The 3 Ayurvedic Doshas and Their Impact on Your Life | The Dance of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
Ayurveda, the knowledge of life, describes the world as being made up of five elements, Aakash (space), Jala (water), Prithvi (earth), Teja (fire), and Vayu (air). These five elements come together to form three distinct humors referred to as Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Nature does not standardize. Just as there are no two leaves on a tree that are identical, there are not two humans who are the same. Everyone is a comprised of a one-of-a-kind mix of the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. The doshas give shape to the physical body, sleep, digestion, hair, voice, intellect and more.
Dosha is a Sanskrit term that literally means "that which darkens," "that which accelerates aging," because when the doshas are out of balance, it accelerates aging, leads to health issues and disease.
Look at the Saumya Ayurveda logo. The petals represent the five elements, and those elements combine to create the three doshas.
Earth and water comprise Kapha. Fire and water combine and Pitta manifests. Air and ether together create Vata. Kapha governs protection and lubrication such as the immune system, synovial fluid in the joints, and the mucosal lining of the respiratory system. Pitta governs metabolism such as food, touch, and thinking. Vata governs movement inside and outside of us such as the wind outside your window, synaptic movement in the brain and bowel movement.
Simply put, to balance the doshas, opposite qualities are the treatment. Kapha needs invigoration for motivation. Pitta needs to chill out, relax, cool off and let go of intensity. Vata needs grounding and soothing to stabilize.
The Three Dosha Types in Ayurveda
Vata Dosha - Air + Space
Vata types tend to be thin and lanky. They are mentally and physically active and have active imaginations. Vatas are creative people who often think outside the box. They tend to be easily distracted and have moods that are influenced by the weather, the people around them, and the foods they eat.
Vatas do best when they follow a consistent daily routine that allows them to manage their stress through mediation, pranayama breathing, or calm activities. Vata types or those with Vata conditions frequently get cold hands and feet and can benefit from maintaining a warm body temperature.
Kapha Dosha - Water + Earth
Kapha types are strong, thick bones people with slow metabolisms. They are innately stable, compassionate and loyal, and often act as a support system for others. Kaphas rarely get upset and tend to think before they act.
Because of their slow metabolism and tendency to gain weight, Kaphas do best when they focus on regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and keep to a regular sleep routine.
Pitta Dosha - Fire + Water
Pitta types are strong-willed individuals who are highly motivated, competitive, and goal-oriented. Pitta can be intense and aggressive in their drive to attain their goals, but their drive makes them natural leaders. When a Pitta is out of balance, they can easily get irritated and frustrated.
Which is my Dosha? Why am I more confused after taking a dosha quiz?
All three doshas are present in everyone, it is a matter to what degree. Picture a bar graph. We all have three bars, but how high each bar is different for each person. What's more is that the doshic bar graph moves depending on where we live, the season, stage of life and our current condition.
We are even influenced by the time of day. Now picture that doshas are not static, they are energy and as such, they are dynamic. This is why the dosha quizzed tend to leave most people confused and understandably so. "By assessing correctly, the dance of the doshas, a targeted Ayurveda plan is created for you. It is the specificity of Ayurveda that provides clients so often with delightfully fast outcomes." -Veena
Having imbalanced doshas can lead to poor health and disease. When we feel out of sorts, it usually means that our doshas needs to be balanced. Pursue our article on Ayurveda Cleansing: Spring Tips for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Taking dosha quizzes may leave us confused. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas all benefit from two things. 1. Guided practices
2. Learning diaphragmatic breathing.
This is life changing place to start. Retraining our nervous system from flight fight, to rest, restore and relax is ant-aging medicine.
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Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Meditation Teacher and Monk. She is President Emeritus of the Meditation Center and former staff member of the Minnesota Institute of Ayurveda.
Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family's home learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee. She remains passionate for over 30 years, helping clients feel their best physically, emotionally, and spiritually with Ayurveda.
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