The undermentioned article is also the result of our experience with body types and characteristics of body types in the light of classical Ayurvedic literature.
Identify your body prakriti (constitution)
As per Ayurveda, there are seven types of prakriti in which human beings can be classified. In addition to the three Pure types of Prakriti viz. `vata’prakriti, `pitta’ prakriti and `kapha’ prakriti, there are four additional mixed types of prakriti in which characteristics of Kapha, Vata or Pitta in combination form are present. These four prakriti types are –
- Kapha-Pitta prakriti
- Pitta-Vata prakriti
- Kapha-Vata prakriti
- Kapha-Pitta-Vata (Sama-prakriti)
Once his basic characteristics are known and fundamental features of doshas are understood, prakriti of a person can be roughly identified with ease. Final judgement would, in any case, depend on a knowledge of the person’s habits, tastes, nature, likes & dislikes and susceptibilities to specific diseases. In order to enable the layman to identify his own prakriti it is considered expedient to provide here a questionnaire seeking specific responses to simple questions on a person’s physical and mental characteristics, habits, tastes, aversions and cravings. On the basis of responses to various questions a true judgement can be made of the prakriti. A knowledge of the prakriti is very essential for personal healthcare i.e. in fixing the appropriate type of diet and lifestyle regimen for an individual and more importantly in prescribing specific treatment of the disease condition for the individual. The prakriti knowledge enables individualisation of healthcare for a person.
How is your body frame and structure?
- Very tall and wiry or very short and stocky.
- Medium frame but not evenly proportioned.
- Medium frame and well proportioned.
How is your hair?
- Thin and sparse
- Thick and coarse, often very dense
- Moderately thick and dense.
How is your body built?
- Extremely thin or extremely fat and bulky.
- Well built in places.
- Well built all over, near ideal weight.
If you can recall your growth pattern as a child or adolescent, your growth has been
- Very fast
- Moderately fast
How are your eyes ?
- dry, stony or dusty
- yellowish, brownish or redish
- large, moist, sparkling white.
How are your teeth?
- Large, white with-greyish tinge
- Small, White with brownish tinge.
- Medium sized, glistening white
How are you nails?
- Small, coarse greyish and brittle
- Small, hard, yellowish
- Medium sized, pinkish, soft
How is your voice?
- High pitched
- Low pitched
- Medium pitched
How is your gait?
- Medium paced
How is your skin?
- Dry with cracks
- Smooth, lustrous, oily
- Soft and clear
How is your appetite?
How is your thirst?
- Very high
How much do you sleep in a day?
- Upto 6 hrs
- 6 to 8 hrs
- 8 hrs. and more
How is your sleep?
- Sometimes sound, sometimes disturbed
- Moderately Sound
- Very sound, generally
How are your joints?
- Supple, flexible, protruberant
- Moderately supple, not protruberant
- Rigid and tough, well knit, compact and hidden.
How much is you capacity for physical and mental work?
- Cannot stand long and arduous working hours; get tired easily
- Working capacity moderately high
- Can stand long and hard working schedule without getting tired.
How is your memory?
- Can understand quickly but cannot retain for long
- Sharp memory, fairly good retentivity
- Understanding process slow but excellent retention over long periods of time
How is your physical strength and stamina?
How is your sex-drive?
In which weather do you feel most comfortable?
- Autumn and Spring
What kind of foods do you like most?
- Baked & roasted foods
- Fried and spicy foods
How is your decision making?
- Take impulsive decision
- Take quick decision based on logical reasoning
- Take well considered decision after full thought and analysis; decision-making is slow
Can you stand hunger and thirst?
- Only for a little while
- Can tolerate for some time
- Can stand hunger and thirst for a long period
How is your perspiration?
- Perspire quite a bit
- Perspire profusely
- Perspire little
Do you suffer from colds and catarrh?
- Very infrequently or rarely
- Very often
Do you suffer from rashes, itching and similar skin ailments?
- Very often
How is your normal behaviour?
- Talkative, argumentative and quarrelsome
- Clever, diplomatic and sharp in speech
- Quiet, pleasant mannered and gentle disposition
How is your temper?
- Uneven, unpredictable, excitable
- Short tempered
- Mild tempered
How is your general grasp and understanding?
- Grasp is very quick but understanding is superficial
- Grasp is fairly quick and understanding good with a sound sense of logic.
- Grasp is slow but understanding very deep, sound analytical ability
When chided or snubbed, how do you react?
- Instantaneously, bluntly
- Quickly but diplomatically
- Slow in reacting, sometimes unable to rebuff; often retort in a pious manner.
How much is your body weight?
- Much above or much below normal (+ – 30% to 50% range)
- Not normal range (+ – 10% to 30% range)
- Near about the normal, ideal weight (+ – 10% away from Normal which corresponds to BMI of 21.5)
How is your tongue?
- Thick set, with black tinge
- Thin, reddish
- Medium thickness, pinkish
How do situations of mental tension affect you?
- Can give loss of sleep, even a nervous breakdown
- Can stand such situations but not for long, sleep affected
- Nervous tension usually does not affect sleep; can stand mental tension over prolonged periods without serious effects
How are your stools?
- Hard, dark or black in colour; once a day
- Brownishor yellowish, loose stools; once or twice daily
- Yellowish, well formed, only once daily
How is your body temperature?
- Less than normal, palm and feet are cold
- More than normal; palm, feet and face are warm
- Normal, palm and feet are slightly cold
How are your lips?
- Cracked, not sharply, often with black tinge
- Reddish, thin and soft
- Pinkish, proportionate, shapely
How are your movements?
- Unsteady, erratic
- Quick, fast
- Slow, steady
Following a sleep during the day, do you feel a bad taste in the mouth or mildly nauseatic?
- No, never
- Yes, sometimes, mildly
- Yes, always.
Now after obtaining responses to the above questions in terms of either 1 or 2 or 3, change them to A, B and C corresponding to 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Among the answers in terms of A, B or C, identify whether maximum answers are As or Bs or Cs. Accordingly make a judgement of the prakriti.
A Corresponds to vata prakriti
B Corresponds to pitta prakriti
C Corresponds to kapha prakriti
Supposing 12 responses are As, 12 responses are Bs and 14 responses are Cs, then the prakriti type in question is Vata-Pitta-Kapha. Consider another example. If 29 responses are As, and remaining Bs or Cs, it is clearly a case of Vata Prakriti.
Thus identification of Prakriti depends on maximum responses among A, B and C.