Dosha and the Body

What makes you, you?

You’re unique, right? There’s no one else quite like you out there in the world. You might share the same name as someone, or even know a look-alike, but without question there’s only one of you.

Now let’s move on to pointing out something else just as obvious.

We are not man-made, we are a part of nature, a part of the natural world around us. So when we want to answer the question - what makes me, me? - we must start by questioning what makes nature?

Don’t worry, Ayurveda has the answers.

Nature is made up of five elements:

ether, air, fire, water and earth.

These five elements are made up of ten opposing attributes:

hot vs cold, dry vs wet light vs heavy, subtle vs gross, liquid vs dense, hard vs soft, mobile vs static, murky vs clear, smooth or slimy vs rough, slow or dull vs fast or sharp.

So, for example, the fire element is a combination of hot, light, mobile, sharp, smooth, subtle, mobile, soft and clear.

All living creatures are also made up of a combination of the five elements condensed into three different types:

  • Vata or Air/ether Types

  • Pitta or Fire/water Types

  • Kapha or Earth/water Types

The form of each individual - in terms of physiology and personality - is influenced by the five great elements and reflects the attributes of each element.

  • Vata is cold, light, mobile, rough, dry, subtle, hard and clear

  • Pitta is hot, light, mobile, sharp, smooth, subtle, mobile, soft and clear

  • Kapha is cold, heavy, dense, dull, rough, wet, gross, static, hard and murky

Well that’s the science bit done, but how does that look in each unique individual?

Vata types are slim or slight, fast in their actions, also fast and changeable in their thought and speech, they are vibrant, dynamic, creative and quick to learn

Pitta types have a medium frame, with good natural tone, they are discerning and focused, confident and rational in their approach to life

Kapha types generally have a broad frame with excellent strength and stamina, they are loving, dependable, slow and steady in their actions, and calm in their thought processes and speech with good memory

Once you have an understanding of your own unique individual constitution - or Dosha. - Ayurveda shows you how to achieve optimum physical and mental health by balancing your Dosha. In this sense if you have the hot attribute, then we use the cold attribute to balance you. This is because…

Like increases like, or opposite attributes anti-dote one another.

If you haven’t already taken the Dosha would be a good time. When you’re done come back to the next step - Guna and the mind.


Four key principals to get you started with Ayurveda: Body, Mind, Inner Fire, Life Purpose