It’s the key to a happy, balanced life, according to the ancient healing system Ayurveda. Take our quiz to find out yours. You may be surprised!
I see the world through the lens of the doshas,’ says Sahara Rose, an expert in alternative medicine and a big deal in modern spiritual circles. ‘Dosha’, she explains, means ‘energy’ in Sanskrit and is a key element of the ancient Indian wellbeing system Ayurveda, which aims to balance mind, body and consciousness.
‘Doshas are the three energy types each person is said to have and which govern our mind and body,’ says the 30-year-old, whose podcast Highest Self is the number one spirituality podcast on iTunes with more than 25 million downloads. ‘After spending years researching Ayurveda, I realised that they can tell us about so much more than just our health.’
Sahara explores this in her latest self-help book Discover Your Dharma, which has a foreword by new-age icon Deepak Chopra. The word ‘dharma’ is Sanskrit for ‘destiny’ and, according to Sahara, ‘our dosha can determine our destiny’. A pretty bold statement, but Sahara insists that knowing your dosha will help you live a more meaningful life. Each of the three doshas – called Vata, Pitta and Kapha – is based on a combination of the elements: air, space, fire, water and earth. To keep it simple, think of the doshas by their primary characteristic: Vata = Air; Pitta = Fire; Kapha = Earth.
Each of us is born with a mixture of all three doshas, says Sahara. But our primary dosha offers us the exact strengths, interests and talents that we need to fulfil our destiny. Curious? Then why not take Sahara’s quiz and find out what yours is…
Which dosha are you?
Answer these questions by choosing the option that best sums you up.
- What are your strengths?
a My creativity and ability to think outside the box.
b Dedication and ability to make things happen, taking my vision into the world.
c My sensitivity and compassion. I can sense exactly how someone is feeling.
- I’m great at…
a Beginning projects, creating visions, crafting words, inventing ideas.
b Taking an idea to action, creating solutions and profit, having an impact.
c Inviting people to open up to me, being sensitive to people’s triggers, making a beautiful home.
- In times of stress I become…
a Anxious, overwhelmed and try to run away.
b Impatient, irritated and I sometimes snap. The frustration really gets to me.
c Sad and suppress my emotions, causing me to comfort eat and withdraw.
- I feel happiest when I’m…
a Creating, travelling, daydreaming, making art.
b Leading, making money, building my business, sharing my mission and making an impact.
c Connecting deeply, relaxing, spending time with people I love, making meals.
- As a child I could be found…
a Drawing, playing with my imaginary friends, performing, dressing up.
b Running around outside, playing sports, winning in board games, climbing trees.
c Playing house, taking care of animals or dolls, talking to friends for hours, reading.
- People come to me when they need help…
a Coming up with creative ideas.
b With specific solutions.
c With personal issues.
- Which career sounds most appealing to you?
a Author, artist, spiritual teacher, inventor, fashion or graphic designer, astrologer.
b Entrepreneur, CEO, motivational speaker, fitness professional, lawyer, doctor.
c Life coach, therapist, chef, interior designer, teacher, energy worker.
Now, work out whether you answered mostly As, Bs or Cs.
Now learn how it can shape your future
By discovering which dosha you are, you can harness your strengths and identify any areas of weakness. We classify ourselves by our primary and secondary doshas. For example, you may be a Vata-Kapha or a Pitta-Kapha, but you are a combination of all three doshas in varying amounts. One may be prevalent, or all three may be close to equal.
MOSTLY As: your primary dosha is Vata
This is the energy of air: quick, fast-moving, unpredictable, cold.
You are a creative, artistic, idealistic visionary who thinks outside the box. You are always coming up with new ideas and are a real trendsetter. You require a lot of freedom because you are constantly changing and reinventing yourself. Find outlets for your creativity in teaching, writing, art or music.
Watch out for starting new projects but not finishing them because another one comes along. One day you’re passionate about something, the next you’re over it. You might struggle with commitment and putting in the work. With air flowing through your mind, your thoughts can spiral, leaving you anxious, overwhelmed and prone to insomnia.
Your destiny is to bring inspiration, art and/or beauty into this world. You have creativity in your veins and thrive on having several things on the go, so sign up for as many classes as you can. Try art, learning a musical instrument or mastering a new culinary skill. You’re a leader, so don’t be afraid to try something new, even radically so. Vatas often end up turning their hobby into a career.
MOSTLY Bs: your primary dosha is Pitta
This is the fire energy: sharp, transformational, direct, hot and feisty.
You are ambitious, determined, entrepreneurial and organised. You know what you want and how to get it. You are a natural leader, adept at getting ideas off the ground. As a Pitta, you are dedicated to making positive change in this world. You put your money where your mouth is, and the money often keeps growing because of it.
Watch out for your temper. With all this fire energy, you can sometimes snap. Pittas can be impatient, judgmental or bossy and must work on going with the flow. It can be hard for you to switch off and take a rest. Your quest for perfection can cause you to take on too much, leading to burnout, irritability and agitation.
Your destiny is to bring great ideas and innovations to life so they can have an impact while being profitable. Pittas are planners and the ultimate organisers. You thrive on challenge, structure and a clear sense of direction. Use your skills to get involved in law, finance, sport, politics or local community groups and charities. Balance your competitive instincts with meditation, gentle walks and activities without goals or measures of performance.
MOSTLY Cs: your primary dosha is Kapha
This is the energy of earth: grounded, anchored, slow, cool.
You are empathic, loving, humorous, giving and good-natured. You live for deep, meaningful connections. It’s normal for someone to tell you secrets they haven’t shared before, and you are the one friends come to when in need. You enjoy cooking, crafting or designing, and add personal details that touch people’s hearts. Kaphas are excellent coaches, therapists, customer service specialists, HR directors, teachers and nurses.
Watch out for giving others so much that you end up having nothing left for yourself. You often say yes when you mean no. You can get stuck in your comfort zone and focus completely on your daily responsibilities, but it’s important to set boundaries, try something new, take a risk and shake things up a bit.
Your destiny is to connect with people. Kaphas are the born grandmothers of the world. You love working with your hands, so try cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening – or take a painting class. Better yet, use this as an excuse to gather a group of friends together. Kaphas have a tendency towards sluggishness, so light exercise or stretching first thing will help. Set yourself regular mental challenges, such as mastering a new skill or puzzle-solving.
Discover Your Dharma: A Vedic Guide to Finding Your Purpose by Sahara Rose is published by Hay House, price £12.99*.
*To order a copy for £11.43 until 7 February, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on order over £15.