In Ayurveda, there are three body types, called doshas: Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth).
You can easily determine your dosha through a simple quiz available at Deepak Chopra’s website, or in his book Perfect Health. Another book I recommend is Eat Taste Heal by Dr. Thomas Yarema. It contains a great deal of insight about Ayurveda and the doshas as well as transitional recipes. Lissa Coffey, author of The Perfect Balance Diet and What’s Your Dosha Baby? is another source I recommend for increasing your knowledge of the Ayurvedic Lifestyle.
Knowing your dosha provides you amazing information about yourself that is invaluable in helping you stay balanced. In addition to learning which foods are best for you, you will also discover what exercise works best for you, how to get restorative sleep and how to develop peace of mind. Knowing your dosha will even help you in using specific aromatherapy oils to help you heal.
The three body types are determined by the size of your bones and body and by the three elements of air, fire and water, which influence your personality.
Are thin or have a small frame. They expend their energy and are considered spacey because they are movement. Their element is air.
Have a medium build. They manage their energy and possess a lot of intensity as their element is fire.
Are heavier. They store their energy, are slower moving and are more grounded. Their element is earth.
I will use myself as an example: I am an extreme Vata dosha. Physically, I am thin; mentally I live more in space, always creating and thinking. I have bursts of energy that appear to be scattered energy and may last for hours, but then I may “burn” out . Vatas need more calming and grounding, so people like me do well with meditation practices and exercises like tai chi or dance that involve movement. My diet contains more warm, heavy and oily foods because they ground me. Of the six tastes in Ayurveda, the best tastes for a Vata are sweet, sour and salty.