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2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda



The Three Personality


Types of Ayurveda
By Azriel ReShel on Sunday February 12th, 2017 RELATED

8835 tell



Ancient Wisdom Surpassing Modern
The study of the psyche has long been a major
aspect of Western Psychology, and individual
differences in thinking, feeling and behaving
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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

have fascinated psychologists, who have come up

Scientists Find
with various personality types. However, these
Evidence of a
personality types dont seem to be so universally
applicable. Perhaps we need to look toa more Universe Inside
ancient system to explain personality. Brain
The sages of India, many centuries ago, taught
the practice of Ayurveda, a health and healing
system that treats the mind, body, senses and
spirit. Ayurveda is about nding balance; it is a
practice that allows us to recognize subtle
energies, or doshas, that make each one of us
Seven Question
unique. In Ayurvedic wisdom, personality types
Restart Love
are also discussed, but unlike Psychology
which is largely based on behavior their
understanding comes from two important

In the Ayurvedic System

of Medicine, the type of
personality has been
determined from two angles.
Physiological and
Solutions for S

Psychological, as body and Evid
mind are very close to each a
other. Brain, nervous system Mul
and hormonal secretion from Univ
different glands in uence Insi
persons mental makeup. The Brai
ancient Indian medical men
observed persons
temperament, personality trait
and personality construct.
Rudrani Mukherjee


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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda


1 Lao Tzus
Rules for

2 Six
Ayurveda is a traditional healing system that
treats the mind, body, senses and spirit.
Because Ayurveda has constructs that are People
elemental and based in physiology as well as Think are
psychology, it provides a far more globally valid Toxic
system of determining personality. But it is not
just an ancient system used for maintaining good
health, it can also help us balance our 3 Six
Habits of
personality aws and enhance our positive Highly
The Three Gunas People

Writing in the Indian Journal of Traditional

Knowledge, Mukherjee says that three qualities 4 6 Qigong
mentioned in Samkhya philosophy, known as the for
gunas,are the basis of
psychologicalclassi cation. These are then
divided into subtypes, and there are whole
treatises written about these different

personality types in the well known medical
treatise of ancient India.The three mental
attributes, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas correspond to
Truth of
the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, that
make up the physical constitution. According to
the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the three Causes
gunas provide the basis for distinctions in Addiction
temperament and psychological make-up, as well
as moral disposition.

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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

Ayurveda provides a
special language for
understanding the primal forces
of Nature and shows us how to
work with them on all levels.
According to Yoga and
Ayurveda, Nature consists of
three primal qualities, which
are the main powers of Cosmic
Intelligence that determine our
spiritual growth. These are
called gunas in Sanskrit,
meaning what binds because
wrongly understood they keep
us in bondage to the external
world. David Frawley, Vedic

The energy of Kali is Tamas, Lakshmi is Rajas,

and Sarasvati is Sattva.

These three gunas are tamas (darkness), rajas

(activity), and sattva (beingness). The basic
attributes of Sattva are purity, compassion, love,
clarity, harmony, understanding and essential
goodness. Rajas is characterized by passion,
action, confusion, extraversion, aggression, and
sensuality, while tamas is described as inertia,
laziness, ignorance, heaviness and dullness.

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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

All three gunas are always present in all beings,

and objects surrounding us, but vary in their
relative amounts.The gunas show our mental
and spiritual state through which we can
measure our propensity for psychological

We each have these three qualities of the mind in

varying degrees and will have a predominant
guna, which informs the way in which we see the
world and also determines the type of person we
will become.The psychological qualities of our
mind are unstable, so this means we will switch
between the different gunas with every different
situation we nd ourselves in.

By adjusting lifestyle, exercise, and diet as

based on analysis of the gunas and the particular
doshas present Ayurvedic wisdom can assist in
modifying behavior and personality.

The Three Doshas

The ancient seers of India created the system of
Ayurveda thousands of years ago. These rishis as
they were called, believed there are three
principal energies governing the entire cosmos.
These energies are referred to as doshas and are
present in every single living and non-living

So while we are all made up of the same ve

elements: earth, re, air, water, and space, we are

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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

each entirely unique, due to the concentration of

the energies we are made up of. Ayurveda
believes that there are three energies operating
in the universe or cosmos: the binding energy
Kapha, the energy of transformation Pitta and
the energy of movement Vata.

The Ayurvedic doshas describe our personality

and body types.

