What Is a Dosha

What Is A Dosha – How It Influences Our Lives

This article will answer many of the question about doshas, such as; what is a dosha, why are doshas so important for ayurvedic medicine, how the dosha type we are assigned at the moment of conception influences our lives and how does one balance the doshas.

What Is A Dosha?

According to the ayurvedic science, the physical body has vital bio energies, doshas, which together with seven dhatus, tissues, and three malas, waste products, create the human body.

Every person contains all three elements, but in different amounts, this mixture is called Prakriti. Our dominant dosha, is determined at the time of our conception; we are born with it and it is like finger prints, staying the same for our entire lives.

Ayurveda recognises 5 elements which include:

  • Ether (space)
  • Eath
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Air

Each dosha in its turn contains 2 of these elements. The 3 main dosha types are:

  • Vata – Consists of air and ether
  • Pitta – Consists of water and fire
  • Kapha – Consists of earth and water

Doshas

Additionally it is possible have a combination dosha that consists of 2 types, such as Vata-Pitta dosha. A person would be called dualdoshic. In rare cases a person has equal qualities of all 3 doshas, making him or her tridoshic.

Doshas all have their own set of properties, which give us our  unique personality by determining the persons physical function, including body type, metabolism and mental capabilities such as intellect, temper, practicality and reason.

Importance Of Dosha Type in Ayurvedic Science

Together all doshas create a concept called tridosha, which is basis for all ayurvedic medicine. Tridosha simply means:

The Science Of Ayurveda and its three energies vata, pitta and kapha.

Any medical problem, let it be mental or physical illness is caused by the imbalance of tridosha. Hence any problem can be solved by restoring the balance in the three doshas, hence all the Ayurvedic treatments base themselves on it.

Therefore in order to take advantage any ayurvedic remedy, treatment, diet or exercise plan, one must determine his or her dosha type. By knowing your dosha type, you will also discover a lot about yourself, including deceases and difficulties you are prone to.

I have created a free dosha quiz, which you can take to determine your dosha type. You can access it here:

Dosha Quiz

Vata Dosha

Vata consists of ether (space) and air. It’s a dosha that controls movement and change. Since nothing moves without vata, it’s considered highest of all the doshas. Vata dosha makes a person energetic, lively, enthusiastic and creative.

Vata dosha

Qualities of Vata

  • Cold
  • Light
  • Dry
  • Physical Appearance
    • Irregular
    • Rough
    • Lean
  • Tastes
    • Sweet
    • Salty
    • Sour
  • Characteristics
    • Moving
    • Quick
    • Changeable

Vata covens the following physical aspect:

Prana Vata – Senses, reasoning, creative thinking and enthusiasm
Udana Vata – Memory, voice and movements of thought
Samana Vata – Food movement through digestion
Apana Vata – Elimination of wastes, menstrural cycle and sexual functions.
Vyana Vata: Heart rhythm, blood flow, perspiration and sense of touch

Balanced Vata Physical Characteristics

  • Build – Tall and thin
  • Eyes – Light coloured
  • Complexion – Pale
  • Appetite – Varied
  • Energy – Comes in bursts
  • Digestion – sensitive
  • Temperature – Cold (extremities)
  • Sleep – Light, difficulties falling asleep
  • Agility – strong

Balanced Vata Emotional Characteristics

  • Strong sense of excitement
  • Seeking new experiences
  • High flexibility
  • High creativity
  • High initiative takers

Unbalanced Vata Problems

  • Excessive worries
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Light sleep
  • Sore throats
  • Coughs
  • Earaches
  • Fatigue
  • Gas and cramping
  • Weak tissues
  • Menstrual cramps and problems
  • Lower back pains
  • Diarrhea and irregularity
  • Constipation
  • Dry and/or rough skin
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness
  • Anger issues
  • Poor blood flow

Read about how to balance your Vata Dosha here.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta consists of fire and water. It’s a dosha that controls metabolism, digestion and energy production, the sensory perceptions and our sense of right and wrong. Its primary function being transformation.

Pitta dosha

Qualities of Pitta

  • Hot
  • Light
  • Physical Appearance
    • Intense
    • Penetrating
  • Tastes
    • Pungent
    • Acidic
    • Sharp
  • Characteristics:
    • Transformation

Pitta covens the following physical aspects:

Alochaka Pitta – Eye functions
Bhrajaka Pitta – Glowing skin
Sadhaka Pitta – Desires, bodily drives, decisiveness and spirituality
Pachaka Pitta – Digestion, metabolism for healthy nutrients and tissues, assimilation.
Ranjaka Pitta – Detoxification of blood.

