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The Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha

The Three Doshas: Constitution and Disease

It is your constitution that makes you unique. This is described in terms of three fundamental biological energies called doshas in Ayurveda. In Western words, these can be understood as motion, metabolism, and structure. In Ayurveda they are called vata, pitta, and kapha respectively. Each person has their own unique, individualized balance of these three energies which is determined at conception. While genetics play an important role in determining constitution, other factors also play a role. Your constitution determines what is in harmony for you and what will cause you to become out of balance, sick and diseased. Knowing your constitution will help you to learn how to live your life in a manner that will prevent disease. Your ayurvedic practitioner determines your constitution by examining your body structure, function, voice and personality. Through a complete evaluation, your practitioner will determine both the nature of your constitution and the nature of any diseases that may be present. This is the first step toward determining a proper treatment plan.

 Identifying the Doshas

 Vata Dosha

 Vata Dosha is comprised of the elements of air and ether. It provides for all motion within the body and mind, including thoughts. Vata-dominant people are always on the go, find it difficult to sit still, experience restless sleep, speak quickly, and have a tendency toward worry and overwhelm. Vata is also responsible for creativity and overall enthusiasm for life. Vata Dosha is very light. People with a vata body type tend to have longer, thinner bones with minimal musculature and body fat.

Vata Imbalance: 

  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Sleplessness
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nervous System Disorders
  • Chronic Immune Disorders

 Pitta Dosha:

 Pitta Dosha controls metabolism. The greater a person’s metabolism the stronger their appetite and the quicker they are to process food and information. People with a pitta nature have a moderate muscular build and often have strong physical features such as deep set eyes and a strong jaw. Psychologically, those with a pitta nature are prone to being sharp, critical and angry or irritable and are focused, driven, and bright.

 Pitta Imbalance:

  • Burning urination
  • Red Rashes
  • Hepatitis
  • Chronic Immune Disorders
  • Anger
  • Red Eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Inflammation

 Kapha Dosha:

Kapha Dosha provides for body structure. The greater the amount of kapha in a person’s constitution, the greater their body mass. Kapha Dosha has a heavy quality, and when out of balance can cause lethargy and dullness. Kapha Dosha can be observed in a round, soft face with large eyes, thick hair, thick lips and a short neck. Psychologically, people with a kapha nature tend to be gentle teddy bears with a quieter and less aggressive nature. They are generous and calm. Kapha imbalances tend to be those of excess body mass, such as obesity.

 Kapha Imbalance:

  •  Obesity
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Mucus-Producing coughs
  • Laziness
  • Sluggish Digestion
  • Swelling/ Edema
  • Depression 

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