The Basics of Doshas in Ayurveda

Ayurveda divides a body’s personality intothree doshas. A person can be either be a Vata, Pitta or Kapha type or a blend of these powerful doshas. According to Ayurveda, body types are the fundamental building blocks for the maintenance of optimal health. A body type – Vata,  Pitta or Kapha – gives an insight into the tendencies of the body. It also determines a person’s emotional, mental and behavioural characteristics. One must be aware of their body type to take control of one’s health. The way we eat, sleep, exercise and live is unique. Thus, having insight about one’s dosha can be very helpful.

The 3 Doshas:

Vata: This represents the energy of movement and hence is linked to the air element. Vata rules with creativity and flexibility.  Vata governs movements like the breath flow, pulse, muscle contractions and is also linked with messages passing through the brain and nervous system.

Pitta: Pitta embodies the energy of transformation. It is associated with fire and water. Pitta governs a person’s intelligence, grasping power, metabolism and body temperature. Also, a person’s thought and emotions are also linked to the Pitta dosha.

Kapha: Kapha is associated mainly with water and earth because it lends strength and cohesiveness to the body.  This watery element oversees love and compassion. This dosha provides lubrication in the joints, keeps the skin moisturised, hydrates the cells, sustains immunity and guards tissues against any damage.

What is your type?

As mentioned earlier, it is very important to know your body type and which dosha is most dominant. All the three doshas are found in different proportions in every individual. Knowing a person’s body type and the proportion of these elements in it can help modify our lifestyle choices for effective health results. Take a look at these points that determine the different types of dosha.

  1. Qualitative Nature: A Vata type of body is a body is defined by qualities like rough, dry, cold, subtle, and clear. Hot, liquid, and oily imply that the body is of a Pitta type. If heavy, dense, slow, sticky are the dominant qualities then a person is a Kapha body type. When an imbalance in one of the doshas occurs, a person can return to balance by minimising the power of that dosha’s qualities while choosing to increase the balance of its opposite. Foods, herbs and experiences that strengthen the opposing energies can be then taken for relief.
  2. Primary Functions of the Doshas: By now, everyone is aware that the three doshas have a unique personality. This gets determined by the specific combination of elements in the body. And, these qualities eventually govern the bodily functions. Vata is responsible for movement and communication, pitta is fordigestion and transformation and Kapha oversees structure, lubrication and cohesiveness.
  3. Imbalances in the Doshas: Stress, an unsupportive diet and lifestyle choices often cause imbalances in the three doshas. This disturbance affects a person’s body constitution and can cause sickness. The governing dosha in an individual is the most likely to get imbalanced. In simple words, a Vata predominant person will usually have a tendency to get affected by Vata imbalances.
    1. Imbalanced Vata includes symptoms like disordered communication and abnormal movements like muscle spasms and tremors. Moreover, indicators like anxiety, loneliness, fear, and isolation may also occur. Loss of energy and physical exhaustion may also take a toll on a person’s health.
    2. Jealously, frustration, criticism and anger gets elevated due to Pitta imbalances. It also tends to promote fiery emotions and inflammatory disorders causing major discomfort. Imbalanced Pitta may have a serious effect on the organs and tissues in a person’s body.
    3. As for Imbalanced Kapha, it leads to multiple triggered emotions. Symptoms like lethargy, attachment, greed, and stubbornness may occur on the emotional background. Physically, a person may invite stagnation and congestion.

Food also pays a very important part in calming down the imbalanced dosha. For Imbalanced Vata have food items like berries, lentils, sweet potato, avocado, beetroot, peach, dates, etc. watermelon, cilantro, mugged beans, cabbage, celery, kale pasta should be eaten to balance the Pitta. To manage the kapha imbalance have okra, wild rice, chillies, pepper, cherries, sprouts and lemon in abundance.

So, this is all one needs to know about the three body types. Understanding what elements prevail a person’s body can be very helpful. If one still need expert advice then the best thing to do is to consult an Ayurvedic physician and conduct a “naadi parikshan”. In this test, the doctor will check the individual’s pulse and from this determine the dosha composition of an individual. To know more visit us at


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