What is your exercise personality?

Do you ever wonder why you would rather go for a long walk than lift weights at the gym? According to an ancient science called Ayurvedic Medicine, there is a reason for this. Ayurveda states that there are three main personal constitutions or Doshas: Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. We all contain parts of all three of these categories, but we fi t mostly into one of them. Knowing and understanding your Dosha type can help to guide you to certain fitness activities, which in turn can help you improve your physical, mental, and emotional body.

Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. Pitta’s strong points include ambition, concentration, confidence, courage, enthusiasm for knowledge, happiness and intelligence. Pittas have an athletic, average or medium build. They usually have no problem gaining or losing weight, and prefer cooler weather (don’t like to overheat). Pittas are very outgoing in nature. They are intense and quite competitive, and like to eat socially. Pittas are also very precise and orderly; organization is a strong Pitta quality. Since most Pittas enjoy activities that are high intensity and competitive and that follow some type of organization or choreography, your best bet for exercise type activities include cycling, running, boot camp, Pilates, Ashtanga Yoga, triathlons, anything with a competitive edge and meditation.

Kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed and long-standing envy. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness and love. Kaphas are caring, centered, compassionate, content, faithful, grounded, patient, stabile and supportive. Kaphas are solidly built, larger boned individuals who tend to gain weight easily. They have a lethargic personality with a slow and steady mentality. Kaphas are usually sweet and gentle in nature. They also tend to crave sweet and starchy foods (hence the tendency to gain weight). When learning, Kaphas are slower, but once they understand it, they rarely forget. Kaphas are fond of activities that run on a session basis, especially class type settings. A Kapha’s best bet for exercise: Personal training, Tai Chi, any cardio combination classes that meets their fitness level and meditation.

Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic principles in the body. Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood fl ow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. It’s very important to keep Vata in good balance. A true Vata’s strong points include creativity, enthusiasm, freedom, generosity, joy and vitality. Vatas are the ones with an easier time losing weight and a harder time gaining it. They usually have cold hands and feet and want to be warm and cozy. Vatas like to do things quickly, in short but strong energy bursts. They crave dry, salty and crunchy snacks, and like to keep a varied schedule. Vatas usually have a very imaginative and creative nature. Because of this creativity, Vatas enjoy activities that are creative and variable. Suggested activities include circuit classes, combo type classes, interval train- ing, dance, Kundalina or Vinyasa Yoga and meditation.

Since Ayurveda is based on hundreds of years of study, I find these Doshas to be very accurate, helpful and actually quite fun to use in many areas of life. If you can pinpoint your Dosha tendencies, you can use that information to enhance your chemical, physical, and emotional health.

Notice that all three types have Meditation as a recommended activity. This ancient science promotes meditation to the highest extent since using it centers all three main components to health (chemical, physical and emotional). For a more complete Ayurvedic Dosha Test, visit whatsyourdosha.com. I think you’ll find it quite interesting and very helpful in guiding your lifestyle to fit your personality.


  1. Hello my pitta friend!We are all afcefted by each of the doshas because they pertain to certain principles in the body. For example, vata (air and ether) relates to everything in our body that has to do with movement i.e. physical movement, respiration, excretion, etc. Pitta (fire and water) is the energy of transformation i.e. digestion, metabolism, etc. Kapha (water and earth elements) is about structure in the body i.e. bones, muscle, fat, etc. Where it gets really interesting is that the doshas all relate to certain seasons as well as times of the day. So for instance, summer is pitta season (think fire heat of summer) and a pitta needs to pay special attention to stay balanced during the summer months, a vata during fall/early winter and kapha during late winter/spring.I know it sounds complicated, but if it interests you, check out some of the resources I listed.

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