According to Ayurveda, every individual in nature has an inherent and unique combination or blueprint of the five fundamental elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements determine our predominant constitution, called Prakruti. These dynamic energies manifest through their intrinsic qualities and are represented by Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
These are known as the three Doshas.
The Vata Dosha contains Space and Air elements, the natural force for movement and material manifestation.
Ayurveda teaches that when a person’s Vata dosha is in balance, their individual characteristics are active and creative. They are gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate, enabling them to be quick in their thoughts and actions. This makes them natural artists and entertainers, as well as good company.
A Vata person is usually tall and slim, with a fine-boned build and small features. He or she will have a tendency towards cold hands and feet, leading to discomfort in cold climates. Vata are also prone to dry conditions in the body.
An imbalanced Vata person will have a tendency to act on impulse, be ever-changeable, and will easily develop anxiety and insomnia. Imbalance may also lead to feeling unable to find a direction in life or a clear path to follow.
The Pitta Dosha contains Fire and Water elements, the natural force for transformation and change.
Pitta personalities make excellent leaders and facilitators for change. They are warm hearted, open, giving, orderly, and focused with a sharp mind. When fire and water elements are in balance, they are self-confident and entrepreneurial.
Pitta people are usually of Medium physique, with a strong appetite, and will get irritated if they have to wait for or miss out on a meal. When out of balance, Pitta can be overly assertive and dogmatic in their approach to the world, and when under stress can become irritable and aggressive.
In Ayurveda, we learn that Pitta in excess can result in physical problems, including inflammatory diseases such as heat rashes, acne, boils, ulcers, heartburn and cancer. Dry or burning eyes can also occur.
The Kapha Dosha contains Water and Earth elements, the natural force for cohesion and structure.
A balanced Kapha individual will display an easygoing and relaxed demeanor, approaching life at a slower pace. They are affectionate and loving, as well as forgiving and compassionate. Commonly, they have a nonjudgmental nature, are always stable and reliable, and can be an anchor point of stability for others. Physically, they are strong and have a sturdy, heavier build with lustrous hair and supple skin.
Kapha constitutional health is excellent, and they have a good immune system. This gives them the most energy of all the Doshas, and it is generally steady and enduring.
When out of balance, Kapha can be overly possessive, looking for comfort in their life by over-indulging. Kapha people have a tendency towards being overweight, lethargic and prone to depression. Cold, damp weather does not suit them; physical ailments include poor digestion, water retention, obesity, hypothyroidism, and tumors. Respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies and sinus congestion will affect them as well.