Hey, What's Your Dosha? An Ayurvedic Perspective on Dating [by Sarah Lou]

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Ayurvedic tips for dating? Sarah Lou shares a playful take on dating, and what to expect from the Vata, Pitta or Kapha in your love life.

Being mindful of your own universal make-up, or how the Elements are scattered about in your unique being (your Prakruti, as we say in Ayurveda) is like a magic wand for successful dating. The word Prakruti even sounds magical.

Ayurveda offers us a light to guide by, an ancient wisdom, a method of deciphering the mysteries of the human experience and understanding our physical/emotional/mental tendencies. After a little study, it becomes so incredibly rewarding to find harmony with the seasons, times of day, our stages of life and the other people in our lives through the simplest forms of energy found in nature.

The Elements in nature are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. These elements make up everything all around us and inside us. Ayurveda is the “science of life” that helps us understand the patterns and cycles that we are subjected to, and serves to help us strike a balance between our outer and inner elemental landscapes.

Ayurveda groups these elements into doshas, as they appear to “hang out together” in nature. Our unique combination, and the prominence of certain Doshas, makes up our Prakruti.

The Elements break into Doshas:

Air + Ether = Vata Dosha

Fire (+ a little water) = Pitta Dosha

Earth + Water = Kapha Dosha

If you take the time to understand your potential partner’s Prakruti, or their primary dosha, you will set yourself up for much more fulfilling encounters. You’ll have more meaningful conversation, more chance of compatibility, realistic expectations and more magic.

My favorite part about understanding the doshas is that we can begin to see the layered natures of those people in our lives without judgment or desire to change them. We can look past the idiosyncrasies that might have annoyed us and find compassion when things get out of balance. We can also practice great self-love with intuitive guidelines for our uniqueness.

For those of you who know your date’s Prakruti, read on and see some simple tips for dating each Dosha. If you don’t know your date’s or your own unique Doshic makeup yet: take a quiz!

Tips for Dating Vata Types

  • Expect spontaneity, changeability and slight disorder. Plans are malleable to a Vata and timelines are usually minute-by-minute. Don’t be offended or take it too personally if something comes up.
  • Enthusiasm is never in short supply, so learn to read more subtle cues when asking out, suggesting date ideas or asking bigger questions.
  • A Vata’s go-to defense mechanism under stress is, “What did I do wrong?” Try to diffuse worry, fear or anxiety when conflicts arise with leading statements like, “this isn’t your fault…” or “I know you had the best intentions…”
  • Vatas speak quickly and lively and love conversation. First dates where this is possible will be ideal.
  • Vata endurance is the lowest of all the Doshas, so keep exercise moderate and bring snacks, because they tire more easily.
  • Loud or suspenseful movies, music, parties and/or sounds can create discord for Vata types, so more grounding excursions will guarantee that you have a chance at connection.
  • Vatas tend to be dry and cold in nature, so extended periods in harsh weather will most likely result in discomfort. Limit your time outside in cold/windy/arid climates, plan to get warm quickly, nourish with warm beverages and soothing, oily, and cooked foods and bring extra layers.
  • If you do end up sharing a bed later, know that Vata types have difficulty falling asleep, sleeping in new environments, with new stimuli and/or people. Bedtime routines are incredibly important for them to achieve restful sleep. Simply acknowledging this will be huge.
  • Vatas can be serial daters, hopping from one relationship to the next, like hummingbirds. It’s in their nature to be fickle at times and it takes some real commitment from their partners, but you’re guaranteed a relationship filled with variety and excitement if you do.
  • Massage Tip: To get things going use earthy essential oils of Bergamot, Rosewood, and Cinnamon.

Tips for Dating Pitta Types

  • Pitta types are organized, motivated and sometimes particular. Perhaps asking their opinion or giving them the opportunity to suggest a date idea could win you some points.
  • These beings are ruled by the fire element and may get heated if their time is not valued. Making last minute changes or cancellations may not be the first impression of choice.
  • Pitta’s go-to defense mechanism under stress is, “What did you do wrong?”  If you did do something wrong, expect to be called out on it but don’t be offended. It’s just their nature. Remember the first person to defend starts the war—let it slide.
  • Pitta folks tend to think their ideas and methods are superior and to their credit, they usually are. Clear communication and intelligent dialogue is important to them. Passionate debate with an equal is a sure fire way to win their hearts.
  • Pittas burn up and can get cranky if it’s too hot out. Choose times of the day and locales with this in mind. Going out in the evening time and incorporating the water element somehow will be cooling and much appreciated.
  • Outdoor activities offer a fun and competitive element to the date, which Pittas thrive on, are a great way to connect.
  • Pittas have large appetites and quick metabolism so planning a meal into the date will be ideal (especially if it’s somewhere that will appeal to their impeccable sense of feng shui, decor and style).
  • Pitta types date with precision and execution. If you have potential, you may feel the intensity of a tiger stalking her prey. If they realize you’re not right for them, you might be dropped like a hot potato.
  • Massage Tip: To get things going use sensually soothing essential oils of Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Jasmine.

Tips for Dating Kapha Types

  • Kapha types are great listeners and usually don’t chat your ear off unless they have something important to say. This can feel like a one-sided conversation at the beginning. Don’t be insecure about it. Ask some meaningful questions!
  • Kaphas have slower digestion and can feel lethargic at times. Plan outings that will energize and uplift you.
  • Kaphas LOVE to eat. Food is a love affair for them and you can win their hearts by making a home cooked meal with plenty of fresh, light (even raw) ingredients. Don’t forget the chocolate-coconut-chia pudding!
  • They tolerate hot or cold temperatures rather equally, but tend to prefer warm and dry environments and climates. Tune into the weather and suggest activities accordingly.
  • Kaphas tend to be steady and methodical with consistent energy and considerable endurance so distance activities are great for Kapha types (as long as they don’t get overwhelmed).
  • Kapha’s go-to defense mechanism under stress is, “I’m outta here!”  Drama and confrontation will make a Kapha turn on their heels and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Kaphas are devoted, loyal and tend to be long-term relationship folks. Their energy is elephant-like; gradual and meaningful. Getting involved with a Kapha may take some time but once trust is established, you have a goldmine of love and support.
  • Massage Tip: To get things going use uplifting essential oils of Juniper Berry, Pink Grapefruit, or Peppermint.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Try not to diagnose or cast judgment onto your date. No one likes to feel pigeonholed into a certain way of being. Each one of us is totally unique even if we do have dosha-specific tendencies so leave room to see who the person truly is. The playfulness and magical nature of this article hopefully is not meant to undermine the complete scientific nature of Ayurvedic wisdom. For centuries, sages and the masses have used these concepts all over the world. Amazingly, it still has powerful modern relevance. These insights will definitely shine some light on your love life, and I believe, will also make you a much more mindful partner, sibling, parent and friend.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.