Ayurveda Day 39: The Doshas & Personality

People often get put into different categories to define their personality. People will say “You’re a type A” or “You’re competitive” or “You’re a INTP”. Although all these assessments provide clues to your personality, they don’t take into account the doshas.

We know that the doshas affect our bodily functions and systems, but they also affect our mind. The affect the doshas have cause us to have certain tendencies in our personality. Whatever dosha dominates our personality we will always tend towards. However, just like the body, we can always make choices that drive a different doshas out of balance.

To better understand what personality type we are, it is important to remember that the word dosha by definition means fault. These are the things that drive us out of balance. But when we are in balance, we can recognize which doshas tend to dominate us and cultivate the flip side of their faults.

To give a rough idea of which dosha(s) your personality falls into, here is a list of words we would use to describe a Kapha, Pitta, or Vata type of person:

Kapha Personality Traits
In Balance Out of Balance
Calm Sluggish
Sweet Slow to react
Gentle Slow to understand
Relaxed Slow to make decisions
Compassionate Overly attached
Empathetic Uninspired
Non-confrontational Lethargic
Quiet Melancholic
Stable, Reliable, Dependable Stubborn/Immobile
Conservative, Shy, Obedient Overly emotional (sentimental)
Move Slow & Steady Speaks extra slowly
Cultivates Long-term Relationship Overly controlling to prevent change
Pitta Personality Traits
In Balance Out of Balance
Focused & Directed Abrasive
Productive & Goal Oriented Judgmental
Passionate & Mission Driven Intense
Linear Planner Aggressive
Logical Angry
Perceptive Envious
Speaks clearly and succintly Jealous
Makes decisions easily Critical
To the point Speaks sharply
Warm to their friends Fierce to their enemies
Excellent teachers and leaders Prone to Burnout
Vata Personality Traits
In Balance Out of Balance
Bubbly Impulsive
Light hearted Impractical
Enthusiastic Difficulty making decisions
Inspired Lacking follow through
Expansive Ungrounded
Philosophical Nervous
Speaks quickly and hears quickly Fragile, highly sensitive
Detail Oriented Mood Swings
Changing Interests Hot/Cold with friends
Creative Speaks too quickly, rambles
Artistic Non-Committal

You will probably find you have traits in all three doshas that are in and out of balance. Looking at these charts can be a good barometer as to how in or out of balance your mind is. Most of us will have one dosha that is clearly stronger than the others.

This is where a lot of relationship problems can arise. Pitta and Vata types can drive each other crazy as pitta look at everything as a problem with only one solution and vata sees many solutions and can’t pick one! If you yourself are a pitta with a vata imbalance like me, I feel for you. It’s like being in a crazy conflicting relationship with yourself! 😛

But we are always either moving towards balance or imbalance. Think of your thoughts, words, and actions in the same paradigm. Act in alignment with the balanced side of your doshic tendencies, and you will begin to transcend them altogether, allowing your true self to emerge.

I am glossing over this, but for now, it’s a good place to start. Small steps towards better health!

With gratitude,

S

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