Introduction to the basis of Ayurveda
The three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Khapha) are the three basic principles that govern the physiological processes.
When they are in equilibrium keep the body in good health, when they are not in equilibrium, are the three basic causes of the imbalance, disorders, and diseases of the body.
A Dosha (doṣa), according to Ayurveda, is one of three bodily humors that make up one's constitution. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory.
The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
VATA is like the wind
It gives rise to all movement
Transport - Movement - Communication
PITTA is like the sun
It governs all the heat and energy
Metabolism - Digestion - Transformation
Kapha is like a mountain:
It gives stability and structure to everything
Cohesion - Structure - Lubrication
Each dosha has its proper place and function in every area of life, both in the universe and in our bodies. If situations arise where there is too much buildup of any dosha, imbalances occur and that overload will spill over into areas where a dosha does not belong, harming its own functions as well as the functioning of other doshas in the process.
Vata is like the wind: It gives rise to all movement in the universe. Inside us, it is connected to the nervous system and anywhere there is bodily motion—even the movement of our thoughts. Our sense of touch and hearing are the predominately Vata functions.
The main qualities of Vata are moving, light, subtle, changing, quick, and dry.
Vata governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system and the process of elimination. Vata influences the other doshas.
General characteristics of Vata People: Individuals with a predominant Vata quality often are slim and have a light frame. They have energy coming in waves and they generally experience sudden tiredness. Typical Vatas have also dry skin and their feet and hands are cold. Their sleep is light and their digestion quite sensitive. When Vata is out of balance the individual looses weight, becomes constipated, restless, weak and may develop joint problems and digestive problems.
Personality characteristics: Vata people get angry very quickly but in the same way they forget very quickly. They love change and excitement with plenty of new experiences. As long as they are balanced they are creative and full of energy, but when Vata goes out of balance they become worried and anxious and they will often suffer from insomnia.
Pitta is like the sun: It governs all the heat and energy in the universe. In our bodies it is connected to metabolism and digestion. Sharp thinking is also a pitta function. Pitta is especially important for healthy blood and skin and is connected to our sense of sight. The main qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, bright, energetic, slightly oily, and moist.
General Characteristics of Pitta people: The body of Pitta individuals is generally of average size and weight. They may have red hair, as well as having thin hair, white hair old baldness.They are lucky to have a very good digestion. When Pitta is in balance they have a good quality of sleep, and their body is generally warm. They have plenty of energy and good appetite as well as very good complexion. When they are out of balance they will have too much heat in the body bringing indigestion, peptic ulcers, burning sensation, rashes etc.
Personality Characteristics of Pitta: When Pitta is in equilibrium, Pitta individuals are very good decision makers, they have a powerful intellect and they are precise, sharp, and they speak their minds. When Pitta goes out of balance they become short tempered.
Kapha is like a mountain: It gives stability and structure to everything in the universe. In our physiology it is connected to the structure, strength, fat content, and moistness of the body, and is related to our sense of taste and smell.
Kapha governs the structure of the body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat and bone. The primary function of Kapha is protection.
General Characteristics of Kapha people: The main qualities of kapha are steady, stable, slow, unctuous, sweet, and wet. Kapha individuals have a strong physique and have extraordinary stamina. Generally they have big soft eyes, radiant skin and thick hair. They sleep deep and have a good regular digestion. But when Kapha is out of balance and accumulates in the body the person will experience weight gain, allergies, water retention and they may suffer from asthma, depression, overweight, too much sleep and diabetes.
Personality Characteristics: Kapha types are generally loving, forgiving, and calm. They like routine and they enjoy life. When they are balanced they are loyal, patient, supportive and strong, when there is an excess of Kapha in the body they can become attached to things, jobs or relationships. Too much Kapha in the mind will bring stubbornness, laziness and resistance to change.