Determining Your Ayurvedic Dosha

Determining Your Dosha

To get started on a deeper exploration of Ayurveda and the wisdom it holds for your health and well-being, take the following quiz to find out which doshas are most prominent in you.

Instructions: For the 20 statements listed below each dosha, mark from 1 to 3 how accurately the statement fits you.

1 = Doesn’t fit me

2 = Fits me partially or part of the time

3 = Fits me very accurately or most of the time

At the end of each dosha section, tally your total score for that dosha by adding up the individual scores within that dosha. Then when you get to the end of the quiz, compare your scores for the three doshas.


  1. _____ I have a tall, thin or small-boned build; I don’t gain weight very easily.
  2. _____ I have a tendency toward anxiety or worry.
  3. _____ My least favorite kind of weather is cold weather.
  4. _____ I develop gas or become constipated easily.
  5. _____ Left to my own devices, my eating & sleeping habits are often irregular.
  6. _____ My hands and feet tend to be cold.
  7. _____ I typically walk more lightly and quickly than others.
  8. _____ I like to be active; sometimes it’s hard for me to sit still.
  9. _____ My hair tends to be dry.
  10. _____ My tendency is to eat quickly, and I have a delicate digestion.
  11. _____ My sleep is light and interrupted; I may even suffer from insomnia.
  12. _____ I learn things quickly but tend to forget them quickly as well.
  13. _____ I am easily excited.
  14. _____ My moods change quickly.
  15. _____ Decision-making tends to be difficult for me.
  16. _____ My nature is to be enthusiastic and vivacious.
  17. _____ My mind is very active, sometimes restless, but also very imaginative.
  18. _____ My speech pattern is quick and people say that I’m talkative.
  19. _____ I tend to have dry, rough skin, particularly in winter.
  20. _____ My energy comes in bursts and I get worn out easily.

VATA SCORE ___________


  1. _____ I am a perfectionist by nature.
  2. _____ I tend to perform activities with a high level of precision and order.
  3. _____ Hot weather makes me especially uncomfortable or causes me to quickly become fatigued.
  4. _____ I really enjoy cold foods, like ice cream, as well as cold drinks.
  5. _____ When conflicts arise, I tend to become intense, impatient, and irritable.
  6. _____ Skipping or delaying meals makes me very uncomfortable.
  7. _____ Whether I show it or not, I am easily annoyed and quick to anger.
  8. _____ My hair is fine, thin, and reddish or blonde and prematurely grayor balding.
  9. _____ I don’t tolerate spicy foods well.
  10. _____ I tend to be quick to perspire.
  11. _____ I tend to be stubborn.
  12. _____ I am fairly strong and can handle many physical activities.
  13. _____ My bowel movements are regular; I am more likely to have loose stools than constipation.
  14. _____ I am more likely to feel that a room is too hot than too cold.
  15. _____ I thrive on challenges and am determined to achieve my goals.
  16. _____ My hands tend to be warm.
  17. _____ Under stress, I can be quick to anger and am often critical of both myself and others.
  18. _____ My appetite is strong, and I can eat pretty much anything I want to without problem.
  19. _____ I tend to maintain my weight without much effort.
  20. _____ I tend to gather many facts before forming an opinion.

PITTA SCORE ___________


  1. _____ My physique is large and solid.
  2. _____ I sleep deeply and for long periods of time.
  3. _____ I gain weight very easily, sometimes it seems just by looking at food.
  4. _____ Skipping meals is easy and not typically uncomfortable.
  5. _____ I need a full 8 hours of sleep in order to function well the following day.
  6. _____ I am typically groggy in the morning and slow to get my day started.
  7. _____ I frequently suffer from sinus problems, asthma, chronic congestion, excess mucus or phlegm.
  8. _____ I tend to be sensitive and affectionate, sweet and forgiving.
  9. _____ I have smooth, oily, moist skin.
  10. _____ Cold, damp weather affects me adversely.
  11. _____ It’s my nature to be calm and slow to anger.
  12. _____ My weight tends to be above average for my build.
  13. _____ I tend to do things slowly and methodically, in a relaxed and leisurelymanner.
  14. _____ I learn slowly but my retention and memory are good.
  15. _____ My general disposition is easy-going—it takes a lot to fluster me orstress me out.
  16. _____ I eat and digest slowly.
  17. _____ I have dark, thick, wavy hair.
  18. _____ My stamina and endurance are strong, and I enjoy a steady energylevel.
  19. _____ The gait of my walk is generally slow, steady, and leisurely.
  20. _____ My reaction to conflict is to get lazy or depressed.

