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Understand your doshas at work

In Ayurveda, the five elements that are found in all living things—ether, air, fire, water, and earth—are the building blocks of life. While this foundation unites all humans and being on this Earth, the manifestation of those elements through the doshas (= mind-body characteristics) is what gives rise to our different constitutions.

In this article I help you better understand yourself and your body-mind characteristics and identify what environment and career are aligned with your unique qualities. Knowing and appreciating your characteristic can help you better understand under what conditions you can flourish and bring the best out of yourself. Doshas and Ayurveda are frequently used in nutrition, health and wellness, and they can also support you get a better picture about what work and career choices can best fit to your unique qualities.

Create an environment that helps you thrive at work
Create an environment that helps you thrive at work

Photo: wix

How understanding my dosha helped me find my ideal career path?

For a long time I considered my very diverse career path with frequent turns and multiple job changes as a bad thing. I thought that I should change, get settled with a single company to finally be taken seriously and be respected as a professional. I had a strong inner desire to try out various areas and I’ve always been curious about taking on different roles as I progressed in my career. When I heard about the term portfolio career (ie. having income from multiple jobs/income sources that represent the various areas of our interests, not necessarily related to each other) — I realized this is what could best describe my preference and way of working!

When I first discovered that my Dosha (I’m a strong Vata with increasing Kapha during the winter months) has airy qualities, loves variety, get excited y changes and has a tendency for overworking and burnout if they are not careful — things got a brand new perspective! I understood that there is nothing wrong with me, simply I’m just a Vata! Meaning that I need movement, I’m particularly great at innovating and ideating, juggling between projects and managing chaos and I usually got bored when doing monotonous work, need to complete long projects or make detailed research. Being mindful about setting boundaries and practicing moderation on the other hand helps me stay in balance.

It also doesn’t mean that I can’t stay with one profession for a long time! I just needed to discover how to bring variety into what I do. I love coaching and I find ways to practice it in multiple forms and ways: I work women circles, I have private 1-1 clients, I support founders and startups as a coach and consultant and I’m also engaged with executives and managers with whom I work in a more structured company environment. I coach online, in-person, outdoors and in an office, even in the kitchen! I create unique processes and it helps my creativity flourish!

Discover your Dosha and how it can help you at work

1. Do the test and find out what’s your dominant constitution (dosha).

The 3 doshas are:

💨🌬️ Vata: (Ether + Air) the airy dreamer, who likes variety and changes

🔥💦 Pitta: (Fire + Water) the fiery leader who get things done

🌿💦 Kapha: (Earth + Water) the loyal, patient and grounded strategist and executor

2. Learn about what environment and conditions best support you to thrive at work:

Vata 💨🌬️

Dynamics: Movement, circulation.

Qualities: Light, cold, dry, rough, clear, mobile/erratic, and subtle. Creativity, enthusiasm, freedom, joy, vitality, adaptability, and generosity.

Body: thin, and light.

Strengths: Original thinker. Enthusiastic and cheerful with amazing mental agility. Vibrant, creative, hands-on creators, full of ideas, innovative inspirers, fast, yet inaccurate.

Threats: multitasking, overwhelm, loosing focus, unfinished projects, exhaustion, burnout.

Advice: Practice moderation. Create a balanced work environment. Nurture yourself with warm, moist, slightly oily, heavy foods. Ground yourself with daily oil massage. Balance yourself with slow and methodical movement, like walking, yoga, pilates or swimming.

Ideal career: Project based, tend to be career changers. Enjoy art and creative work. Writers, teachers, coaches, helpers, actors, photographers, art workers.

What they need: Projects broken into simple pieces, someone to highlight what they did well and point out something small they can improve upon. Clear direction, a plan they can stick to, space and time to create, a good proofreader.

What they say: Hey! I have a great idea! Let's do this and this and that!

Pitta 🔥💦

Dynamics: Transformation, digestion

Qualities: Hot, sharp, light, oily, and liquid. Structured, punctual. Driven, ambitious, focused, confident, courageous, and intelligent

Body: medium, muscular, strong.

Strengths: Leader, planner and decision maker. Warmth and purpose and be an exceptionally productive member of a team. They have excellent focus. Intense and have high expectations. Collaborative.

Threats: Burnout. Competitive, agressive, self-promoting, not asking for help.

Overheated: restless, migraines, anger, impatience, irritability, and jealousy.

Advice: Keep your working environment cool and resist to engage in fierce competition. Schedule time to rest, listen to others openly. Bring coolness in your diet and lifestyle. Avoid salty, oily, spicy foods and choose sweet, bitter, and astringent foods. Spend time outside of work, and have fun!

Ideal career: Leadership position, decision making responsibilities, goal-oriented roles where negotiation, sharp logic, linear thinking and focus are appreciated.

What they need: Ask others for input. Remain open to strategies other than their own. Delegate and let go. See the good before they critique. Remember how they influence people (it’s not all just data). Choose words carefully. Realize it’s ok not to be perfect in all aspects and always leave an impression.

What they say: Yep. Sounds like a great plan, pitta. And, I always love your ideas, vata. Kapha, is it possible to get this done in 1 month?

Kapha 🌿💦

Dynamic: Structure, endurance.

Qualities: Slow, steady, reliable and compassionate. Heavy, cold, oily, slimy, soft, static, dense, and liquid. Caring, nurturing, grounded, patient, and supportive

Body: Round bodies, and tend to gain weight easily.

Strengths: Help to make a business or operation run smoothly. Stamina, endurance and strength.

Threats: Resistant to change. Boredom, repetition, and lack of physical movement at work will make you stiff and lethargic. Because they are people-pleasers, they might over-commit and work hard behind the scenes so as not to disappoint. They tend not to think well on the fly and need time to come up with ideas to contribute.

Advice: Change your environment frequently. Be clear about your boundaries, stand up for yourself and seek out challenges to move outside of your comfort zone. Avoid cold artificial light. Eat light, dry, spicy food and resist your tendency to overeat, especially sweets, dairy, and meat. Exercise frequently, daily or every other day, like running, or aerob workouts.

Ideal career: Administrative jobs, caring professions, manual labor. Jobs require practicality and reliability.

What they need: Motivation and stimulation.

What they say: Yep. Sounds like a great plan, pitta. And, I always love your ideas, vata. Pitta, please give me a to-do list and I'll make sure it gets done.

3. Download the Doshas at work self-guide and bring the best out of yourself at work!


What is that one thing that you'll change to thrive more at work?


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