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Ayurveda Part 1/5 – Doshas

Written By: ruchi - Feb• 08•18
Ayurveda Doshas

Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health. Knowing your body type allows you to make optimal choices about diet, exercise, supplements, and all other aspects of your lifestyle. From Ayurveda perspective, the whole universe is an interplay of energies of the five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Earth is solid, heavy, dense, and foundational. It is present in the body as bones, nails, teeth, and the physical sheath of our being.
Water is liquid, flowing, and dissolving. It is present in the body as blood, water, lymph and the energy sheath, consisting of breath and energy.
Fire is energy, heat transformation, metabolism, and creation. It is present in the body in the digestive system and in regulation of the body temperature as well as the mental-emotional sheath, which consists of thoughts, emotions, and obsessions.
Air is oxygen, breath, motion, and lightness. It is present throughout the body’s respiration process, the movement of nerve impulses and the wisdom sheath.
Ether is space, all-pervasiveness, omniscience, expansiveness, and emptiness. It is present in the body as the space between cells, and the bliss sheath, consisting of universal intelligence and our true, innermost nature.

Ayurveda groups the five elements into three basic types of functioning principles called the three Doshas. A person’s constitution is defined in terms of the inherent balance of these three Doshas. It is the interplay of these Doshas that is responsible for both body type and personality. To know a person’s constitution is to know their tendencies. If a person knows their tendencies they can take the actions that keep their tendencies in check. A person, who knows that they have a tendency to feel cold, easily avoids becoming too cold by wearing more clothing or drinking warm beverages. To know your constitutional tendencies is to be empowered with the knowledge needed to create balance in your life.
Every living creature has all three Doshas within them. We cannot exist without a certain amount of each. Kapha provides each of us with tissues, Pitta provides metabolic action and Vata allows us to move and express ourselves. Our constitution is best defined in terms of the percentage of each energy. So truly speaking there are an infinite number of combinations and permutations with no two people being exactly the same.
Vata Dosha, governed by air and ether, is the kinetic energy of the body that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and heartbeat.
Pitta Dosha, governed by fire, is the thermal energy of the body that controls the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and body temperature.
Kapha Dosha, governed by water and earth, is the potential energy of the body that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
Vata Predominant Types
Attributes: Creative; Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget; Slender; Tall and fast-walker; Tendency towards cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates; Excitable, lively, fun personality; Changeable moods; Irregular daily routine; High energy in short bursts; Tendency to tire easily and to overexert; Tendency to act on impulse; Often have racing, disjointed thoughts; Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don’t perspire much; Talk and eat fast; Change their minds often; Restless.
In balance: Full of joy and enthusiasm, very intuitive, very spiritual, full of creativity and vitality.
Out of balance: Respond to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety. Feel lonely, ungrounded and get depressed easily.
Care: Should do things that bring peace, like yoga and meditation. Sesame oil massages are very soothing. Use mindfulness. Sleep more. They need a lot of love, pampering and care.
Typical physical problems: Body aches, arthritis, nervous system gets affected
Exercise: Need to reduce physical activities.
Aroma: Vata aroma is vanilla, warm, sweet and heavy, any floral.
Pitta Predominant Types
Attributes: Medium physique, strong, well-built; Sharp mind, good concentration powers; Competitive, enjoy challenges; Passionate and romantic; Strong digestion, strong appetite, get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal; When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry; Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily; Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather, heat makes them very tired; Perspire a lot; Good public speakers; Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian; Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger; Super organized; Judgemental; Get angry very quickly and get pacified just as quickly; Love cooling colors; Love to be around people; Have big hearts.
In balance: Orderly, focused, assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best. They have clarity of mind and grasp things clearly. Lead to contentment and intelligence.
Out of balance: Aggressive, demanding, pushy and impatient
Typical physical problems: Rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.
Care: Need to stay away from firy situations. Need to stay cool and use umbrella in hot weather. Need to look inside and become meditative. Need coconut oil full body massage. Pitta thrive outdoors so they dhould go out for a walk. Avoid bright and sharp lights. Relenquish the need to be always right. Meet people and show compassion. Get some time out for yourself. Need to do creative things. Spend time in nature near water. Don’t need that much sleep.
Exercise: Need to do long breahting exercises, while holding the breath in. Need calm energy so hold every pose for 2-3 minutes.
Aroma: Pitta aroma is sweet, floral, sandalwood etc.

Kapha Predominant Types
Attributes: They have the quality of earth, heaviness, inertia, so they don’t like to move around; Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced; Affectionate and loving; Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature; Stable and reliable; Faithful; Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build; Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring; Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process; Slower to learn, but outstanding long-term memory; Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large soft eyes and a low, soft voice; Tend toward being overweight; May also suffer from sluggish digestion; Prone to depression; More self-sufficient; Gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life; Excellent health, good immune system; Very calm; Strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings; Ca not easily be upset and can be a point of stability for others; Don’t like cold, damp weather; Have strongest stamina; Resistant to change; Tired in the morning; Crave sweets; Don’t use their energy; Stuck in the past.
In balance: Full of love and patience.
Out of balance: Tend to be possessive, hoarders and hold on to things. Too much heaviness gives rise to depression and lead to insecurity and envy.
Typical physical problems: Colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). If you have sinus trouble, you have imbalanced Kapha. If your weight fluctuates a lot from morning to evening then you are Kapha.
Care: They need to add activity and inspirational stuff in their life. They need energetic yoga. Their meditation needs to be more dynamic like walking meditation. They need visuals for meditation. Cold weather increases Kapha.
Exercise: Need to exercise in the morning. Need to sweat.
Aroma: Kapha aroma is cinnamon, eucalyptus, basil etc.
Mantra: Please forgive me, I forgive you, I thank you, I love you. Repeat for each person you remember.
So the first step is to find your most dominant Dosha and may be second dominant Dosha and then follow the general guidelines for it. There are many other things that affect these Doshas and I will talk about them in my future articles.

Disclaimer: All the information in this article has been researched from various sources as my personal study notes for future reference.