Ayurveda is based on the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth. The doshas—the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha constitutions—are created by the unique combination of these elements.
According to Ayurveda, the doshas are responsible for the formation, maintenance, and disintegration of physiological tissue, as well as waste disposal and psychological components such as emotions, understanding, and love.
Have you ever wondered why certain people appear energetic while others appear calm? Why do some people gain weight by overeating, while others gain weight just by having a three-course meal? Ayurveda's three doshas, or body types, provide answers to all these issues.
In Indian Ayurveda, three bodily kinds are classified: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas are a type of biological energy that pervades the human body and psyche. They govern physical and mental activities and provide a unique blueprint for health and happiness for each living being.
These doshas are composed of the five natural elements and their attributes, with Vata composed of space and air, Pitta composed of fire and water, and Kapha composed of earth and water.
Balance of doshas in the body is necessary for optimal health. Ayurveda maintains that you remain active and healthy if the doshas in your current state are balanced. Any disjunction or imbalance between these states can make you ill or cause you to become ill. In Ayurveda, this imbalance or deviation from the prakruti is referred to as vikruti.
VATA (The Kinetic Energy in the Body)
Constituents - Ether and air
Responsible for: movement
Characteristics: Dry, light, chilly, rough, hard, subtle, clear, and movable.
Important sites: colon, thighs, hips, ears, bones, and touch sensation (skin)
The Vata dosha is the energy of movement that governs all biological functions in the body. It is a composite of the elements space and air. It is also referred to as the 'king of doshas' since it governs the body's greater life energy and propels the other two doshas, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata dosha individuals are typically vibrant, creative, and possess an innate capacity to speak and express themselves. They are also quick learners, have a bright and cheery outlook, and are brimming with joy and enthusiasm when they are in balance.
However, when vata is out of balance, individuals act impulsively, experience mood swings, and react to stress with fear, anxiety, and worry. Physical ailments such as dry skin, dry cough, constipation, lower back pain, menstrual irregularities, and abdominal pain are all prominent signs of vata imbalance.
PITTA (The Heat Energy of the body)
Constituents - Fire and water are the constituents.
Responsible for: digestion and temperature regulation.
Characteristics: Oily, stinging, hot, mild, disagreeable odor, spreading, liquid
Important sites: small intestine, stomach, sweating, sebaceous glands, blood, lymphatic system, and visual organs
The pitta dosha is recognized for supplying the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food components, as well as for directing all conversion and transformation processes in the mind and body.
Pitta dosha is the body's digestive and metabolic energy. Carrier substances include organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. Pitta is primarily found in the small intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, and eyes.
KAPHA (The Latent Energy of the Body)
Constituents - Earth and water
Responsible for: Internal bonding and stability
Characteristics:Cold, damp, heavy, dull, sticky, soft, stable, substantial, smooth
Important sites: Chest, lungs, throat, head, sides, pancreas, stomach, lymphatic system, and fat
Kapha dosha is the energy of construction and lubrication that provides the body with its physical form and structure and enables all its components to function smoothly. The chest, throat, lungs, and head, as well as the fatty tissues, connective tissues, ligaments, and tendons, are the primary kapha-producing areas in the body. It aids in the lubrication of joints, the storage of energy, and the bulk of tissues.
Do you know your dosha?
In Ayurveda, each of us has a unique mind-body type, known as a dosha. Think of a dosha as your individual blueprint that describes your unique personality, tendencies, and physical nature. Understanding your dosha reveals how to keep yourself in balance to stay happy, healthy and disease free.