A Brief Introduction to Ayurvedic Doshas

I came to know about these 3 Dosha body types when we were studying yoga philosophy. Master Paolo and Master Sree were giving each of us their evaluation of what our body types were. As someone who jumps at the opportunity to take any kind of personality quiz, it intrigued me to want to research deeper.

To give a rough overview, Ayurveda is an Indian system of traditional medicine. Translated literally it means “the science of life” – Ayur means “life” and Veda means “science”. This system of traditional medicine has been around for about 5000 years, and it claims to have a set guide to determining ones’ balance and health. (Similar to how the Chinese have their own ‘system’ of TCM!)

In Ayurveda, there are three types of doshas, each made up of a different combination of the five elements; air, space, fire, earth, and water. The Vata dosha is a combination of air and space, the Pitta dosha is a combination of fire and water, and the Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth. These combinations of the different elements represent a unique blend of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics (or qualities), essentially, describing who we are.

Everyone has a different balance of the three doshas, usually with one or two doshas predominating and rarely, with a balance of all three. It should be said that there is no such thing as an ideal body model. The key is to understand your dosha type to give you further insight into what your own personal state of balance should be.

By getting to know our Doshas and their qualities, we can make the effort to stay balanced – healthy. This is important because if we were to push ourselves off balance by adopting habits that are not suited to us, we will experience negative symptoms that signal that our mind-body is ‘off’ – such as bloating, rashes, gassiness, bad temper, tiredness, and many more – if left unchecked, it could even lead to diseases. Fret not, there are solutions (or “medicine”) for us to bring ourselves back into balance by drawing on food and drink. herbs and spices, colors, textures, aromas, environments, and lifestyle choices. The key is to choose solutions that have the opposite qualities or characteristics to the symptoms we’re experiencing, to create equilibrium. For example, for pitta doshas, one already has lots of warmth in their bodies thus cooler weather is preferred or cooler foods like salads help, if one continues to eat too much spicy food or is under the sun for prolonged periods of time with no protection, they’ll be prone to overheating, sweating and skin redness.

To conclude, there’s just so much information available for each of the Dosha types – the dos, don’ts, appetite/diet, what to avoid, learning styles, sleep cycles, mental qualities, preferred nature elements/seasons, best yoga styles, general physical appearances/body shape, etc. I hope that by reading this you guys will be as excited as I am to want to find out more about Ayurvedic doshas and your dosha types!