Prakruti versus Vikruti in Ayurveda and Why Online Dosha Quizzes Can Be Misleading and Confusing
Are you confused about an online dosha quiz? Do you get different results from different quizzes? That’s not surprising!
While online dosha quizzes can be helpful to get you started on your Ayurvedic path, they can also lead you in the wrong direction, if you’re trying to self-treat, possibly leading you to purchase herbs, eat foods, or perform practices that will cause you to make your imbalance or health challenge worse. Yikes!
Online quizzes often don’t distinguish between your original constitution (your prakruti) – how you came into the world – and your current state or current imbalance (your vikruti) – what you need to work on to feel better right now.
They’re not the same thing. Everyone has a unique prakruti, or original constitution. You can tell what this is largely by looking at each individual facial feature (nose, eyes, lips, facial shape, etc.), your bone structure, your skin thickness, the natural state of your hair, your fingers and palm shapes, your tongue structure, as well as your longterm digestive and psychological tendencies. While most of those physical features don’t really change throughout our lifetime, our digestive and psychological tendencies CAN. So when you’re taking these quizzes, it’s important to know whether the quiz is asking about how you’ve been most of your life or what’s going on right now.
And when one or more of these things has been out of balance for a long time, they can start to look like your “original constitution” – it’s hard to remember a time when you weren’t anxious or you weren’t constipated, etc. So those long term symptoms could be part of your natural constitution. For instance, if you have a lot of vata in your original constitution, you will have a tendency to have constipation and anxiety. If you have a lot of pitta in your original constitution, you will have a tendency to have diarrhea and anger. HOWEVER, ANY of the doshas can go out of balance, no matter what your original nature is. In fact, so many people approach the dosha quiz and answer lots of questions that might make them think they have a lot of kapha dosha. They answer the questions by saying they’re overweight, have a hard time losing weight, and have a lot of fatigue and tiredness. While these point to a kapha imbalance, in my experience, these symptoms arise because of VATA dosha. When we do too much, work too much, take on too much, diet and exercise inconsistently (doing too much deprivation in our diets and too much intensity in our exercises…and then burnout), we end up depleted. And since our minds reflect our bodies, our minds are left incapable of processing new ideas, yet they often are still full of anxiety and worry, when we try to rest our bodies (like in sleep). Our bodies often try to “ground” us when we won’t, so we’re drawn to comfort and stability through food—and often overeating. After all the dieting and overexertion and overdoing and multitasking, it’s likely our thyroids and metabolisms are burnt out too…no wonder we gain weight. The problem with identifying with kapha (instead of the underlying cause of your weight gain or fatigue, which is actually vata), is that you might then take it upon yourself to try to balance out kapha. And what balances out true kapha? Movement, heat, sweating, change, “shaking it up,” fasting, raw foods, lots of spices that dry out the body. Do you see the problem? This is the opposite of what vata needs (rest, hydration, routine, nourishing foods, slower movement, etc.). So you’re going to worsen your imbalance, perhaps feeling energized at first but then depleted again in the end…and probably gaining some more weight in the meantime.
So it’s important that, before you decide on a course of action when you have a health challenge or perceived imbalance that you’d like to use Ayurvedic medicine to work on, that you consult a qualified and trained practitioner to give you an assessment of your prakruti (original nature) and vikruti (what’s out of balance now) so that you can move forward with the right advice and the right tools to heal. It’s an investment, but if you bypass seeking out the help of an expert, you’ll end up spending more time, effort, and money on what could be the exact opposite of what you really need. So let me know if I can help you by scheduling an initial consultation either in-person for Ayurveda Salt Lake City or virtually, or point you to another qualified practitioner in your area!
Meghan Hays is an Ayurvedic Practitioner in Salt Lake City Utah. To schedule an appointment or ask for more information about Ayurveda Salt Lake City, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer; Meghan Hays is not a medical doctor nor is she a licensed health professional in any state. Meghan Hays is trained and certified through the California College of Ayurveda as an Ayurvedic Doctor (aka Medical Ayurvedic Specialist) an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen. Terms and Conditions: 1. Cancelation Policy: There is a 24-hour cancelation policy for all services. No refunds will be given for cancelations or reschedules less than 24 hours before scheduled appointment time. In scheduling and paying for this service, you agree to the 24-hour cancelation policy. 2. Expiration: All services and packages expire 6 months from date of purchase, after which no refunds will be given. 3. Refunds: Refunds will be given, if requested before the 6-month expiration date. Any services used will be deducted at FULL price from the total price of the package, minus any credit card processing fees. The remaining balance will be refunded to your original payment method. 4. Payment in Advance: All services must be paid for in advance. First-time services must be paid for 48 hours in advance; services thereafter must be paid for 24 hours in advance.