought and action. They are also very sociable and easily make networks. They tend to be excellent marketers. They have very good grasping skills, but are held back due to their weak memory. They also get bored easily and look to move to other things. They prefer light sleep as they have occasional bursts of energy. They tend to get worried when stressed.

Ideal Workout for Vata

Since those with vata dosha really enjoy physical activities, they are happiest when they indulge in activities that involve a lot of energy. Dance-based workouts such as aerobics and Zumba are great for them as it channels their energies positively. They also enjoy hiking and trekking as well as other adventure sports. Those with vata dosha may be benefitted from yoga, especially power yoga and regular Pilates.

Consult a qualified Ayurvedic expert to determine what your dosha is. Once you know that, you can choose from a range of activities that suit your dosha type. Again, am Ayurvedic or yoga expert may be a good place to get your information from.

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