The body, according to the three doshas


Ayurveda is considered one of the oldest forms of holistic lifestyle. Originating in India, it stems from the Vedic culture and can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Sanskrit texts. 

Knowledge of Ayurveda allows us to create a balance of body, mind, and consciousness according to our own individual body constitution. When we understand our constitution, we can make changes to introduce and maintain this balance.

Think of it like this: we all have a fingerprint that is unique to us. In the same way, we each have a unique composition of energy. Determined at birth, this distinctive combination of mental, physical, and emotional characteristics makes up our constitution and remains unchanged for our entire life.

Ayurveda contends that everyone and everything manifests as three distinct energies. These are known as doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Image Credit: Lila Volkas

Image Credit: Lila Volkas

What are doshas?

We are all made up of a distinct combination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and each blend has different physiological properties and functions. For most people, one or two doshas is dominant.

Throughout the course of life, our combination can fluctuate in response to our environment. This movement in and out of balance affects all aspects of our health.

Ayurveda contends that all substance and matter is made up of five elements: Ether (Space), Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. For harmonious living, we need all five elements in balance. You can learn more about the five elements in my video: Balancing 5 Elements to Cultivate Peace and Calm.

The three doshas are permutations of these five elements, and influence our physiological, emotional, and mental health. The doshas ensure all five elements work synergistically to help us achieve optimum health. Most of us have one or two dominant doshas so nurturing this balance is vital for our health and wellbeing.

 Want to find out your individual body constitution? Take our dosha quiz!

Image Credit: Euroved

Image Credit: Euroved


The energy of action, transportation, and movement

Composition: Ether + Air

Qualities: Light, dry, cold, rough, subtle, and mobile.

Characteristics of Vata dosha

People with a dominant Vata are typically slim in stature, with small, fast-moving eyes. They are blessed with a lively imagination, a quick mind, and creativity. Vata types learn fast. They walk, talk, and think quickly which often results in fatigue.

They tend to be less bold and confident than other types, and often feel unstable. Vata types are closely connected to the spiritual, so meditating comes easily to them… if they can remember to make time for it.  They can have a difficult time grounding themselves as the air element causes dramatic fluctuations in their energy, mood, and appetite.

Vata: In balance

A balanced Vata type will live a vibrant, flexible, and creative life. They love music, dance, traveling, and meeting new people. In balance, Vatas can become more grounded through stabilising changes in their moods and energy levels.

Vata: Out of balance

An unbalanced Vata type becomes fearful and anxious. They experience unstable moods, forgetfulness, poor circulation, digestive issues, and insomnia. Their forgetfulness usually translates to irregular eating and sleeping habits. A Vata out of balance is easily overwhelmed and can become ‘flaky’ towards their commitments and routines.

Vata types are generally more susceptible to tics and twitches, joint pain, constipation and gas, nerve disorders, and mental confusion.

How to find balance in Vata

For the Vata type, comfort and warmth are key. Their living space should radiate a cosy ambience. Their bodies tend to run cold, so they enjoy warm environments. In the same way, their constitution finds balance in heavy, cooked food and warm drinks. Soft fabrics also help provide balance. Think soft cotton or silk fabrics for clothes and sheets. Steam baths and warm, gentle oil massages provide basic inner balance.

Routine can be extremely hard for Vata types, but it is vital to remain in balance. Following a regular daily routine helps them to balance all of their moving energy. Managing stress through calming activities – like meditation – and getting plenty of rest are key to maintaining balance. 

Reach out if you want to know more about your personal imbalance and how to find balance.

Image Credit: BeYogi

Image Credit: BeYogi


The energy of digestion, conversion, and metabolism.

Composition: Fire + Water

Qualities: Light, hot, sharp, oily, mobile, and liquid.

Characteristics of Pitta dosha

People with a dominant Pitta are typically average in stature, with medium-sized, piercing eyes. They are blessed with sharp concentration, clear expression, and a practical disposition. Pitta types are highly intelligent. They have logical, organised minds that produce powerful ideas. However, they can also be intense, agitated, and short-tempered.

Their strong will can sometimes make them impatient and judgemental. Pitta types have a strong desire for success, but their pride and fighting spirit can make them prone to conflict.

Pitta: In balance

A balanced Pitta type will live their life as a purposeful, fast-learning, natural leader. With their sharp intelligence and precise memory, balanced Pittas are highly motivated, organised individuals who love keeping busy and exercising outdoors.

Pitta: Out of balance

An unbalanced Pitta type becomes impatient and moody. They experience irritation, inflammation, rashes, diarrhea, acne, and sensitivity to heat. A Pitta out of balance is easily agitated, and due to their fast metabolism, they always feel hungry. Their tenacity can translate as aggression and increase chances of conflict.

Overexposure to hot environments and substances, intense hunger, and pushing themselves too hard contribute to Pittas moving out of balance.

How to find balance in Pitta

For the Pitta type, good food and a cool environment are key. Because their bodies run hot, they enjoy cooler environments. In the same way, their constitution finds balance in cold, non-spicy food and refreshing drinks. Soft, breathable fabrics also help provide balance to the Pitta type. Exercising in the cooler part of the day provides basic inner balance. Team sports are useful for putting their competitive nature to good use.  

Striking a work-life balance can be hard for Pitta types but it is vital for optimal health. Taking time to relax can help balance their ‘go-go-go’ mentality. Eating and resting regularly are key to maintaining balance. 

Reach out if you want to know more about your personal imbalance and how to find balance.

Image credit: Grazia India

Image credit: Grazia India


The energy of lubrication, construction, and nourishment.

Composition: Water + Earth

Qualities: Heavy, cold, moist, dull, soft, sticky, and static.

Characteristics of Kapha dosha

People with a dominant Kapha are typically large in stature, with large, attractive eyes. They are blessed with strength, endurance, compassion, and loyalty. Methodical Kaphas move slow, both physically and mentally. Filled to the brim with empathy, intuition, and stability, Kapha individuals have strong convictions and move at their own pace.

But they can tend towards complacency and procrastination, resulting in lethargy. Their slow metabolism also makes them prone to weight gain.

Kapha: In balance

A balanced Kapha type will live their life as a caring, patient, and compassionate friend. With their slow but firm approach, balanced Kaphas are a genuine pleasure to be around. In balance, Kaphas have an easier time maintaining motivation and physical health. 

Kapha: Out of balance

An unbalanced Kapha type becomes unmotivated and complacent. They experience envy, excess weight, depression, water retention, over-sleeping, and headaches. A Kapha out of balance can be stubborn and resistant to change. This resistance can manifest as avoidance in the face of external stressors.

Lack of exercise, high sugar and salt consumption, and insufficient stimulation all contribute to Kapha moving out of balance.

How to find balance in Kapha

For the Kapha type, exercise and a proper diet are key. It is recommended Kaphas try to maintain a warm body temperature. Their constitution finds balance in foods that have a strong taste. This helps provide stimulation in their otherwise slow-moving lives. Staying active, varying routines, and developing a regular sleep routine provide basic inner balance.

Routine comes easily to Kaphas, but they can have a difficult time straying from it. Mixing things up from time to time can help manage their resistance to change.

Avoiding their tendency to overeat and over-sleep is key to maintaining balance. 

Reach out if you want to know more about your personal imbalance and how to find balance. You can also take our dosha quiz to find out your individual body constitution and introduce balance to your life.