Known as vata, pitta, and kapha, these three dosha are one of the most foundational concepts in the tradition of Ayurveda.
But what are they, exactly? In essence, the doshas are energetic forces of nature, functional principles that help us better understand ourselves, and the world around us.
I myself am a Pitta and try to eat and live according to Pitta. I do best with slow yoga, cooling foods, if not I get out of balance and my digestion goes crazy awful.
No one dosha is better than, or superior to, any other. Each of them has a very specific set of functional roles to play in the body.
That said, when the doshas are out of balance, they can wreak havoc on our health.
But before we get into the specifics of each of the three doshas, it is helpful to understand their elemental composition and their broader role in the natural world. In Ayurveda the most basic building blocks of the material world are the five elements: ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth.
Dosha Primary Elements
Vata = Air + Ether
Pitta = Fire + Water
Kapha = Water + Earth
As with the elements, all three of the doshas can be found in everyone and everything, but in different proportions.
They combine to create different climates, different foods, different species, and even different individuals within the same species. In fact, the particular ratio of vata, pitta, and kapha within each of us provides us with a blueprint for optimal health (otherwise known as our constitution), and garners a significant influence on our individual physical, mental, and emotional character traits—as well as our unique strengths and vulnerabilities.