4 What Ayurvedic Constitutional Type
The great sage Vasistha said in gentle accents,
Fetch water from all the holiest places. And then he
enumerated by name all kinds of auspicious objects -
herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, and leaves."
The following test will help you clarify the descriptions provided in chapter
3. While taking the test remain as objective as possible. Mark what is closest to you on the average, not what may be happening now. Fir example, after having the flu for a week your weight may be low; mark your normal weight and not your depleted weight after being sick. This test is based on many different sources of information.
All the references to color are to be used to describe your racial tones. If you are Japanese, red would mean redder than your family, not Woody Allen. The same applies to all the body references. If you are a seven-foot-tall Zulu, you must use other Zulus as you reference, not an Eskimo.
Put a circle around either V, P, or K; do not choose two. Mark only one choice for each subject. If you cannot decide what to mark because they are seem right or wrong, then mark V for Vata. V people are indecisive. Good Luck!
When you have finished the test, count how many Vs, Ps and Ks you have. Whatever you have the most of, that is your constitution. Note that there are more questions about your physical body than about your mental constitution. This will give you an idea of the overall type that you are. By now your mental patterns should be clear. If you feel that you are actually two types together it is okay; it means that you are a dual type.
Keep in mind that we all have different traits. The best way to use this test is to determine the strongest traits in our day-to-day life. Everyone loves something or someone, and where that love is placed gives a clue to our constitution. A vata-person may love art for its creativity, a pitta-person may love art as an expert, wanting to know everything about it, or a kapha-person may love art to collect as a valuable object. In this example the subject, art or beauty, is not the question. It is the approach that gives the mental constitution.
All the counts are in! Out of the 46 possibilities (for men, 47 for women) I have the following results:
V = 12 P = 31 K = 3
It looks like I am a pitta person, what a surprise! Vata is running late second, with kapha tailing along at last place.
What does it mean? Well I am what I am! I will be prone to P disease, P emotions and the P mental traits. What is immediately obvious is that I should cultivate the qualities of the K to balance myself. If I follow an anti-pitta schedule, it will keep me feeling better mentally, physically, and emotionally. And as I already said: cultivate a warm, loving environment. It is also very important to develop K-related emotions such as greed - oop! Try again - such as romance, love, patience and understanding.
Lets take another example. A woman came to me who had a K body, not too much overweight and in pretty good health. She came to me to lose weight, but the difficulty was that she had a V mental constitution. That means I could not just give her plants and a diet that are the opposite to K, namely V, or just increase P without addressing vata as well.
The V mentality is erratic and loves to binge. That is really hard on the K body because K is the one who can afford to binge the least. They have slow metabolisms and gain weight just by looking at a cake. V can eat ten pieces pf cake, feel sick, complain and pop! Doesnt gain a gram (sickening isnt it?).The problem in a mixed constitution like this is that V cant discipline itself enough to follow a regular program, like eating three meals a day. V will eat all day on Monday and only once at 11:00 P.M. On Tuesday. This kind of lifestyle jams up K bodied. And once they get jammed up, they get toxic, gain weight, and lose energy.
K needs a regular schedule and stable pattern in the lifestyle. This stability freaks out V, who does not like to be still too long. V then pushes K out for another binge on anything. This just increases the problem further, and whammy, youre sick. People live their whole lives like this, always in conflict with their natural forces.
In the woman mentioned above, I give her a P diet to balance the V and K. I then explained the nature of the these two opposite forces and how they function. Now, when she feels a binge coming on, she can either choose a food that will not aggravate K (such a cherries) or she can do another activity that will satisfy V (such as parachuting or doing something exciting!).
Mixed constitutions are harder to treat than single constitutions because usually they are both aggravated by the time you do something about it. If you can treat them soon enough, then they can be fairly simple.
Mixed constitutions are generally mixed both physically and mentally. Usually your body and mental constitution will be the same. For example, I have a friend who is a V/P mix, which is fairly common in the West. She is a teacher, a P profession and has P traits mentally and physically. However, she also has a high quantity of V. She tends to suffer from nervousness, anxiety, and bites her nails - all V traits. She suffers from hyperacidity in her stomach - a P disorder - if she is too stressed. She is lucky to have a fair amount of K, which aids in balancing her out, especially emotionally. When balanced, she has the best qualities of both, and when stressed, or out of balance, she has the disorders of both.
It is helpful to share this test with a few friends. Talk about the test and get clear on what you are, what your friends are, and start guessing what strangers are just by observing the. The rest of this book is based on or refers to your individual constitution, so it is a good idea to understand it pretty well. For further study on this subject read Prakruti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution.