Picking the right career for your Doshas

Ayurveda is best-known for its natural and holistic methods for preventing and managing imbalances through diet, lifestyle, herbal formulations and bodywork therapies. Ayurveda can also guide you in optimizing all aspects of your life, from relationships to your career. One of the basic tenets of Ayurveda is Doshas, or energy principles, made up of the five natural elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. These DoshasVata , Pitta and Kapha – exist in us, in nature and in everything that surrounds us. Doshas govern everything, from plants to animals, food to seasons, and even times of the day. They are so pervasive, Doshas even impact how you work, and what work is ideal for you.

To understand how Doshas come into play in your career, it’s important to understand how they manifest in your personal constitution. Since the three Doshas make up everything, they make up you – your body, mind and emotions. More precisely, you’re a unique combination of the Doshas, known as Prakriti. Prakriti is formed at the time of conception, and is unchanging. Some people refer to Prakriti simply as “one’s Dosha,” as you can be predominant in just one Dosha. At Kerala Ayurveda, we like to translate Prakriti as “personal constitution,” in consideration of the fact that many people have two predominant Doshas, and you always contain all three regardless of which one or two dominates.

work-life balance with ayurvedic solutions

Leena is a performer. Her Vaidya tells her she has a Vata Prakriti, must maintain a balance and get enough rest. After some whirlwind tours when she pushes herself to the point of injury and exhaustion, she learns the hard way that she must follow a nourishing routine. She even throws in an Abhyanga (self-massage) frequently. She couldn’t be happier! 

Your Doshas and finding your best career

Prakriti governs all aspects of life; your structure, function, affinities, tendencies and disease propensities. It helps determine your strengths and vulnerabilities and can provide guidelines on diet, lifestyle, relationships, academics, hobbies and pursuing the best career possible! 

A knowledge of Prakriti is empowering and could help you land our dream job and optimize your potential at work! Different Prakriti can work at the same job but make it successful and fulfilling in different ways, by tapping into their innate strengths. In this article, we explore the personality traits of each Dosha and how they translate into the professional world.

What are each Dosha’s personality traits, and what could be the ideal jobs for them?

Vata Dosha: what are their traits in the workplace?

Vata consists of the air and space elements and is the energy of movement.

Vata tendencies

Vata Dosha is dry, cold, rough, light, clear, mobile and subtle. 

From this emanates the tendency of being physically and mentally active, flexible, creative but inconsistent. Individuals with high Vata Dosha also have good communication skills and are great learners.

Vata traits at work 

Vata personalities enjoy multitasking and can handle a variety of complex tasks in a dynamic environment but aren’t structured or organized and could get easily distracted. They would do great if their job isn’t routine and repetitive. They can easily acquire new skill sets but need to focus or it could be just short term memory retention. They can see things from an innovative perspective and think outside the box. They can be true visionaries and enthusiastic, good-natured warm leaders! They do great in creative settings. They thrive in an unstructured environment or with a good team that can provide them the necessary structure. 

Challenges and striking a balance for Vatas

Vatas need to be mindful about overworking, losing focus or getting anxious and flustered. They may even avoid necessary conflict. They may lack staying power and not see projects and ideas through or could change their mind easily, hopping from one passion to another.

Here are some ways Vatas can optimize their work:

  • Balanced approach
  • Avoiding overwork
  • Avoiding multitasking
  • Following a regular routine
  • Regular mealtimes
  • Hydrating enough
  • Avoid their workplace getting too cold or dry
  • Sleeping on time and enough
  • Not controlling natural urges 
  • Reducing sensory overload

Ideal jobs for Vatas

Music, Dancing, Photography, Creative Writing, Design, Teaching, Therapy, Science, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovating, Aircrew, Advertising and Marketing

Famous Vatas

Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Elliot Page and Mackenzie Scott

Pitta Dosha: what are their traits in the workplace?

Pitta consists of the fire and water elements. It is the energy of transformation and metabolism.

Pitta tendencies 

Pitta Dosha is hot, light, sharp, oily, liquid, acidic and spreading. Pittas tend to be motivated and intellectual with fire in their belly, which can make them competitive and ‘hangry’ (angry when hungry).

Pitta traits at Work 

Pittas can be warm, sensitive leaders and terrific motivators in teams (but don’t take kindly to being crossed). They are decision makers who can be a catalyst for change. Pittas are driven, ambitious and highly logical. They like to plan things in detail and execute them to perfection. They do expect perfection from others as well. They thrive in high pressure situations. They enjoy thinking things through, can be convincing and are influenced only by well-thought arguments. They are very sure of themselves and embody the philosophy, “My way or highway.”

Challenges and striking a balance 

Pittas could be sensitive, impatient and argumentative or intellectualize too much or burn out. They could also get stymied by ambition.

Here are some ways Pittas can optimize their work:

  • Practice moderation
  • Don’t skip meals 
  • Hydrate enough
  • Avoid a very heated, humid work environment
  • Be compassionate 
  • Allow for imperfection
  • Be a good listener and team player
  • Schedule time off and don’t be a workaholic
  • Meditate
  • Let your hair down, have fun!