Balanced Pitta Physical Characteristics

  • Build – Medium size and weight
  • Hair – Baldness and thinning hair is common, as is red hair.
  • Complexion – Lustrous
  • Appetite – Strong
  • Energy – Plenty
  • Digestion – Good
  • Temperature – Hot
  • Sleep – short and sound
  • Sex drive – strong

Balanced Pitta Emotional Characteristics

  • Strong intellect
  • Strong sense of humor
  • Strong ability to concentrate
  • Strong teachers
  • Strong leaders
  • Strong speakers

Unbalanced Pitta Problems

  • Skin rashes
  • Poor vision
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Excessive body heat
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Anger issues
  • Short temper
  • Argumentative

Read about how to balance your Pitta Dosha here.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha consists of water and earth and is the protecting force the governs the body and its structure, it holds cells together and forms muscles, fat, bones and sinews. Kapha makes a person physically slow, steady and sturdy, but at the same time they tend to be fantastic human being as their nature is very loving and loyal.

Kapha dosha

Qualities of Kapha

  • Cold
  • Slow
  • Steady
  • Physical Appearance
    • Solid
    • Heavy
    • Soft
    • Oily
  • Tastes
    • Pungent
    • Bitter
    • Astringent
  • Characteristics
    • Protection

Kapha covens the following physical aspects:

Tarpaka Kapha – Nose, eyes, mouth and brain moisture
Bhodaka Kapha – Sense of taste
Kledaka Kapha – Stomach lining moisture
Avalambaka Kapha – Protects the heart, lungs and muscles
Shleshaka Kapha – Lubrication of the joints and soft, supple skin

Balanced Kapha Physical Characteristics

  • Build – Short and heavy
  • Eyes – Large and soft
  • Hair – Thick
  • Complexion – Smooth and radiant
  • Appetite – Strong cravings
  • Energy – Low
  • Digestion – Regular
  • Temperature – Cold (extremities)
  • Sleep – Tight and sound
  • Stamina – Strong

Balanced Kapha Emotional Characteristics

  • Calm
  • Thoughtful
  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Patient
  • Supportive
  • Enjoy life
  • Stuck to routine

Unbalanced Kapha Problems

  • Overweight
  • Astma
  • Sinus infections
  • Poor sense of smell and taste
  • Food cravings
  • Bad digestion
  • Bad absorption of nutrients
  • Lethargy
  • Lower back pain
  • Oily skin
  • Joint problems
  • Depression
  • Stubbornness

Read about how to balance your Kapaha Dosha here.

Dual Doshas

Dual doshic people have almost equal amount of characteristics from two doshas. It is rather common to have this prakriti.

Vata Pitta Dosha

People with this dosha are energetic and make excellent intellectual leaders. It is difficult to stay in balance since the individual is periodically experiencing many of the opposites.

The key to keeping the opposites in check is to base yourself on the climate, taking the seasons into the consideration. Vata Pitta dosha experiencing conflicts such as:

  • Sometimes person is too hot, other times too cold
  • Sometimes person sleeps deeply and shortly, other times light and long

Read about how to balance your Vata Pitta here.

Pitta Kapha Dosha

People with this dosha are prone for weight gain, constantly being cold, suffer from water retention and difficulties of waking up. They also get sick lot more than others.

Read about how to balance your Pitta Kapaha Dosha here.

Vata Kapha Dosha

These individuals are prone for serious indigestion problems due to combination of food cravings and weak digestion. tend to carry all the problems in the world on their shoulders.

Conflicts arise with the need for excitement, seeing new places and meeting new people and yet being creature of convenience and stuck in routine.

Read about how to balance your Vata Kapaha Dosha here.

TriDoshic

It’s rare for a person to have all 3 doshas prominent. This combination is a very sturdy and solid. These individuals tend to be very healthy and they can easily adapt to seasonal and environmental and dietary changes.

Read about how to balance your tridosha here.

Balancing Doshas

To balance your doshas, you need to look into the following areas of you your lifestyle:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle
  • Cleanse
  • Routine

Ayurvedic Diet

Ayuveda recognises 6 different tastes, each consisting of 2 elements:

Sweet – water and earth
Salty – fire and earth
Pungent – air and fire
Bitter – ether and air
Astringent – air and earth

Your recommended doshic diet will contain tastes to balance out the elements of your prominent doshas.

Exercise

Yoga and yogic breathing exercises are a powerful way of balancing your doshas. Each dosha has their own pacifying asanas and pranayamas.

Cleanse

Ayurvedic daily routine should include a cleansing of the whole body including the teeth and tongue by brushing the teeth and practicing coconut oil pulling, bathing and evacuating the bladder and bowels.

Additional cleanses can include seasonal fasts or daily intermittent fasting with elimination of wastes from the bowels, juicing, drinking teas and infused water. Read more about the ayurvedic tradition of cleansing the body here.

