Dosha Body Constitution as per Ashtanga Hridaya

By Dr. Regina Antony
Prakriti refers to the body constitution of an individual based on Dosha predominance in his body. References on Prakruti according to Acharya Vagbhata is explained in Ashtanga Hridaya Shareera Sthana 3rd chapter.

Read related – Dosha Body Type Features As Per Master Sushruta (Prakriti Lakshana)

Vata body type features

(Ashtanga Hridaya Shareera Sthana 3/85-89) –
Sputitha dhusara kesha gatra – Vata prakriti persons have cracked and greyish tinged body parts. The hairs will be dry, rough, grey and with split ends.
Sheeta dwesha – they have aversion to cold things
They are fickle-minded, have inconsistent memory and knowledge, unstable movements and inconsistent friendships.
Chala dristi gati – Excessive movement of eye. Vata individuals cannot keep their eyes fixed at one point.
Bahu pralapa – they talk excessively and often irrelevantly, mainly due to poorly organised thinking process
Alpa vitha – Vata persons are less wealthy, they cannot store money and wealth for long period of time.
Alpa bala – Vata individuals have weak strength and immunity.
Alpa jeevitha – their life expectancy is less. They live for lesser number of years.
Alpa nidra – Vata individual sleeps less and keeps himself busy in some activities.
Sanna saktha vacha – they have low pitch voice.
Chala vacha – Vata person talks fast and often incoherently.
Jarjara vacha – Hoarseness of voice.
Nastika – Vata persons are atheists. They do not believe in the existence of God.
Bahubhuja – they eat frequently.
Savilasa – they have childish behaviour, they don’t take things seriously.
Geetha – they love music
Hasa – they have good sense of humour, they laugh frequently
Mrugaya – Vata persons love hunting and gambling
Madhura amla patu ushna satmya – they are habituated to sweet, sour, salty foods. These three tastes balance Vata dosha. As a counter mechanism against a dominant Vata dosha, they like sweet and sour foods.
Ushna satmya – they like hot foods and hot weather conditions. Coldness is a Vata quality and thus to control Vata Dosha, Vata persons naturally tend to like hotness.
Krusha akruti – they have a lean body
Deergha akrati – tall built
Sashabda yatha – while they walk, their joints make cracking sound. Cushioning between the joints is provided by Kapha dosha. In a Vata person Kapha dosha is less. So there is lack of sufficient cushioning between the joints. Hence the cracking joint sounds while walking. They also make loud stepping sound while walking.
Na drudha – Vata individuals lack firmness in their body, joints and also in their thinking process and decisions.
Na jitendriya – Vata persons do not have good control over their sense organs. That is why their eye movement is fast and they speak excessively.
Na arya – they are impolite and unworthy
Kaanta na dayitha  – they are disliked by women
Na bahupraja – they have less number of children
Their eyes are dry, brownish in colour, circular, unattractive and similar to the eyes of the dead. The eyes are dull and lack lustre.
Unmilithaniva – when they sleep, the eyes are half closed.
Vata persons dream about travelling through mountains, trees and skies.
Adhanya – ungrateful
Mathsara – jealous
Sthena – stealing tendency
Prodbhadha pindika – prominent calf muscles due to thin fat covering and lean muscles and bones.
Master Vagbhata compares features of Vata prakriti with dog, jackal, camel, eagle, rat and crow.
Read related – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Vata Dosha Body Type

Pitta body type features

(Ashtanga Hriday Shareer Sthan 3/90-95)