Ideal jobs for Pittas

CEOs, Leaders, Managers, Operations, Athletes, Politics, Law, Sales and Marketing, Finance, Economics, Administration, Engineering, Medicine

Famous Pitta people 

Bob Roth, Revathi Advaithi, Lance Armstrong, Karen Lynch and Serena Williams

Kapha Dosha: what are their traits in the workplace?

Kapha consists of the earth and water element and is the energy of cohesion and binding.

Kapha tendencies 

Kapha is moist, cold, sticky, heavy, slow, smooth, soft, stable and cloudy.  Kaphas are reliable, resilient, kind, nurturing and loving, are somewhat slow and fond of their routine. They are not rattled easily but if something hurts them, they could carry a grudge for long.

Kapha traits at work 

Kaphas would gravitate towards steady jobs and thrive in predictable environments. They have terrific strength and stamina to rely on and can undertake heavy, tedious, tasks. They like to build and maintain things, and are a vital part of any team. They are great leaders in steady companies and can be very ‘chill.’ They are loyal and calm in the midst of turmoil. They’re there for the long haul and are easily content. They can be encouraging and truly motivate, heal and inspire others. 

Challenges and striking a balance

Kaphas can resist change and get too possessive or complacent. They could find it difficult to delegate tasks. They could also be a tad lethargic and not take initiative. Being passed over for a job, laid off, involved in a merger or systems overhaul can be tough on them and they have to be mindful about managing depression. 

Here are some ways Kaphas can optimize their work:

  • Rev up things 
  • Try to consciously be flexible
  • Have heart-warming hobbies to enjoy outside work
  • Don’t work in a very cold and damp work environment 
  • Don’t shut down if you’re struggling; talk about it
  • If rattled by change, try to center yourself
  • Avoid heavy food or things that make you lethargic
  • Avoid working from home if possible 
  • Stay active

Ideal jobs for Kaphas 

Philanthropists, Healers, Teachers, Health Educators, Psychologists, Human Resources, Community and Childcare, Leaders, Project Managers, Factory Workers, Farmers and Laborers, Wrestling, Personal Training, Chefs

Famous Kapha People

Oprah Winfrey, Marc Benioff, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor, Kevin James and Tom Hanks

Other Prakritis in the workplace

There are seven Prakritis: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha and Vata-Pitta-Kapha.

Pitta-Kaphas have drive and resilience with terrific staying power. They can undertake multiple ambitious Pitta projects and their innate strength from Kapha ensures they don’t get worn out. However, Kapha holds them back from expressing their inner sensitive Pitta self which can be tough. 

Vata-Pittas are the most adventurous and productive Prakriti with the highest tendency for burnout. The air (agility) from Vata and fire (drive) from Pitta helps them accomplish a lot at breakneck speeds and then burn out like a forest fire if they’re not mindful. 

Vata-Kaphas carry the balance of enthusiastic, adventurous, creative Vata and laid back, easygoing Kapha but they can be a tad unpredictable even to themselves. They are creative, stable, kind, motivating and nurturing. 

Vata-Pitta-Kaphas are extremely rare, balanced and benign. Some enlightened masters must be VPK’s, bringing transformation, love and light on this planet.

Making a career transition: from Software Engineer to Ayurvedic Practitioner 

A highly driven, workaholic software engineer faints in the midst of a presentation on a CRM system. This takes place at an Ayurvedic clinic, so a Vaidya and Vedic Astrologer revive him. It turns out that he was dehydrated, had skipped a meal and had severe hyperacidity. The meeting turned into a consultation. From his chart, it was evident that he would one day be a healer and help a great number of people. He became an Ayurvedic Practitioner, LMT, and set up a Panchakarma clinic. He is a much happier person and considers this to be his most fulfilling and best career!

Striking a balance to nurture your dream job

We need all the Doshas to keep the world running. It’s often said that Vata could have the brilliant idea of a startup, Pitta could lead it and Kapha maintain it.

Knowing your Prakriti and interests, and then acquiring skills that resonate can help you build a dream career. The same job could also be performed by different Dosha types successfully if they optimize their own tendencies. For instance, a Vata leader is enthusiastic but should not avoid conflict if needed. A Pitta leader is a motivating perfectionist but shouldn’t get involved in unnecessary conflict. A Kapha leader is nurturing but should try to delegate work and not take on too much. A Pitta athlete may have great drive, but their competitive nature could lead to self-injury. A Vata may want to dance all night and risk depletion. A Kapha may want a predictable job, but needs to be open to change.

Connecting with your Prakriti and true nature is the key to unlocking your potential – both the what and the how. It can even help you navigate striking a balance between your work and Ayurvedic studies based on your unique needs.

Ayurveda believes in growth over lifetimes. This is a good time to examine your purpose and Dharma. We hope you can use your Prakriti to manifest your best career and true calling! 

About the author

  • Anuradha Gupta

    Anuradha “Anu” Gupta is a NAMACB Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Engineer, MBA, Meditator, Writer, 200hr Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Doctor. She serves as Guest Faculty Member, Content Specialist and AP Mentor at at Kerala Ayurveda Academy & Wellness Center. She also runs her own Ayurvedic practice, Ayurvedic Footprints.

    Anu has an extensive corporate background. She worked for...


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