Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding your character's Dosha

For those of you who don't know, my mom is a yoga teacher. She knows a lot about traditional yoga practices and Buddhist/Hindu beliefs. When I was young, she had my sister and I take a test to determine our dosha, which is a mind-body type derived from certain kinds of energy. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. While most people have a mixture of the different doshas, there tends to be one or two that predominate in our bodies and demeanors. Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system native to India. In the ayurvedic system, it is believed that determining your dosha, or your prevalent energy, can help you develop a healthy lifestyle specific to your body type.

I am a Vata-Pitta, like my mother, meaning Vata and Pitta energy are more prominent in my body than Kapha energy. Vatas tend to be thin and small of frame, with cold skin, dry hair, and joints that crack easily. They may be light sleepers and possess energetic demeanors. Pittas have medium frames, and find it easy to gain/lose weight when they set their minds to it. They are purposeful and good at turning their ideas into reality. The three doshas tend to react differently to stressful situations; Vatas become anxious and worried, Pittas are irritable, and Kaphas grow depressed and withdrawn. In this case, I'm definitely a Vata. I get unnecessarily worried about things I can't control whenever my life is hectic.

Anyways, I thought this might be an interesting way to help develop characters. I always try to view my characters through a multitude of different perspectives. It gives me a more rounded understanding of their thoughts, actions, and emotions. Why not try looking at your protagonist through the lens of Indian medicine? This Dosha Quiz is a quick and simple way to determine your character's predominant dosha. After identifying the dosha(s), it will give you lists of foods this person may enjoy, both when they're healthy and when they're unhealthy (you are "unhealthy" when your dosha energy is out of balance), and ways they might react to certain situations.

Just some food for thought. There's no such thing as too much characterization, so if you've got time, check it out. And let me know how it works :).


  1. how interesting, I'm going to check out the quiz. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! Definitely checking out the quiz now! :)

  3. That is so interesting! I may have to check out that quiz.

  4. Hi there!

    I just wanted to let you know that I left you awards over at my blog!!

    Pop on over and get em' :)