KAPHA SCORE ___________


Vata ________ Pitta ________ Kapha ________

Understanding your results: If your primary dosha is extremely prominent, with a score as much as twice as high as your second dosha (for example, Vata–55, Pitta–21, Kapha–19), you are a single-dosha type. If no dosha is extremely dominant (for example, Vata–34, Pitta-55, Kapha–29), you are a two-dosha type, with the leading dosha coming first in your body-type name. If all three doshas are nearly equal (for example, Vata–43, Pitta–38, Kapha–46), you are the rare three-dosha type.

Have fun!

To learn more about your Dosha score and Aryuveda, check out my online Energy Medicine Program where I teach all that in level 2.


Adieu Hubert

I first met my future father-in-law, Hubert, at 6:00 a.m. one beautiful July morning nearly 40 years ago when Eric, my new French boyfriend, and I arrived by train in Grenoble, France. The gallant Hubert, dapper in a three-piece suit, tie and tennis shoes (I later discovered this was somewhat of a uniform), met us at the station. We had foolishly hopped the train in the late afternoon the day before in Paris without securing seat assignments and ended up sitting in the aisle on our suitcases all night. This particular train, the “milk run,” had stopped in every nook and cranny as it meandered along toward the French Alps.

A man of education and culture, oddly enough, Hubert spoke not one word of English. I, on the other hand, spoke not one word of French and was discovering just how unhandy that was. Hubert, always courtly, bowed, kissed my hand in the old-fashioned French tradition, and immediately stole his way into my heart.

As he drove us from the station, he asked me what I wanted to do and being very young and full of energy, despite sitting up all night, I replied, “play tennis!” Despite the early hour, he took us straight to a tennis court, where I found him to be quite an accomplished player.

A designer with his own advertising firm, Hubert’s formal education had been in art and engineering. But during World War II, he had to resort to running his father’s leather business to try to make ends meet, with a wife and six hungry mouths to feed. By the time I met him, however, he was quite comfortable and he and his family divided their time between an apartment in Grenoble and a summer home in St. Ismier, a charming nearby village.

From the tennis court we headed for the summer home. You can imagine the surprise of this teenage California girl when we arrived at an enormous three-story French chateau that had once been a monastery. Formerly the chapel, a cross still hung over the claw foot tub in the bathroom, a tub so enormous it took nearly an hour to fill with water. There was only a single toilet in a dank closet for the 8-bedroom residence—indoor plumbing was unknown when the structure had been built—which was inconvenient but terribly French and picturesque. The gardens were filled with wild flowers and amazing butterflies with views of the Alps from every balcony.

Each weekday at noon, Hubert drove out from the city to the summerhouse for le déjeuner, the main meal of the day. The food was fantastique! Course after course, beginning with, for example, un pâté de foie gras, followed by a simple soupe de poisson, next the entrée, perhaps l’entrecôte picked up that morning at the local boucherie, garnished with mint and surrounded by des petites pommes de terre. We would chat and rest a bit, clear the big table where the entire family sat (all the siblings and their families would come visit in the summer), up to 25 of us at a time, and then continue with the meal, with la salade, les fromages (an entire course all of its own, with at least 6 or 8 cheeses to choose from), with une bagette from a nearby boulangerie, then les fruits, and finally, le desert, perhaps une tarte aux pommes straight out of the oven, followed by un cafe out on the terrace. I joined Hubert in the smoking of Gauloise, cigarettes so strong they made my head spin (which I was loathe to admit).

At the table, the family would speak of art and religion and politics and music and sports, especially the sports of skiing and mountain climbing, my personal favorites. After a few hours listening to la famille, I had picked up a few words and phrases and, always wanting to be part of the action, I leapt right into the lunch conversation by boldly exclaiming “comme excitée d’être en France!“ (how exciting to be in France!) Hubert and the rest of the family chuckled in amusement. I later learned that “exciter” is a verb that refers to sexual excitement, not at all the meaning I was trying to convey.

On the weekends, my father-in-law would paint. A gifted water colorist, Hubert could knock out one amazing watercolor after another in less than an hour. It was breathtaking to watch. He could have had a career as an artist, but he treated it more like a hobby, perhaps fearing it would not have been stable enough income for a man with so many children. I attended shows of his work in France and realized that he had quite a gift. And his artistic talents did not end there: he was also a sculptor and a musician, playing an ancient instrument that predated the violin.

