I think body-typing is one of the least understood parts of the Ayurvedic texts. It is compelling to look at the Vata/Pitta/Kapha Body-typing and Elemental Body-typing (Ether, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth Body) lists and decide which one you are and, unfortunately, it is the lead in to most Ayurvedic information and articles and probably the least helpful in terms of understanding Ayurveda and finding the treatment for balance and health.
Saying that, as with most things, the opposite is also true. It is a most helpful thing to understand!
It can transform your relationship with your body and create a space in which to put together a truly individualistic healing practice, primarily, being yourself.
Prakrti is the word that we translate from sanskrit into the word 'body-type' but it actually means 'natural force' or 'nature'. Knowing your body-type is finding out what is natural for you. The first thing to understand is that no person is just one, two, three or even four of the five elemental body-types but every single one of us is a unique blend of every single element and every single dosha (vata, pitta and kapha).
As you read through the lists (the infographic is just a snapshot of the many qualities and quirks that you will find from each element) the sentences and descriptions that are 'just like you; and 'just like them' will pop out at you! What it is important to realise at this point is that the rest of the descriptions in that category may not necessarily apply. You are a completely individual blend and blurring of one element into the other creating your very individual personality, body, mentality, stress reactions, strengths, weaknesses and core essence.
The important thing to realise when finding your individual concoctions of this and that element is that 'this is me'....... One of the most limiting things we can do with our health practices is try to shift away from our 'true self'.
For instance, trying to morph a strong, solid, powerful body into a wilfy willowy sensitive body, or changing a timid, empathic, shy mind into a person who walks into a room and shakes things up, or changing your primary stress reaction from sad and withdrawn to shouting out your needs. Trying to change our body-type is one of the things that pulls us away from balance and centre and into crisis.
Ayurveda states that our body-type is literally our birth-right. It is exactly right for us and all of our health practices should be trying to get us back to that and enhance that. It we are curvy, stay curvy. Don't gain excess weight, but also don't lose excess weight. If we are willowy and sensitive, encourage getting back to that state (not spaced out and un-grounded, not boot-camping ourselves into a hard ass self).
Ayurveda is a 'stay in your lane' type of health care/self care. It is from this space of self that our emotional and soul space can blossom and express the best. Once again, as with ayurvedic dietary advice, we find that one size absolutely does not fit all and what suits your friends or the trends is not necessarily the best way forward for you in either diet/herbs, fitness, lifestyle or massage style.
In recap, Ayurveda says about body-type - 'know yourself; love yourself; be yourself; get back to being yourself'.