Along with the gunas, the three elements of Vata,

Pitta, and Kapha, with their corresponding
elemental constituencies, make up the
personality. The combination of these three
doshas can create seven kinds of personality
types. Also known as mind-body types, the
doshas express unique blends of physical,
emotional, and mental characteristics.

Self-Knowledge and Dosha Personalities

Each dosha has a different quality, with an
associated element, and each person has all
three doshas, but in varying proportions.

The Vata Dosha is made up of space and air, the

elements that are associated with motion. Vata
governs blood circulation, breathing, our
heartbeat, the movement of our thoughts from
one direction to another; along with the
movement of food in the body. People with a
predominance of Vata will be quick, vibrant,
dynamic, creative and airy. On the negative, all
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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

this movement could make a Vata person

indecisive, stressed and ungrounded.

Woody Allen is a prime example of the tall, slim,

fast-talking, impulsive, creative Vata type.

Kapha is the combination of earth and water

elements. It is sticky, oily and heavy and keeps
things together. Kapha keeps our cells together
and our body in a shape. Kapha personalities are
languid, calm, and kind, but on the negative side,
could be prone to lethargy, heaviness, and

The Pitta dosha is composed mainly of re, with

some water, and is transformative. It makes up
the digestive re in our bodies, transforming food
into nutrients. Pitta people are ery, focused,
determined, con dent, aggressive, and when out
of balance can be dictatorial, and easily angered.

Pitta types are typically focused, charismatic,

passionate, and make great leaders.

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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

There are three primary doshic states: balanced

where all three doshas are in
equilibriumIncreased where a particular dosha
is in excess andDecreased where one dosha is
in a depleted state. We are each predominantly
one dosha, with slightly less of another dosha, RELATED
and less again of the remaining one. So you may
be Vata-Pitta, for example, in which case Vata
would be the most dominant, followed by Pitta,
and a little Kapha. or Kapha-Pitta. Some people
may even be tri-doshic, meaning they have all
three doshas in equal amounts, but this is
What can the
You can use this dosha quizto nd out more Enneagram tell
about your doshas. about your Per

Using Ayurveda to Create Harmony

The Ancient Sc
Balancing the most subtle qualities of nature, the Ayurveda
gunas, and the corresponding doshas, is a
wonderful and holistic way to regulate
personality. It teaches that we can equalize Warrior to Pilg
challenging aspects and calm those irksome
Satish Kumars
personality traits; while growing more positive
aspects of ourselves to enhance overall
wellbeing. It can also provide an insight into
those around us.

Understanding the personalities of your family

members and close friends, from an ayurvedic
perspective, can help you to be more
compassionate when relating to them. For these
reasons, the Ayurvedic system of personalities is
an excellent way to engender greater empathy
and peace in the world.

Read Next: The Ancient Science of Ayurveda

How do you feel about this article? Join the


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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

Azriel ReShel
Writer, Editor, Yoga Teacher &
Healing Facilitator

Join the Campaign to Build a More

Compassionate World.



the yoga


Atreya. Perfect balance: Ayurveda nutrition for mind, body, and
soul. New York: Avery, 2001. Print
Lad, Vasant. Ayurveda: the science of self-healing: a practical
guide. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press, 1984. Print.

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4 Responses to The Three Personality Types of

Dawn Tardif says:

February 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Azriel, I am wondering where you got your image of

the three woman representing the doshas from.
Would you kindly tell me.


Azriel ReShel says:

February 13, 2017 at 9:47 am

Hi Dawn, we were unable to nd the

original image to credit it. If you nd it let
us know so we can credit the artist.


Frank Burton says:

February 23, 2017 at 2:32 am

I nd the ayurveda system unclear and overly

complicated. On the other hand the Chinese
philosophy of yin and yang makes perfect sense to
me, as well as their systems of healing and
balancing the human body and mind.


Mira Purn says:

March 7, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Nice introduction. Though I would point out that the

explanation of the gunas and the goddesses
symbolizing them has a small mistake. Lakshmi is
the embodiment of sattva, while Saraswati is
associated with rajas, rather than the reverse.
(Sometimes the color they wear can be confusing.)
This is further con rmed when we know that
Saraswati is the energy aspect of Brahma (Creation =

rajas) and Lakshmi is the energy aspect of Vishnu

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20.09.2017 The Three Personal ty Types of Ayurveda

(Maintenance / Existence = sattva).


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