We made annual treks to visit la famille every year, and each time my French would improve. A frantically busy lawyer and sports enthusiast at home in the US in those early, heady days of marriage, I never could seem to find the time to make a proper study of the language. Each time we returned to France, it was a shock stepping off the plane in Paris and suddenly switching into this very foreign language. My French husband, otherwise quite pliable, refused to speak more than one language at a time (either English or French, but never the twain shall meet) so I was totally on my own once the plane had landed. Accents are easy for me to imitate, so I sound great but often don’t have a clue what I’m saying or what is being said to me. Many was the time I thought we were heading for le club but would find myself instead at le cathedral!

Hubert and my mother-in-law visited us in the U.S. every year. This was quite a shock to a young American bride, not accustomed to regular month-long family visits, a European tradition. My in-laws were intrepid travelers, ready to follow us to the base of our frequent mountain climbs. Hubert was always game for hiking the highest mountain or heading out on the longest bike ride, even well into his early 90’s. On one memorable trip, we had stopped for gas early on in the 5-hour trip, and when we arrived home, our beloved dog, Dolly, was missing from the car. Hubert had let her out of the car at the gas station, then forgotten to put her back in—one of the many cultural differences I encountered over the years.  It was a long drive back to pick up a very small dog.

On one of his many visits to the U.S., when Hubert was in his 80’s, I was studying with a spiritual teacher who lived about an hour away from our home. One day, I invited him to go with me and I recall his utter surprise to find that she, in her 90’s, was even older than he. He was totally game for almost anything intellectual and loved having a long discussion about spirituality. And though I had learned passable French in the meantime, sufficient for day-to-day conversation, I wasn’t ever really able to converse at his more philosophical level. Even so, Hubert was always delighted to see me and easy to have around. He had been very stern with his own children in their youth, as was the tradition of his time, but age had softened him considerably.

In fact, during Hubert’s last ten years he changed a lot.  Very much like the four stages of life as described in Hinduism—the student, the householder, the retired person, and finally the ascetic—Hubert entered the fourth stage and became the ascetic. After 65 years of marriage, his wife died. They had long ago sold the magnificent summerhouse, the apartment in Cannes, the grand apartment in Grenoble, and, in the European tradition, lived frugally on the proceeds, never adopting our American more profligate, spendthrift ways. Hubert, not wanting to be encumbered by possessions in his final years, ultimately gave away the last few possessions he owned—his watercolors, his sculptors, his furniture—and moved into a monastic setting, a home for retired priests. He even gave up the Catholic guilt that had caused him so much unhappiness in life. His prolific letters, always poetic and philosophical, became even more focused on the meaning of life.

He got more real—the courtly manners, which had often disguised his real emotions, no longer hid anything. Rather than medicate himself in his final years, as we are inclined, he stayed as aware as possible, even after he fell off his bike at 90 and needed a hip replacement. He cheerfully spoke of being ready to die and did so yesterday, just a few hours shy of his 95th birthday. He was a shining example of the spiritual resurgence that can come towards the end of life.

Adieu Hubert.


Read this inspirational story about giving

Two Brothers – Author unknown

Once there were two brothers who inherited their father’s land. The brothers divided the land in half and each one farmed his own section. Over time, the older brother married and had six children, while the younger brother never married.

One night, the younger brother lay awake. “It’s not fair that each of us has half the land to farm,” he thought. “My brother has six children to feed and I have none. He should have more grain than I do.”

So that night the younger brother went to his silo, gathered a large bundle of wheat, and climbed the hill that separated the two farms and over to his brother’s farm. Leaving the wheat in his brother’s silo, the younger brother returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

Earlier that very same night, the older brother was also lying awake. “It’s not fair that each of us has half the land to farm,” he thought. “In my old age my wife and I will have our grown children to take care of us, not to mention grandchildren, while my brother will probably have none. He should at least sell more grain from the fields now so he can provide for himself with dignity in his old age.”

So that night, too, he secretly gathered a large bundle of wheat, climbed the hill, left it in his brother’s silo, and returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

The next morning, the younger brother was surprised to see the amount of grain in his barn unchanged. “I must not have taken as much wheat as I thought,” he said, bemused. “Tonight I’ll be sure to take more.”

That very same moment, his older brother was also standing in his barn, musing much the same thoughts.

