Body Constitution (Prakriti)

PRAKRITI (Body Constitution) | Deha – Manas Prakriti (Psychosomatic Constitution)

‘Body Constitution’ (Prakriti) is an individual’s peculiar make of psyche and body. It is described in Ayurveda classics under the name Prakriti. Identification of an individual’s constitution helps in the maintenance and preservation of health, incidence, progress and reversal of pathological changes and cure of a disease.

Prakriti is genetic and an individual inherits psychological traits from the parents. If the factors which help the body to maintain its equilibrium are inadequate, they induce. It is only their quality and quantity which matter. Appropriate quantity and superior quality will generate positive forces in the body and on the other hand, excess or smaller quantity and inferior quality will accelerate the negative forces. For example, a balanced diet is an appropriate quantity necessary will keep up the health and reverse will induce ill health and precipitate several kinds of diseases. Similarly a congenial and conducive environment will protect and promote health and stressful situations will disturb the horfleostasis and is sure to produce endogenous disorders.

The atiyoga (excess), heenayoga (less), and mithyayog (unwholesome) of the requirement under normal circumstances are the root cause of disease process and samyoga (appropriate and wholesome) is the secret of health. Being human is the only similarity but every human being is different from the other in many respects. Ayurveda postulates a classification of human beings based on the characteristics expressed due to the predominance of one or the other somatic doshas. These differences in physical characteristics and psychic behaviour are stated to be neutral to the human beings and this natural difference is termed as Prakriti.

According to Acharya Sushruta, there are seven types of body constitutions by predominance of single doshas, two of the three doshas and an evenly balanced state of three doshas. Whatever vitiation is overpowering at the time of the union of sperm and the egg, the constitution arises because of that. Subject regarding Prakriti’s influence on health has been described in every treatise. Prakriti being genetic does not harm the individuals. The persons having predominance of two doshas are of dual constitution and the person of Sama Prakriti are of triple and balanced constitution and are excellent. Superiority of Sama Prakriti is emphasised as the individuals of other prakriti are said to be prone to diseases, because they could only have a diet and a mode of life which is congenial to their physical constitutions, while those of Sama Prakriti can use any diet article, regimen etc.

The dosha predominant in the body due to Prakriti is vulnerable for aggravations due to seasonal variations and respective physical characteristics. Every person is born with definite constitution which decides his height, body weight, colour of the skin, hair and eyes, pattern of teeth, digestion, sexual power, psychic temperament and level of intelligence (I.Q.) etc. The social status and economic structure are also governed by the virtues of one’s constitution. The defence mechanism and susceptibility to the diseases are also governed by the constitution. This is supposed to be genetic in nature. Health is defined as a state of positive attitudes and not merely freedom from diseases. This state of positive attitudes can be attributed to various influences. Let us classify Prakriti according to the factors and influences concerned depending on the phases of development.

Shukra-Shonit Prakriti

This constitution is named as inherent constitution as it is inherited through the parents and is decided at the moment of conception.

Pratyattna-Niyat Prakriti

This constitution is an individual’s peculiar constitution – the trinity of tridoshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the basis of this constitution.

Matra Ahaar-Bihaar Prakriti

This is the constitution phase modifies by the conduct, the behaviour , the overall influential factors around the expectant in other and her food, her likes and her dislikes. This constitutional phase is modified in utero.

Jati-Prsakta Prakriti

This constitution phase is the after-birth stage.

Desh-Anusarni Prakriti

This constitutional phase is influenced by the region, place and country of an individual.

Kala-Anusarni Prakriti

This constitutional phase is influenced by ‘time’ and the effect of the state of the stars of that time.

Kula-Prasakta Prakriti

This constitutional phase is influenced by the ancestors’ status.

Vaya-Anusarni Prakriti

This constitutional phase is influenced by the age of an individual.

Ritu-Anusarni Prakriti

This constitutional phase is influenced by the seasonal and environmental factors.