Getting to understand your Prakrti.

Getting to understand your Prakrti.


We say that the Prakrti of a person is determined at the time of conception.

 Many things contribute to the Pakrti.

From a Science view, a new life starts when the sperm meets the ovum. The genetic material in the sperm combines with the genetic material in the egg to create a new cell that starts dividing rapidly to eventually become a fetus, this is the moment of conception.

If we look at the conception from an Ayurvedic point of view, every person has all three doshas (physical humors – vata, pitta, kapha) and trigunas (psychological qualities - Satwa, Rajas, Tamas) in different proportions.

We can intuitively expect the sperm will carry the 5 elements from the father – in different proportion as per father’s Doshas - Pkrti); the ovum (mother egg) will carry the 5 elements in a proportion based on the mother’s Dosha - Pakrti.   

Depending upon the predominance of the five basic elements, three doshas and mental qualities in sperm (Shukra) and ovum (Shonita) at the time of conception, the individual Prakruti is decided.

You could think of this as a genetic combination.

This combination of Parents Pakrti determines the physiological balance and constitution of the individual which is called as Prakruti in Ayurveda.

However, Prakruti is also described to be influenced by maternal factors including the intra-uterine environment, diet and regimen adopted by the mother during pregnancy (Matur Ahara Vihara), time, season and location, and there are also Karmic ties in ones Prakriti.

This basic constitution {Pakrti} which is fixed at the time of fertilization generally remains constant throughout the life of that individual.

Why is it difficult to determine your own Pakrti or even Vikrti?

Have you heard that a Doctor shouldn’t diagnose him/herself? This is very much the same with Ayurveda. |When you try to figure out your own Ayurvedic constitution, some of the questions in the Pakrti test are better answered by an observer that can be more objective (impartial) then our self.

Sometimes something happened early on in life (sometimes even when still in the womb) that has brought an imbalance from very young; hence when you look at your history during the Pakrti test you can’t see a time when you were in balance and it might be difficult to find out your Dosha constitution, Pakrti.

What you can see, however, is your tendency, what is more frequently out of balance (maybe you always get excess mucous - Kapha, often with high temperature – Pitta,  or very dry skin, somewhat dry even when you were little - Vata, etc.) , this will give you an idea of your dominant Dosha in your Pakrti too.

How do you know for sure?

There are other ways to determine your Pakrti (and Vikrti), this is part of the Ayurvedic examination process:

– darshana or direct observation i.e. tongue diagnosis, physical appearance etc,
– sparsana or touch i.e. pulse diagnosis. 
– prasana or questioning which can be verbal or in the form of a written questionnaire.

The Ayurvedic diagnostic tool used by Ayurvedic practitioners has eightfold:

Asta Sthana Rogi Pariksha (Eight- fold examination of the patient)

Nadi Pariksha (Pulse Study)

Mutra Pariksha (Examination of Urine)

Mala Pariksha (Stool Examination)

Jihwa Pariksha (Tongue Examination)

Shabda Pariksha  (listening to bodily and vocal sounds)

Sparsha Pariksha (Skin Examination - touch)

Drig Pariksha (Eye Examination)

akruti (the person’s overall appearance and gait).

This is just to say that the determination of one’s Pakrti, Vikrti, and diagnosis of imbalances and disease is quite a complex subject, hence an Ayurvedic practitioner will have to study many years, just like a doctor in modern medicine does.

In modern medicine, you can make simple judgments, however, for a more complex situation,  will require a doctor.

Think the same way with Ayurveda, while you can simply understand the Doshas, and make simple adjustments to lifestyle, a complex situation (condition, illness) will require a deeper understanding of the Ayurvedic system like an Ayurvedic consultant and practitioner.  

Raffaella is a certified Ayurvedic Nutritionist, Wellbeing consultant. She offers regular workshops and courses as well as consultations