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Explore the healing wisdom of Ayurveda & learn to live a more balanced life.



In Ayurveda, the elements are distributed into 3 groups (or doshas) to represent the basic types of energies present in all of us.

The three doshas (vata, pitta & kapha) govern our very own bodily response and changes.  Let's take a moment to understand the energy of each individual dosha, keeping in mind that ALL three doshas are present within each of us, although generally one is more dominant and therefore more prone to go out of balance.

V a t a =  the energy of MOVEMENT

P i t t a =  the energy of TRANSFORMATION

K a p h a =  the energy of LUBRICATION & STRUCTURE

While the word dosha literally means ‘mistake’ in Sanskrit, it is really about imbalances and working to organize imbalanced energies in order to maintain harmony in our bodies and minds.  Now we will observe how the elements come together to create vata, pitta and kapha.  By appreciating the qualities of these elements we can better understand the qualities of each dosha.

{ V A T A = AIR + ETHER }

Vata energy mobilizes breathing, blinking and heartbeat, as well as movement of muscles, tissue, cytoplasm and cell membrane.

            IN BALANCE: promotes creativity & flexibility

            OUT OF BALANCE: can lead to fear, anxiety & obscure movement

{ P I T T A = FIRE + WATER }

Pitta energy governs metabolism, which regulates digestion, absorption and assimilation, as well as body temperature.

            IN BALANCE: promotes understanding & intelligence

            OUT OF BALANCE: can lead to anger, jealousy & inflammatory disorders


Kapha energy is responsible for the body’s structure and cohesion, which is expressed in lubrication of joints, moisture of skin and strength of immunity.

            IN BALANCE: promotes love, calmness & forgiveness

            OUT OF BALANCE: can lead to attachment, greed & congestive disorders

To summarize, doshas are subtypes used to describe one's physical & emotional state of wellbeing.  The three subtypes, Vata, Pitta & Kapha, are based on the characteristics of ether, air, fire, water & earth.  Doshic Theory is the foundation of all Ayurvedic understanding.  To learn more about how to connect with the doshas in our own bodies, check out How Ayurveda Works.

If you would like to learn more about how the doshas manifest in YOU, consider meeting with an Ayurvedic Practitioner!  You may also like to start with this Prakruti Questionnaire from The Ayurveda Institute.


Fundamentals Principals of Ayurveda Vol. 1

by Dr. Vasant Lad