Master Vagbhata explains that Pitta is born out of fire. Hence Pitta prakriti persons have teekshna agni (very strong digestive strength).
Tikshna trushna bubhuksha – They have good hunger and thirst
Gouranga – Pitta individuals have fair skin complexion
Ushnanga –  body parts are warm to touch
Tamra hastangrivakra – Pitta people have coppery reddish tinge in hands and legs
Shoora – they are courageous
Maani – Pitta persons are well respected and honoured
Pinga kesha –  they have brown hairs
Alpa roma – less body hairs
Dayitha maalya – Pitta person likes to wear garlands, he likes perfumes
Sucharitha – Pitta prakriti persons have good character
Shuchi – they like cleanliness, they are very hygienic.
Ashritha vatsala – they are kind and affectionate towards the people on whom they are dependent
Vibhava – they have a powerful mind
Sahasa buddhi – they have an adventurous mind
Balanvitha – they have a strong mind
Bheesha gati – intimidating character – In an argument, a Pitta person is very dominant and aggressive
Medhavi – intelligent
Prashithila sandhi bandhana mamsa – The joints and muscles in a Pitta prakruti individual are loose. The joints lack firmness and strength.
Narinam anabhimato – They are not very fond of women
Alpa shukra kama – They possess less reproductive tissue and sexual desire
Avasa palita taranga nilika – early graying of hair, wrinkled skin with numerous moles.
Madhura kashaya tikta – liking towards sweet, bitter and astringent food stuffs. (These three tastes balance Pitta dosha)
Sheetha – Pitta individuals like coolant foods, season and places.
Gharma dweshi – dislike towards hot weather and hot food stuffs because fire element is naturally dominant in them.
Swedana – Pitta individual sweats more
Puti gandha – Pitta person emits bad body odour
Pitta body type people excrete more quantity of urine and stool. This is due to high digestion strength, strong hunger and thirst and high rate of metabolism.
Krodha – They are short tempered and get irritated quickly
They eat and drink in large quantities. This is because of very strong digestion strength.
Irsha – They are usually jealous, impatient and envious.
Master Vagbhat explains that Pitta persons dream of golden shower tree, palasha flowers (flame of the forest), forest fire, meteors, lightening, thunder bolts, bright sun rays and fire.
Eyes are small, brown and unstable, eyelashes are thin and scanty.
They seek cold comfort for eyes (They wash their eyes with cold water repeatedly).
Their eyes turn red very quickly by anger, drinking wine and exposure to sunlight.
Pitta body type person has
Madhyayusha – moderate life span
Madhyabala – moderate strength
Panditha – They are wise and learned people
Klesha bhirava – They cannot tolerate grief, they are sensitive persons
Master Vagbhata compares Pitta body type personality with tiger, bear, monkey, cat, Yaksha etc.
Read related – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Pitta Dosha Body Type

Kapha body type features

(Reference – Ashtanga Hrudaya Sharira Sthana 3/96-103)

Master Vagbhata explains that Kapha is Soma i.e. moon-like, cold and mild.
Due to this, Kapha persons usually have
Goodha Sandhi – Joints are less prominent and deep seated. They are well protected and covered by tendons and ligaments.
Snigdha shlishta sandhi – Joints are well oiled and well differentiated.
Snigdha shlishta asthi mamsa – Bones and muscles of a Kapha person are strong, bulky and well developed.
Kapha persons are not affected by excess hunger (kshut), thirst (trut), grief (klesha).
Gharmaih atapta – they can tolerate excess heat (Kapha is cold in nature due to predominance of earth and water elements).
Buddhiyuktha – they are intelligent,
Satvika – possess good thoughts and good knowledge. Kapha prakriti persons are well mannered.
Sathyasandha – truthful
Their complexion can be compared to Priyangu – beauty berry (Callicarpa macrophylla), Durva – bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), Shara grass (Saccharum munja), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), sharp weapons (shastra), cow bile (Gorochana), lotus (padma) and gold (suvarna).
Pralamba bahu – Kapha individuals have long arms.
Prithupeena vaksha – They have big elevated chest with strong pectoralis muscle
Maha lalata – wide forehead,
Ghana nila kesha – thick and long hair,
Mrudvanga – soft body parts,
Sama deha – symmetrical, well balanced body with right amounts of bones, muscles and fat tissues.
Suvibhaktha deha – well rounded and demarcated body parts
Charu deha – attractive physique
Bahu oja – strong immunity
Ati rasa – Rasa dhatu (nutritive fluid) is highly dominant in a Kapha person so they have very well nourished body tissues.
Ati shukra, ati putra – Kapha persons have highly active reproductive tissues and good number of offsprings.
Ati bhrutya – They are rich and have numerous helpers
Dharmatma – Kapha persons are righteous. They follow rules and regulations strictly.
Na nishturam – They do not speak harsh words. They can keep secrets for long.
Drudam chiram ca vairyam – Enmity can also last long in Kapha persons.
Their gait is compared to that of an elephant – slow, steady gait with well calculated steps.
Their voice sounds like roar of clouds, oceans, drum and roar of lion. They have a strong and deep voice.
Smritiman – Kapha person possesses good memory
Abhiyogavan – He puts persistent efforts in achieving his passion despite difficulties or failures.
Vineeta – They are humble in nature, with good behaviour
Na ca balye apyati rodana – Kapha body type people do not weep. Even in childhood they weep less Na lolah – they are not greedy
They are fond of bitter (tikta), astringent (kashaya), spicy (katu), hot (ushna), dry (ruksha) foods and consumes small quantities of food. (These qualities and tastes are naturally Kapha alleviating in nature)
The eyes of Kapha personality are
Raktanta – red at the angles,
Susnigdha – unctuous,
Vishala – wide,
Deerga – long,
Suvyakta shukla asita pakshma laksha – dimensionally proportionate with beautiful sclera and cornea. Eyelashes are abundant, thick and long.
Alpa vyahara – Kapha persons speak less,
Alpa krodha – they don’t feel angry very frequently and
Alpa ashana – take less amount of food and liquids.
Prajyayurvitta – They have long life expectancy and they are wealthy.
Deerghadarshi – they are endowed with foresight
Vadanya – liberal, eloquent, speaking kindly
Shradha – they are pious, they have faith in God and they do a lot of charity.