After night fell, each brother gathered a greater amount of wheat from his barn and in the dark, secretly delivered it to his brother’s barn. The next morning, the brothers were again puzzled and perplexed. “How can I be mistaken?” each one scratched his head. “There’s the same amount of grain here as there was before I cleared the pile for my brother. This is impossible! Tonight I’ll make no mistake – I’ll take the pile down to the very floor. That way I’ll be sure the grain gets delivered to my brother.”

The third night, more determined than ever, each brother gathered a large pile of wheat from his barn, loaded it onto a cart, and slowly pulled his haul through the fields and up the hill to his brother’s barn. At the top of the hill, under the shadow of a moon, each brother noticed a figure in the distance. Who could it be?

When the two brothers recognized the form of the other brother and the load he was pulling behind, they realized what had happened. Without a word, they dropped the ropes to their carts and embraced.


“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Movie Review

To be honest, initially I resisted going to see “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” It’s rated R for its brutal violent content, including rape and torture (among other things). Normally, watching something like that can cause some serious disturbance to our personal energy fields. But after reading a few reviews, I decided to chance it because of it’s focus on sexual abuse, one of my fields of expertise. I’m glad I went as I found this movie to be a winner for several reasons—and although it was indeed violent, the violence wasn’t at all gratuitous.

One of the things that captivated me about this movie was how inspiring and liberating Rooney Mara was as brilliant computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.  Former investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig) hires Salander to help him find out what happened to a woman who went missing as a teenager 40 years previously. In most action movies, it seems like it’s always the 35-year-old white male who saves the day. But not in this one! Mara as the female 20-something Salander steals the spotlight of this riveting whodunit, delivering a potent message to women about intelligence, power, and grace under pressure.

Another reason I found this movie compelling was the accurate way it dealt with sexual abuse and how it runs through generations in a family. As Blomkvist and Salander delve deeper into the mysterious disappearance, they uncover disturbing family secrets that indeed echo the way sexual abuse appears over and over throughout many generations of the same family.

And even though I’ve spent a good deal of my life recovering from this exact kind of abuse, I was startled to find how “triggered” even I was by the film, reminding me that even though we recover from traumatic events, there will be remnants of the event in our psyches forever.

Christopher Plummer does a great job playing the family patriarch whose niece was the missing teenager and who hires Blomkvist to find out what happened to her. The movie—an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel—is directed by David Fincher and is a remake of the Swedish film of the same name (that came out just two years ago).

Go see it—I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat the entire time. And as soon as you can pry your fingers off of the armrest, go to my Facebook page and tell me what you thought of the ending. See you there!


We Bought a Zoo movie review

If you like feel good movies like I do, you will love “We Bought a Zoo.” Based on a true story, Matt Damon as a recent widower decides that a major life change will help him and his 2 children heal and find their joy again. Following the maxim that 20 seconds of insane bravery and risk taking will solve just about anything, he buys a dilapidated zoo and throws his life savings at it, hoping to turn it around. Teaming up with Scarlett Johansson, the very attractive resident zookeeper, he learns how to care for a variety of wild and endangered species that will melt the hardest, most damaged heart.

This film really took me back to the years when we had our own menagerie at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Every day, even when it was 10 or 15 degrees outside, we headed out in the early morning light to feed and care for the animals: a dozen llamas, 3 or 4 horses, and a smattering of peacocks, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, even a pond of koi. And then we repeated that same routine at 3 or 4 or 5 in the evening, communing with the setting sun and the early moon. Working with animals is one of the quickest ways to enlightenment; ask any monk and he will tell you that animals are the best teachers. What a remarkable way of life it was indeed, and the fun didn’t wear off for quite a few years, until one day, going out in utter darkness to break up the ice in the water tanks, I remember wishing I lived somewhere where I didn’t have to put on 2 coats and 2 pair of pants just to feed the family.

But back to the film: there’s also not one but two love stories within the story, both of them charming. (And if you’ve already guessed one is between Matt and Scarlett, you’ve guessed right!)

Matt’s brother (Thomas Haden Church) is an accountant who’s horrified at the thought of his brother leaving journalism for a zoo. That reminded me of my own accountant’s reaction to my leaving the field of law for healing – horrified!

Granted, this film is no “Descendants” – it isn’t at that level, even though they have quite a few plot pieces in common: both involve the death of a spouse followed by a major life decision. “We Bought a Zoo” is more contrived, there isn’t enough real interaction with the animals for my taste, but all that is minor: the only thing that really matters is how you feel when you leave the theatre and what you take with you. Rest assured you will feel light and happy on your departure and you will take with you a wider and gentler heart. That’s what really matters.

P.S. It’s a great film for the kids too.