Ayurveda is based on a unique theory of bio-energies, known as Doshas. These Doshas occur as a result of our lifestyle choices, as well as things that happen to us, seasonal changes, and climatic disturbances, all of which can create physical and mental difficulties.
If these physical and mental imbalances persist over a period of time, they can result in illnesses and disease.
Ayurvedic practitioners aim to treat the presenting symptoms, as well as the underlying imbalance in the Doshas that contributed to their development.
The three Doshas are as below.
Derived from the elements of Space and Air, Vata is the energy of movement and the force governing all biological activity.
The main characteristics of an individual who is dominated by Vata include:
– Thin body frame, does not gain weight
– Skin dry, rough, and cracked
– Dark complexion
– Hair dry and splitting
– Performance of activities quickly
– Poor or variable appetite
– Low physical working capacity
– Poor resistance to disease
– Prefers warm or hot food and climate
– Low perspiration, variable thirst
– Tendency for constipation
– Light sleep with many dreams
– Prone to anxiety, worry, and depression
The bodily functions ruled by Vata Dosha include:
– Physical movement
– Stimulation of Agni
– Development of the embryo
– Sensory perception
Excess Vata is treated by strategies that warm, lubricate, and calm.
Derived from the elements of Fire and Water, Pitta is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body.
The main characteristics of an individual who is dominated by Pitta include:
– Medium body frame
– Skin delicate and warm to touch
– Good or excessive appetite
– Feels warm
– Prefers cold food and climate
– Tendency for loose motion
– Excessive thirst and perspiration
– Bright eyes, sharp vision
– Soft hair, premature greying or balding
– Intelligent, sharp memory, hot tempered, brave, jealous, aggressive, commanding
The bodily functions ruled by Pitta Dosha include:
– Heat and energy production
– Skin lustre
Excess Pitta is treated by strategies which cool and calm.
Derived from the elements of Earth and Water, Kapha is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and smooth functioning of all its parts.
The main characteristics of an individual who is dominated by Kapha include:
– Large body frame and a tendency to gain weight
– Thick, smooth, soft, firm skin
– Good stamina but slow in physical activates
– Deep and pleasant voice
– Moderate appetite
– Moderate perspiration, low thirst
– Deep and sound sleep
– Large eyes
– Thick, oily, wavy, dark hair
– Calm, cool, joyful, polite, and good-natured
The bodily functions ruled by Kapha Dosha include:
– Maintenance of health
– Maintenance of joint functions
– Anabolism and growth
Excess Kapha is treated by strategies, which warm, dry, and stimulate.