According to Ayurvedic philosophy, everything around us is made up by a combination of the energies of the five basic elements- Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
Ayurveda classifies human beings into three body types based upon the predominant element: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Each person has a unique constitution determined by genetics, diet, lifestyle, emotions of the parents at the time of conception.
VATA In the body, Vata is composed by Ether and Air and its energy is associated with movement.
Qualities (gunas): Cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick, and changeable.
Colors: brownish, blackish
Vata governs all activity in the body, from thoughts to food. It is responsible for joy, happiness, creativity, speech, sneezing and elimination.
Vata is in charge of the vital life essence, prana. When Vata (prana= life force) leaves the body, life ends.
Physically, Vata people have light, flexible bodies with small irregular teeth. They have small, dry, active eyes. They often experience digestive and malabsorption problems, due to irregular appetite and thirst.
Vata persons tend to be delicate in health and their sleep is light and disturbed.
They are easily excited and their energy comes in burst, and they are likely to experience suddenly fatigue.
Emotionally, they have good imagination and they are very creative; they are quick to act without much thinking. They love new experience and they are always looking for new adventures, in fact they do not like sitting on the couch for a long time!
In balance, Vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, Vata produces fear, anxiety, worry, insomnia.
PITTA In the body is principally made up by Fire and Water and it is responsible for metabolism/transformation. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, body temperature.
Qualities (gunas): hot, sharp, light, spreading, oily
Colors: red, yellow
Physically, Pitta types are usually medium frame and weight. They sometimes have bright red hair, but baldness or thinning hair is also common in a Pitta.
They seldom lose or gain weight. They have sharp yellowish teeth, with soft and, at time, bleeding gums. They have penetrating but sensitive eyes. They usually have fair complexion, strong appetite, lots of energy and like cooling drinks.
As they have a strong digestion, sometimes it can cause hyperacidity, acid reflux, burning sensation in the body. In fact, Pitta people have warm body temperature. They sleep soundly for short period of time.
Emotionally, Pitta people principle have a fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind. They have excellent learning, understanding, and concentrating skills. They are natural leaders and well disciplined.
In balance, Pitta shows understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, Pitta tends to become angry, judgmental, critical, jealous and generates inflammation disorders.
KAPHA In the body, Kapha is composed by Earth and Water and its energy forms the body’s structure and provides cohesion that holds the cells together.
Qualities (gunas): Heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, oily
Its main functions are supplying water for all the body parts, lubricating joints, moisturizes the skin and maintains immunity.
Physically, Kapha types have usually a strong, large body frame and excellent stamina. They have large and soft eyes, strong teeth and thick, curly hair, oily and smooth skin.
Kapha people tend to have a steady appetite and thirst, but tend to have slow digestion and metabolism. When Kapha builds to an excess, it often results in weight gain, mucous production and allergies manifest in the body. At times, cravings for sweet and salt lead to water retention.
Emotionally, when they are balanced, Kaphas are naturally calm and loving. They have stable faith and compassion and a steady mind. They have good memory, deep voice and monotonous pattern of speech. They love eating, sitting, doing nothing and sleeping for a long time. When out of balanced, they suffer from greed, attachment, possessiveness and laziness.