Vata, pitta, and kapha are the 3 doshas that make up who we are. In Ayurveda, everything is explained in terms of these doshas and their current state. If you are in a balanced doshic state, your doshas are ‘in balance’ according to your Prakruti/original blueprint or constitution. If they are not in balance, you are in a state of Vikruti/imbalance.
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Your State of Prakruti
All of Ayurveda aims to bring you back to a state of prakruti. However, it is almost difficult to say that anyone after the time of birth has ever been in a state of prakruti. Despite this, we can aim to be in a state of prakruti. And the closer you are to your prakruti/original constitution, the less dis-ease or disturbance you will experience.
However, you have to know what you doshic balance is to even know what you’re aiming for. To test for your doshas, you need to know how vata, pitta and kapha are formed. This is where it helps to understand that each of the doshas are made up of the 5 elements of nature.
What are the 5 Elements of Nature?
Ayurveda uses nature’s elements to identify our human form and existence. Every person is made up of 5 of the elements of nature. These are ether, air, fire, water and earth. The doshas are formed from a blend of these elements. And finally the 3 doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha make up an individual’s physical body – in different quantities.
What are the 3 Body Types of Ayurveda?
The 3 body types of Ayurveda are listed below with their elemental make up. Your physiological, emotional and mental health are determined by the state of your doshas. The 3 doshas and their elemental makeup is listed below.
- Vata – air and ether
- Pitta – fire and water
- Kapha – water and earth
How do I Know My Dosha (Vata Pitta Kapha) Type?
There are very visible and noticeable qualities that can give you a good idea of your unique dosha blend. And most people (if not all) will have a mix of vata-pitta, pitta-kapha, vata-kapha with most of them having the third dosha to some degree too. We will break these down deeper now.
To find out if this is the majority dosha ruling your body, check how many qualities you can circle from each of the lists below. Do the same activity with all vata, pitta, and kapha lists.
What is Vata Dosha?
Vata dosha is made up of air and ether. Its primary function is that of movement. You can read more about what Vata dosha is here.
Look for these qualities in a vata person: dry, light, cool, rough, mobile. To break this down into more normalized terms, you should be looking for the following:
- Highly creative
- Variable appetite
- Unstable (mood wise)
- Variable bloating and/or constipation
- Gets cold easily
- Dry skin
- Thin skin
- Lanky structure
- Naturally slim
- Head in the clouds
- Trouble sleeping
- Easily distracted
- Fast speech
If there were one word you want to visibly notice about a person of vata dosha, it would be bubbly.
How Do I Balance Vata Dosha?
Of course the best way to know how to balance your doshas is to see an Ayurvedic practitioner. If you cannot do that, try eating heavier foods, like root vegetables, milk, cheese, heavy nuts, rice, and oats. Remember to spice your food well to assist with your digestion. Use spices such as cumin, ginger, basil and thyme.
What is Pitta Dosha?
Pitta dosha is made up of the elements of fire and a little water. Pitta’s primary function is that it is the force behind digestion and transformation. Read more about pitta dosha here.
Look for these qualities in a pitta person: hot, sharp, light, moist/oily. To break this down into more normalized terms, you should be looking for the following:
- Highly focused
- Strong appetite
- Muscular stature
- Highly determined
- Desire for success
- Good metabolism
- Good circulation
- Burning indigestion
- Cranky when not fed
- Frequent bathroom visits
- Warm to the touch
- Prone to acne and oiliness
- Issues with inflammation
- Sleeps well
- Prone to conflict
If there were one word you want to visibly notice about a person of pitta dosha, it would be passionate.
How Do I Balance Pitta Dosha?
Since Pitta dosha has a tendency towards heat and intensity, you want to balance this person with cooler foods and lifestyle choice. This includes eating heavier but cooler foods such as rice, whole milk, ghee, cream cheese, mung bean, leafy vegetates, bell peppers, artichoke. Nuts such as coconut and walnuts (not in excess). Again, spicing foods well to assist with digestion, but for pitta we will use cooler spices such as coriander, cloves, cardamom, curry leaves, fennel, dill, cilantro, mint, ginger too.
What is Kapha Dosha?
Pitta dosha is made up of the elements of water and earth. Kapha’s primary function is that it provides structure and lubrication. Read more about kapha dosha here.
Look for these qualities in a kapha person: moist/oily, stable, heavy, soft, cool. To break this down into more normalized terms; you should be looking for the following:
- Rarely get upset
- Strong bones and joints
- Strong, full stature
- Easy weight gain
- Slow metabolism
- Possible breathing issues
- Quiet / Calm
- Healthy immune system
- Susceptible to deep depression
If there were one word you want to visibly notice about a person of kapha dosha, it would be obedient.
How Do I Balance Kapha Dosha?
Since kapha dosha has a tendency towards coolness and lethargy, you want to balance this person with warm, heating foods and provide more mobile lifestyle choices. This includes eating lighter but warmer foods such as rice, rice milk, raw vegetables, barley, millet, amaranth, mung bean, leafy vegetates, bell peppers, artichoke. Nuts such as pumpkin and walnuts (not in excess). Again, spicing foods well to assist with digestion, and for kapha we will use warm, metabolism increasing spices such as dry ginger, black pepper, basil, hot mustard, hot peppers, red chili pepper, turmeric, basil, thyme, and rosemary too.
While these are some of the foods to eat to bring your doshic constitution back into balance, this is probably a tenth of the help you will get from an Ayurvedic practitioner. I strongly suggest not trying to self-treat yourself but to reach out to someone who has studied the path of Ayurveda in the hopes of bringing people back to a state of perfect health.
- How to Increase the Body’s Subtle Immunity – Ojas
- How to Practice Trataka Candle Gazing
- Ayurveda’s Abhyanga Massage Benefits
Where can I find an Ayurvedic Doctor / Practitioner?
In the U.S. there are many centers that offer consultations with Ayurvedic doctors or practitioners. A quick Google search can help you find one in your state. Always look for one that has got their certification from a NAMA certified school. NAMA is the leading body for Ayurvedic practitioners in the U.S.
Drop me a comment or send me an email here, and I can get you in touch with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
I hope some of the information here provides you with a path to regain your health. And as mentioned above, it would do you more good if you were able to get your prakruti and vikruti charts done by an Ayurvedic practitioner so that you too can know if you are a vata, pitta, or kapha person. You can then use that information to bring your body and mind back to a state of health, both physiologically and psychologically too.
Featured photo courtesy of unsplash.com
Article last updated October 28th, 2021