The concept of Prakruti in Ayurveda holds good for the factor that it takes the individual's constitution, susceptibility to diseases, mental make up, lifestyle and other factors into consideration for treatment. Thus in this method of treatment they consider the individual as a whole rather than just focusing on the diseases. Once the patient's constitution is known the treatment in Ayurveda is carried out in such a way which helps in leading a balanced optimal health in all fields. The three types of constitution are Vata constitution, Pitta constitution and Kapha constitution and their combinations.
Most people are a combination of two doshas i.e. Dwandvaja prakriti. They possess characteristics of both doshas involved depending on the percentage of the combination. A balanced constitution is ideal and extremely rare in which the balanced state of all the three doshas neutralizes the bad or unwanted qualities, support and bring out good qualities of the other. According to ayurveda a healthy life is symbolized by a balanced state of doshas, agni, dhatus, normal functioning of mala, cheerful state of atman, sensory organs and mind are the symptoms of healthy life.
The main factors which determine Prakruti are Sukra-Shonit Prakruti (Condition of sperm-ovum), Kala-garbhasaya Prakruti (Condition of uterus) and Matu-ahar Prakruti (Food regimen adopted by mother, during pregnancy).According to Ayurveda there are seven types of Prakruti where a combination of the three doshas manifests each individual. They are like
- Mono types (vata, pitta or kapha predominant)
- Dual types (vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or, kapha-vata)
- Equal types (vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions)
Characteristics of Body Types
VATA - Vata Prakriti/TypeVata consists of vaayu or air and it is the kinetic force in all kinds of biological forms.Vata is responsible in controlling all kinds of movements especially the functions like nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination and heartbeats etc.
Physical featuresEither very tall or very short, lean appearance. The skin is darkish and cool type. They generally don't have a good physic or non muscular. They have a very long or protruded face with a small nose, mouth and eyes. Most of the facial portions are quite dry and teeth are irregular and often protruded.
General featuresThe other common features of them include that these people are quite creative, enthusiastic, enjoy liberty and artistic. They are hyperactive and soon become restless or loose interest in what they do. Though they have a weak memory can grasp quicky.They have a very slow gait.
IllnessWhen there is an imbalance in this dosha they mainly suffer neurological diseases like diminition in the speed of their mental process affecting the motor functions mainly and they frequently suffer from angina. Since Vata dosha occupies the lower part of the body they mainly affect or cause diseases related to this area. The diseases are more pronounced during the old age.
PITTA - Pitta Prakriti/TypePitta consists of agni which is the element of heat energy in our body.Pitta is responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems, as well as cellular metabolism. It is mainly involved in the digestion or proper assimilation of physical, mental and emotional elements of a biological entity.
Physical featuresThey generally have a good body build with muscles. The skin complexion is quite fair.The face of pitta individuals are heart shaped face, with a protruding or pointed chin and nose. The color of the eyes is light blue, light grey or hazel color. They have a soft and scanty hair.
General featuresThey have an intellectual personality and are quite brave courageous. They have a good memory and grasping power. They are short tempered. The persons of this prakriti are sharp and quick in action. They have a fast gait. People of Pitta Prakriti can never bear heat. With a developed sense of responsibility, they can take decisions and organize affairs well. The rate of metabolism of such people is quite high and hence they tend to excessive perspiration and excretion. Because of their high metabolic rate they also tend to eat and drink a lot.
IllnessThey are more prone to Acidity and Peptic ulcers. Skin diseases like hyper-sensitive reactions,Photo-dermatitis,Inflammatory conditions in other organs, Psycho-somatic diseases due to persistent stress are common for those who have an imbalance in this particular dosha.Frequency of food intake and concurrent aberrations in Pitta element leads to obesity and metabolic disorders.
KAPHA - Kapha Prakriti/TypeKapha consists of prithvi (earth) and jala (water) where the former is responsible for structure and bulk of the material and the latter is required for sustenance of life. Thus Kapha is totally responsible for body form and structure (fluids, fats, bones and muscles).
Physical featuresLike the individuals of Pitta the Kapha people also have a good body builds with muscles. They are generally large and tall with unctuous and oily skin. They are characterized by round face with big blue, black or light brown eyes. The mouth is quite big with prominent teeth. They maintain a cold body temperature. They have pleasant appearance.
General featuresThough the Kapha people are considered to be active, they have slow and steady body movements. Their level of perseverance is quite high. Such individuals are mostly calm and considerate and have an utmost caring and compassionate nature. They are supposed to be very faithful and not short tempered. The appetite and digestion of the kapha individual is poor. They are endowed with strength and health.
IllnessThe Kapha individuals are usually affected by diseases in the upper parts of the body like the chest, lungs etc.They are commonly affected by respiratory problems and phlegmatic disorders. The diseases are pronounced during the childhood.
Prakruti and DietDiet varies depending upon the doshas of the individuals.
- Vata Prakruti - Unctuous, warm, and sweet substances.
- Pitta Prakruti - Cool, heavy, sweet, bitter and astringent food articles
- Kapha Prakruti - Dry, warm, light, pungent, bitter and astringent food.
Prakruti and seasonsThe external and internal factors are responsible for the state of equilibrium of an individual's body. Our body always tries to fight against the changing environmental conditions. Only when a person is at an optimum level of his health he can enjoy a diseases free life. Once the balance is disturbed and leads to disease and disharmony. Generally during the summer season the rate of digestion is very low and there is lot of water loss from the body due to perspiration.Heat also results in the increase of the pitta dosha. With the advent of rains on the dry and hot earth, the pungent taste of the land becomes sour and these results in the accumulation of pitta dosha.The extreme cold of winter leads to accumulation of kapha. But due to extreme cold, the kapha solidifies. Spring is warm, causing liquefaction of the accumulated kapha and vitiates it causing disorders.