One of the central teachings of Ayurveda is the theory that a healthy body exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily energies, called doshas. These three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the body’s functions that are responsible for all physical and mental processes.
The tridosha theory in Ayurveda comes from the 5 elements that comprise our world – space, air, fire, water (Jala), and earth. The three doshas are a combination of these elements which take form in the human body.
Vata: (Space + Air)
- Vata is movement, the body in motion. It controls the respiratory system, our heartbeat, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions. Vata circulates our blood flow, pumps air through our lungs, moves food through our digestive track, and eliminates waste.
Pitta: (Fire + Water)
- Pitta regulates the body, controlling its metabolism. It deals with the body in a transformative state. Pitta handles the digestion of food, release and absorption of hormones, production of heat, and the cooling of the body. If Vata is the energy that moves nerve impulses through the brain, Pitta is the energy that converts those impulses into thoughts.
Kapha: (Earth + Water)
- Kapha is the structural foundation of the body in the form of lubrication. It builds the body and forms its skeleton, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and skin. Kapha ensures the smooth function of joints by lubricating the body. It is the body at rest through strength, stability and solidity.
Everyone is made up of three doshas, but they will differ between individuals. Primarily we will have an affinity towards one dosha. It is important to realize what that affinity is, in order to properly balance your body. You can take a quiz here to find out which body type you are.
When we live against our natural attributes, we begin a pattern of unhealthy life choices that cause mental and physical imbalances. This is cured by aligning your everyday habits and diet with the natural fulfillments within your dosha. For example a Pitta may experience heartburn after eating spicy food. This could be counteracted by eating more cooling or alkalizing foods instead.
Take the quiz, learn more about your body and how you can attain proper equilibrium.
Here are some recipes for spice-water that can help your body type’s imbalances.