Gambhira – They are dignified, noble and respect-worthy
Sthula lakshya – They are very ambitious and strive to achieve their goal
Kshamavan – they have a forgiving nature
Aarya – Kapha body type people are wise, noble and respectable
Nidralu – they sleep for long hours. Sleep is naturally influenced by Kapha dosha. While sleeping, the body is inactive and stable. Stability and immobility are characteristics of Kapha dosha. Hence, Kapha person prefers to sleep more and is usually slow in movements.
Deerghasutra – they have procrastinating nature and are slow and methodical in their activities
Kruthajna – They are very grateful. Kapha persons have very good memory so they remember the people who help them during tough times.
Ruju – Kapha individuals are straightforward.
Vipashchith – knowledgeable and experts in their profession.
Su bhaga – they have a pleasant face
Su lajja – they are shy and meek
Bhaktho gurunam – Kapha prakriti person respects teachers and elders
Sthira sauhruda – they maintain stable and long lasting friendships
Kapha body type people dreams of water reservoirs full of lotuses, water birds and clouds.
Kapha body personality is compared to God Brahma, Rudra, Indra, Varuna, Taarkshya, Garuda. These ancient Hindu characters have all the Kapha features explained above.
Kapha traits are also compared to animals like swan, elephant, lion, horse, cow and ox.
Read related – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

According to Sarvanga Sundari commentary on Ashtanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 3/83,
The seven types of Prakriti are born out of the dominant Dosha(s) in the body.
The dominant Dosha(s) express their features in the person by suppressing the submissive Dosha.

In the dual Dosha combination Prakriti, the dual Dosha features are clearly manifested and third Dosha features are rarely seen in such a person. (Ashtanga Hridaya Shareera Sthana 3/104)
Read related – Prakriti – Dosha Body Type Features As Per Master Charaka

Ideal Prakriti


The dual Dosha combination is not considered ideal but the three Dosha combination, with all three Doshas in perfect balance, is considered as very healthy and ideal.
The definition of health is, all the three Doshas in perfect balance. In a Tridosha balanced Prakriti, there is no chance of aggravation of any Doshas and thus person’s Doshas will not aggravate with causative factor. Thus Tridosha balanced prakriti, also called Sama Dhatu Prakriti enjoys best of health, immunity and longevity.
Read related – Prakriti – Ayurveda Body Types, Importance In Treatment And Remedies

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