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All you need to know about Doshas in Ayurveda


Jan 20


Have you ever wondered what actually accounts for the differences in people? Why are some people hyperactive and fast moving, while others exude grace and stillness? Why can some people eat a five-course meal with ease, while others can barely finish a salad? Why are some people inherently joyous, while others carry the weight of the world on their shoulders? Modern genetics offer some insight, but what about the characteristics and idiosyncrasies that make every person unique? Ayurveda answers all of these questions with the Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body.


VATA : Qualities reflecting the elements of space and air.
PITTA : Qualities reflecting the elements of fire and water.
KAPHA: Qualities reflecting the elements of water and earth.

Each person has all three Doshas, but usually one or two dominate. In rare cases, all three Doshas are equally present.A Vata-Pitta-Kapha constitution, also called Tri-doshic constitution, is made up of equal parts of the three Doshas – but this is a rare type.Various Dosha proportions determine one’s physiological and personality traits, as well as general likes and dislikes. For example Vata types will prefer hot weather to cold and Kapha types are more likely to crave spicy foods than other types.

Ayurveda provides specific lifestyle, dietary, herbal and yogic solutions for each individual that not only diffuse tension but also help build a foundation for lasting peace. In Ayurveda, every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone. Ayurveda focuses on providing specific advice and guidance on how to maintain physical and emotional health. Food and lifestyle routines are considered the most important medicine.

Find which dosha you have:


The qualities of Vata are: cold, light, dry, rough, moving, irregular and changeable.

You walk fast and talk fast. You have lots of energy but not as much stamina and tire easily. The appetite can be variable and while you can eat substantial meals, your digestion is not always up to the task. Despite being active, your circulation is variable and can often make you feel cold, particularly the hands, nose and feet. Sitting still makes you restless.
Those with a predominance of Vata dosha usually have a thin, light frame and excellent agility. Their energy comes in bursts, and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and hair and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive. When the Vata dosha becomes imbalanced, it manifests in the body as weight loss (not always), constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness, restlessness, and digestive challenges. When unbalanced, they are prone to worry and anxiousness and often suffer from insomnia.

The main locations of Vata in the body are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and nerve tissues. Physiologically, Vata governs anything related to movement, such as breathing, talking, nerve impulses, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, assimilation of food, elimination, urination, and menstruation.

  • To Balance Vata Dosha:
  • Find stability through meditation.
  • Follow a regular daily routine.
  • Have regular exercise.
  • Meditate daily.
  • Go to bed early.


The qualities of Pitta are: hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp and acidic.

You have a strong appetite as well very good digestive strength. You sometimes gain weight but can lose it easily. The fire in you is expressed by reddish hair and skin tone, freckles or moles and you are warm to touch. For this reason, you don’t prefer bright sunlight and the Pittas are usually of medium size and weight. They sometimes have bright red hair, but early greying, baldness or thinning hair is also common in a Pitta. They have excellent digestion, which sometimes leads them to believe they can eat anything. They have a warm body temperature. They sleep soundly for short periods of time and have a strong sex drive. You have combination skin, dry to oily. There is a tendency for premature greying or hair loss.

The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat. Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the intellect. Out-of-balance Pittas can be short-tempered, easily irritated and argumentative.

  • To Balance Pitta Dosha:
  • Favour aromas that are cooling and sweet.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Balance rest and activity.
  • Favour foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent.
  • Do calming physical exercise, such as yoga, swimming, tai chi, or
  • walking.
  • Meditate daily.


The qualities of Kapha are: heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft and oily.

Kapha types have a strong build and excellent stamina. Large, soft eyes; smooth, radiant skin and thick hair is also typical Kapha characteristics. Those who are predominantly Kapha sleep soundly and have regular digestion. But when Kapha builds to excess, weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies manifest in the body. When they’re out of balance, Kapha types may become overweight, sleep excessively, and suffer from asthma, hay fever, diabetes and depression.

The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Physiologically, Kapha moistens food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates joints, stores energy, and relates to cool bodily fluids such as water, mucous, and lymph. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. With its earthly makeup, Kapha grounds Vata and Pitta and helps offset imbalances related to these doshas.

To Balance Kapha Dosha:

  • Regular exercise.
  • Fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes.
  • Favour pungent, bitter, astringent tastes and light, dry and warm foods.
  • Reduce heavy, oily, cold foods and sweet, sour and salty tastes.
  • Seek out variety and new experiences.
  • Stay warm in cold, damp weather.
  • Early to bed, early to rise.


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