Posted on Ayurveda

According to ayurveda, health is a state of balance, and disease a state of imbalance, of 3 fundamental physiologic, or “psychometabolic” principles, called “doshas.” The 3 doshas are called “vata,” “pitta,” and “kapha.”

What do these mean? The first dosha, vata, governs all movement, mind, body, and spirit: movement of thoughts through the mind, movement of food through the digestive tract, movement of blood through the blood stream. Anything moving is under the domain of vata dosha. Pitta governs digestion, metabolism, and transformation. The whole process of eating something, then transforming what you have eaten into nutrients, is governed by pitta dosha. Kapha governs structure, the physical structure of the body. Tissues, organs, etc, the material body, fall under the domain of kapha dosha.

When these 3 doshas are balanced, ie, present in the right amounts and functioning harmoniously together, 2 thumbs up! We’re in good health. On the other hand, if one or more doshas becomes imbalanced, or overactive, because of improper diet, improper daily routine, some stress, some germ, some environmental toxin, or whatever other cause, this may tip the system out of kilter, with symptoms of illness potentially setting in.

In addition, we know that different people have different natures. The reason for introducing this point is that in the Ayurvedic system, we use the 3 doshas as a basis for classifying, or categorizing, people. In other words, some of us are vata types, some pitta types, some kapha types, or various combinations. Although all of us have all 3 doshas governing the physiology, most of us, by virtue of how we were born and have developed, are naturally inclined to express the qualities of 1 or 2 doshas more than another. Then, knowing one’s ayurvedic body type provides guidance as to how one should best manage his/her health. After all, in the face of a given set of health concerns, what’s right for one person might be wrong for the next, depending upon who that person is, and how s/he is built.