Lift The Veil: Know Your Dosha And Know Yourself

“We are the universe” Deepak Chopra

And the universe is in us all.  According to classical Ayurvedic texts, one of the benefits of understanding ones dosha  or body/soul type is to visually see the body as a system not unlike the universe or nature.

The Maharishi Mahesh says: “It’s as if we live in a house which has a vast treasury of rooms. Only, we have forgotten about them. Instead of living a life of royalty, we go about in poverty.”

Rather than live in spiritual and physical poverty, consider using the five elements as a way to bring “royalty” back into the physical body:  see fire, water, earth, wind and ether as visual representations of the body and spirit.  Understanding doshas becomes a way to demystify your emotional and physical self.  Seeing the body as part of nature, in fact a mirror of nature, can help us to know what we need to maintain physical and emotional balance “sama” (peace and tranquility) or “moksha” (liberation from emotional pain).

In western society, the body is understood from a very clinical position, the bones, the tissue, the organs and the brain all have a function.  

While this clinical way of knowing our bodies is every bit important to our physical evolution, seeing our bodies from the ancient perspective allows the individual to see his or her body in a way that is aligned with the the natural world.  For example, fire in the body manifests in part as passion or anger, it can serve us positively or negatively.  Fire needs to be present in the body as it ignites us and helps us to move and to act.

Conversely, too much fire extinguishes earth elements needed to remain steadfast and grounded.  Understanding the body in this way is a beautiful compliment to our modern kinetic vision, together, the symbology alongside the practical takes us to the next level of physical awareness and spiritual wellbeing.

Let’s drop all veils and explore the doshas as they live in the body.  How can knowing your dosha help you to be happier?  How Can You Pacify Your Dosha Imbalances And Live A Better Healthier Life

Take The Dosha Test. What Is Your Body Type?

According to classical Ayurvedic texts, one of the benefits of understanding ones dosha or body-soul type is to visually see the body as a system not unlike the universe or nature.

Knowing your dosha can help you to understand your body type as well as your psychophysical make-up. Rather than live in a state of imbalance, consider using the five elements that comprise the doshas as a way to bring an intrinsic understanding of your physical and emotional self.

There are three doshas: all three are present at birth and make up your constitution; this is also called your prakruti or your DNA.

  • Pitta Dosha is represented by the elements fire and water.
  • Kapha Dosha is represented by the elements earth and water.
  • Vata Dosha is represented by air and ether.

The elements fire, water, earth, wind and ether act as visual representations of the body and spirit.  These five elements are present in everyone’s body at birth.

As you go through life, cultural, social and personal experiences shift your doshas and cause imbalances to the body and mind. The first state is called your prakruti, it is your birth constitution. As your life evolves, another state called vikruti manifests in the body, this state evolves as a result of social, cultural and emotional conditioning.

Together your vikruti and prakruti create a picture that makes up who you are.   At birth, you could be a combination of vata, pitta and kapha. Then as you progress through life, the elements wax and wane vis a vis life experience and socialization.

If your vikruti dosha is vastly different from your prakruti, your body is most likely out of balance and will need to be looked at and corrected.

Consider a brief analysis of your doshas and see if you suffer from imbalances.


If you have a pitta imbalance then you have too much fire and water. You are hot-tempered, outwardly judgmental of others, stubborn, prone to rashes, hives, and digestive disturbances? You may find it difficult to love but desperately seeking love, and yet never feeling loved? Remember excessive water and fire destroys, so you need to counter pitta disturbances with activities that extinguish the fire.  Bring ether, and air into your life: For pitta imbalances, daily yoga is helpful. Long walks, swimming, and self-reflection can help restore the imbalance to a state of moksha or balance and clarity. Pitta disturbances may also benefit from cold-stone therapy, gemstone therapy and abhyanga (warm oil massage)


Do you suffer from kapha imbalances? Too much earth and water? Are you sluggish, tired, and secretly judgmental of others? Are you inwardly suffering pain?  Are you holding on to pain, material items or both?  Do you struggle with weight gain and a sluggish digestive system? Are you always the giver and yet inwardly resentful of giving too much?

To counter your kapha imbalance consider foods that drive agni or internal fire in the system.  Smaller, fewer meals.  Seek out partners that are not needy. Take up walking. Book a weekly garshana treatment (vigorous massage using raw silk gloves) to order break up the stagnation. Individuals with kapha disturbances need to dance, they should move as increase their metabolism. Individuals with a kapha imbalance should surround themselves with music and art and anything that increases their metabolism and breaks up stagnation.


Do you have a vata imbalance? Too much ether and wind? Is your head constantly in your ideas and projects? Are you quick to change from one relationship to another, perhaps a bit flighty? Is your constitution sensitive? Are you always running from love?  You probably have many lovers, and find it hard to stay focused enough to be with one man or woman? Vata imbalances feel the need to constantly move. In meetings they will be the person who can’t sit still. The vata dominant person needs a great deal to hold their attention.

Individuals with a vata imbalances would benefit from regular shirodhara treatments, or massages, they need pampering and lots of attention in order to restore calm in their body and mind.

Ideally, you want to be an equal balance of all doshas; kapha, pitta, vata.  Fire, water, ether and wind need to be balanced so you feel good in your emotional body as well as your physical body.

Get ready to feel great

Once in a state of moksha or balanced doshas, your five senses will be ignited, serotonin levels will increase, breathing deepens, the digestion is restored to balance, love returns and ones relationships with the world will be more balanced.

We have all known this feeling of balance.  It is called presence of mind or peace. It is a state of grace and love, a state of expansion and movement, it is a state of creativity and joy.

Understanding who you are and what your dosha type is will help you to make sense of all that ails you.

This is not to say that everything will be perfect all the time, because for sure there will be times when life hijacks your inner calm, and your doshas run wild in the body.

But knowing your body in this way can unlock the tools needed to combat physical and emotional disturbances.

Know your dosha and know yourself. Live free.



Ramona Bessinger

For more information on Ayurveda Bodywork, contact Ramona Bessinger @

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