Ayurveda & The Tri-Doshas
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of health and wellness. According to Ayurveda everything is composed of combinations of the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. The five elements come together in each of us in unique combinations and these combinations create our individual doshas.
Doshas can be described as a person's individual physical, mental and emotional personality. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha is composed of two elements and these elements give each dosha its specific character. The elements of ether and air combine to form vata dosha. The elements of fire and water form pitta dosha. Lastly the elements of water and earth form kapha dosha.
Vata comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “that which moves things”. It is the moving force behind the other two doshas and is responsible for all the body's activities and sensations. Vata is responsible for the movement of air in and out of the lungs, blood through the circulatory system and thoughts through the mind.
Pitta means “that which digests things”. It is responsible for the chemical and metabolic transformations in the body as well as heat production. Pitta also governs our ability to digest ideas and impressions as well as stimulates the intellect.
Kapha stems from a Sanskrit word meaning “that which holds things together”. It provides support and substance to the body and structures everything from an individual cell to the musculoskeletal frame. It provides physical and psychological strength and stability and governs human emotions such as love, compassion and patience.
Individuals usually have one or two dominant dosha, which means that a certain dosha (or two) is more prone to become overactive. An aggravated dosha can throw the body and mind off balance in a myriad of ways.
By knowing which dosha or doshas are our dominant types, we can recognize and take steps towards balancing the aggravated elements within ourselves. A change in diet, daily habits as well as wearing certain gemstones are simple ways we can pacify an overactive dosha.