What's your body type?
Ever thought you couldn't change your body type? Don't let it define you!
Did you know that Ayurveda uses a similar system to the somatotype developed in the 1940s by psychologist William Herbert Sheldon? Although the body types Sheldon described as ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph have remained, his idea that certain other personality traits fit in with these body types was never really accepted in western science. Ayurveda developed some 5,000 years ago had this figured out!
Vata comprised of air + ether is the equivalent to an Ectomorph. The body shape is thin, lean with little muscle. They find it hard to put on weight.
Pitta comprised of fire + water is the equivalent of a Mesomorph. A strong athletic build, with good muscle mass. They build muscle easily.
Kapha comprised of water + earth is equivalent to the Endomorph. A large, solid build with muscle but also prone to store fat.
As it goes in Ayurveda, the same applies to modern science. The Ectomorph (vata) does not easily gain weight, the mesomorph (pitta) can gain and lose weight quite easily and the endomorph (kapha), may struggle with weight issues as they tend to put weight on easily.
In addition to these three shapes, we of course can be a combination of two! Just like with Ayurvedic constitutions. For example a vata/kapha type person, this would be similar to an ectomorph/endomorph, they may exhibit a pear shape body, having narrow small shoulders, but put weight in the hip/bottom area.
So how do we become these types or doshas? Well it is a combination of factors including environment and lifestyle, about 80% is said to be genetic. Certain things like the body's ability to make muscle and storing abdominal fat may be more genetic than other attributes like being thin. That said, our constitution should not entirely define us! You can make changes to your diet and lifestyle and work out routines to balance out the unwanted attributes.
I just love how a 5,000 year old medical system is still so spot on!