What are the Three Doshas in Ayurveda?

ayurveda-meaning-science-of-life-the-three-doshas-300x168What are the 3 Doshas of Ayurveda?

The three doshas were first discovered by the ancient rishis (knowers) of India whereayurveda (the science of life) originated thousands of years ago. The doshas make up the energetic constitutions within us and all around us.

Relative to our health, the three doshas govern our physical and mental processes, making up the individual constitutions of body and mind often seen as patterns common in human nature. For example, a vata type person is usually quick, thin, and creative or expansive. A pitta person may have a fiery personality and determination. A kapha person may be sturdy and kind.

When we are in tune with them, the inherent intelligence of the doshas a life force can guide us toward a natural state of perfect health and fulfillment. When we achieve balance amongst the three doshas, we are free to live a life in joy by allowing the flow of consciousness and light to travel freely throughout our being.

Elements of Nature and the Doshas:

The doshas are made up of the 5 master elements (space, air, water, and earth) that make up everything within and around us.

There are 3 known types of doshas: pittavata, and kapha. Each of these doshas has a different constitution of the 5 elements, making up a distinct quality that is exhibited in the mind and body, and reflected in the properties of nature.

Vata Dosha:

  • Composed of air and space elements.
  • Qualities are cold and rough.
  • Controls the direction of energy (the flow) throughout the body.
  • When in balance, it is responsible for creativity and vitality, because it is what allows the free flow of consciousness or the creative life force (prana).
  • When it is out of balance, it can produce fear and anxiety (mind) or issues with seasonal allergies (in dry, hot weather), achy back, or problems with digestion like constipation (body).

Pitta Dosha:

  • Composed mostly of fire element with some water element.
  • Qualities are hot, moist, slightly oily, acidic, tense, sharp and light.
  • This dosha the fire for transformation and motivation to evolve and learn our life lessons.
  • When in balance there is sharp intellect and drive for success.
  • When out of balance it can lead to impatience and anger (mind) or issues with inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, or food allergies.

Kapha Dosha

  • Composed of the elements earth and water.
  • Governs qualities like sluggish, slow, oily, smooth.
  • Provides stability to all of our bodily processes.
  • When in balance it can lead to a sweet and forgiving nature.
  • When out of balance it can lead to laziness or insecurities (mind) or chronic sinus congestion (body) and other flu-like symptoms.

Learn more about the doshas: Get help planning a personalized, dosha-friendly diet and practices for balancing your doshas with one of our ayurveda consultations. Click here to learn more.

Recommended Video: Basics of Ayurveda

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