Massage

Massages, self massage or various ayurvedic therapies with essential oils specifically chosen for your dosha type is a great way of balancing your doshas. Therapy tools such as kansa wand and marma tools are often used to enhance the results. Read more about the variety of ayurvedic treatments here.

Routine

Additionally it’s important to establish a daily, weekly and seasonable routine.

Daily routine should be a set time for rest, waking up, cleansing routine, meal, meditation and exercise times.
Weekly routine should include things such as potential fasting days and hair care.
Seasonal routine should be thought for holidays, celebrations and changes in weather and natural light.

Read more how a healthy ayurvedic routine can balance your day.

My Loving Advice

I hope you have enjoyed my overview of the ayurvedic doshas. There is so much to tell, since this is one of the basic concepts in ayurveda, on which all the healing bases itself on. I will keep on adding articles on this subject and update this one with links to them accordingly.

Please let me know if you have any questions related to the doshas, I will be happy to help the best I can.

Love and balance,

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14 thoughts on “What Is A Dosha – How It Influences Our Lives”

  1. I actually took the quiz before I read this article and it makes so much more sense to me now!

    I am currently going through some like changing goals with my weight and health. I was 350 lbs just a month ago and now I am at 325 lbs.

    Anyways, when I get to my goal weight I will retake this quiz. Right now my Ayurvedic dosha type is Kapha. Here are my results:

    Namaste David,

    Thank you for discovering your Ayurvedic dosha type with us.

    Your results are:

    Categories:
    * Vata………………………….32.35%
    * Kapha…………………………68%
    * Pitta…………………………25%

    I wonder how much this will change when I am at 250. That’s a hundred pounds from my start weight so when I get there it will be interesting to see. Thanks for the share and I will be pinning this one for sure!

    Cheers

    1. Hi again David, it is typical for person with an out of balance kapha dosha to battle with excess weight. Your dosha type will always remain same, even after you manage to loose weight. Learning to balance your dosha will help you loose weight. For tips of balancing out Kapha dosha, you should:

      Minimise salty, sour and sweet flavours. Instead to eat astrigent, pungent and bitter foods. Try eating plenty chillies, radishes, chillies and spies such as paprika, tumeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, cardamon, cloves, and cinnamon. Add grains and beans into your diet. Try to eat plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, Pomegranate, and apples. Bitter greens like kale and mustard greens will do you good. Enjoy coffee and dark chocolate, this will all help you to balance kapha dosha. Try out my kapha water: Infused water – Kapha drink it throughout the day.

  2. I heard about dosha for the first time and I think I have unbalanced Vata Problems
    I have incredibly light sleep and recently I got sick and my throat was sore a month. I also coughed during it.
    I will definitely try balancing it with your suggestions. I really would love to sleep deep every night.

    1. Hi Furkan, unbalanced Vata can cause sleep problems. You can try sipping to this Vata balancing flavoured water during the day. In the evening I recommend to drink some warm milk with a spoonful of raw honey. I am going to write an article about balancing doshas, I will let you know when it’s finished.

  3. Hello!
    I found this really interesting to read. There seems to be so much to learn about ayurveda, such a huge area of ancient wisdom. It made me think of new reasons for my health issues. Looking forward or discovering more about balancing my dosha. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sigrid,

      Thank you for your interest. Yes, aurveda being a system which is used for 5000 years contains too much information for anyone to learn in one lifetime! If you have any more questions about your results or about balancing doshas in general, I am at your disposal. I will inform you once my articles into balancing doshas are ready.

  4. Wow, what an amazing post! I have tried a number of different things to help with concentration. Do you have any suggestions? I think I may also suffer from the unbalanced vata issues. Very interesting info on here and I may have to try some of these techniques. Well written and informative!

  5. Hanna,

    I wasn’t aware of ayurvedic science, the three energies — vata, pitta and kapha, or Dosha typology. Your web page has presented this material well and now I’m more informed.

    Coming from a Christian perspective, I also believe that balance of body, mind, and soul in life is very important for healthy and happy living. As a Christian educator for 32 years, I’ve taken numerous psychological and personality surveys and am a student of Bowenian Family Systems theory, all which have been very helpful for self-understanding and meaningful living.

    Thanks for presenting this approach for practicing healthy life routines!

    1. Hi Marty, I am glad my article could answer the questions you had about doshas. Christian teaching also put weight on keeping your body, mind and soul balanced in order for a good and productive life. Healthy routine is important part of achieving and keeping this balance.

  6. Hello Hanna

    It was interesting to read your article. Now I understand me better. Test says I am TriDoshic, but I feel I am more VataPitta. I understand the connection of joga, ayurvedic food and dosha. I have very much to learn and I am avid to do that.

    Thaks for separeting this infomation.

    1. Hi Inka,
      Great! If you strongly feel that you are one dosha type, this is most likely the case. We tend to sense these things. I am happy you find joy in learning new things about ayurveda!

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