Vata, Pitta, And Kapha – Understanding The Three Doshas

According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ether and air make the Vata dosh, air and fire make the Pitta dosha and earth and water come together to make the Kapha dosha. These doshas are represented throughout every person, every food, every season, and essentially every part of physical manifestations in the whole universe. As all three doshas are found throughout all existence, nothing and no one is represented by one individual dosha. Instead, we find that a dosha can be predominantly represented.

  • Vata:

Vata is represented by several qualities that can be found throughout existence. Vata is light, cold, dry, rough, subtle, mobile, clear, dispersing, erratic, and astringent. Therefore it’s function is movement. It materializes in the body through the motor functions, circulation, respiration, other natural urges. It can also manifest as anxiety and fear. Each dosha also has a part of the digestion process that is related to. Vata is related to the colon. Knowing that Vata is represented in the movement, this makes perfect sense! Vata is also represented in mind by creativity, freedom, joy, vitality, generosity, and enthusiasm. 

  • Pitta:

Pitta shares the quality of light with Vata. Unlike Vata, Pitta is hot, oily, sharp, liquid, sour, and pungent. Therefore Pitta’s primary function is heat! This functions in the process of transformation, which can be represented in the body in vision, digestion, metabolism, thoughts, anger, hunger, jealousy, body temperature, and glandular secretions. Pitta is responsible for transforming the body’s thirst, hunger, and temperature. It is represented in the stomach and small intestine portion of the digestive system where the most transformation and digestive fire is at work. Mentally, Pitta is ambition, concentration, confidence, courage, enthusiasm for knowledge, happiness, and intelligence. 

  • Kapha:

Kapha is heavy, cold, oily, slow, slimy, dense, soft, static, and sweet. Its primary function is to protect, lubricate, build strength, long-term memory, and attachment. It can also manifest in holding and possessiveness. 

  1. In the body, it creates lubrication, structure, energy, and maintains immunity in the lungs and heart. 
  2. In the digestive system, it is represented by the stomach and the lungs. 
  3. In mind, it is represented by caring, centeredness, compassion, contentment, faith, fulfillment, grounding, patience, stability, support, and tenderness. 

Understanding the elements through Ayurveda allows people to work towards a harmonious and balanced state. If certain elements or doshas are out of balance, the body and mind are affected. Ayurveda also believes that at birth, every person comes to the body with own predominant doshas and unique formula for finding balance through these five elements. While we know mainly on how the doshas manifest in the body, you must remember these qualities are in everything! In the food, you eat, be cognizant of what you are doing and eating and how this may interact with your dosha. For example, if you are already experiencing a lot of Pitta (maybe too much), then a lot of heat activating food or activities may not benefit you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *