What Are The Doshas? Discover The 4 Ayurveda Dosha Types.

The Dosha, body and mind profiles, come from the worlds most well known holistic medical practice, Ayurveda.  Discover Your Ayurvedic Dosha Type.

So what are the Doshas?

By using the Ayurvedic Profiles below, you actually start a journey of self-exploration. You will gain great insights and understanding of yourself. You will also learn ways to support your health.

Our content is reader-supported. When you buy through links in our posts we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. We do not accept money for reviews. Learn More

What Are The Doshas?

Records show that the Indian Ayurvedic medical system has been practised for over 4,000 years.  The term Ayurveda comes from Sanskrit, one of the world’s oldest languages.

Ayus – meaning life

Vid – meaning knowledge

When put Ayus and Vid together we get

Ayurveda –  the knowledge of life

Based upon Ayurvedic teachings it is believed that there are 4 aspects of life

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual

When combined these 4 aspects contribute to our overall heath and well-being.

Ayurvedic practice teaches us how to keep these balanced and how to maintain a healthy energy system to prevent falling ill.  Ayurveda also helps to keep your immune system strong and your physical body in optimal health.

Ayurveda, like all natural remedies, is based on the belief that holistic therapies work as a prevention rather than a cure.

YouTube video
What Are The Doshas?

Allopathic, or Western medicine, is “cure based” and treats the symptoms of illness and disease.  It is something that is done after the onset of disease and the treatments are used after you become sick.

Ayurvedic medicine is “preventative”.  This means it is applied before ill health and its practices are used to prevent illness occurring.

As with all holistic treatments Ayurveda monitors all aspects of the patient’s lifestyle. Ayurveda wellness cleanses and natural treatments include:

  • Will focus on your diet
  • investigates your emotional state
  • looks into your levels of physical activity
  • looks into your sex life
  • looks at the conditions in your home and work (is it warm, comfortable, relaxed etc)
  • discusses your spirituality
  • other lifestyle choices

Combined with this Ayurvedic practitioners encourage eating natural organic foods and may prescribe herbal remedies.  Most will also recommend that you participate in meditation or yoga. Many believe that intermittent fasting improves health and so is recommended for all.

Ayurveda is the system that defined the term Dosha.

What Are The Doshas? – learn your ayurvedic body type:

  1. Ayurveda believes our body, like everything in nature, is composed of five elements
    1. Space
    2. Air
    3. Fire
    4. Water
    5. Earth.
  2. The five elements combine in certain patterns.
  3. The patterns form three Body and Mind Profiles.
  4. The body and mind profiles govern physical composition and how we react and interact with others, the environment and everything else around us.
  5. This profile determines your Dosha.
  6. The Dosha are:
    1. Vata
    2. Pitta
    3. Kapha.

While we all tend to belong to just one Dosha, we should be aiming to achieve a unique balance of all three. This balance is decided by the time of our birth. 

Ayurvedic practitioners believe that once the correct balance is achieved we remain in good health and have excellent wellbeing. There is research1Dosha brain-types: A neural model of individual differences that supports functioning in the different brain-types of vata, pitta and kapha.

what are the doshas

Because you are a unique individual, you will be unable to balance the Dosha types (and achieve physical health and wellbeing) until you determine your individual proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

This needs to be done with an Ayurvedic practitioner. However it is relatively easy to self assess your dominant dosha.

Key Characteristics Of doshas and their functions.

Read all 3 of the dosha types characteristics below. Keep in mind that it is common for you to have attributes within all three. However most people naturally fit within one. We call this your dominant Dosha.

vata dosha

ELEMENTS:

AIR & SPACE

attributes of a vata dosha and cHARACTERISTICS:

COLD, ROUGH, LIGHT, SWIFT, MOBILE, DRY

Vata Dosha.

  • Thin light and wiry framed body
  • long tapered fingers and toes
  • small dark eyes, small mouth, thin lips
  • dry skin and can be rough
  • hair is regular to dry
  • extreme sensitivity to cold, wind and dry weather
  • cold extremities – hands, feet, nose
  • erratic appetites, irregular digestion
  • highly imaginative but often with disjointed thoughts
  • open and tolerant of others
  • energetic but sporadic
  • light restless sleep

PACE

Balanced Vata promotes creativity and flexibility.

When Vata doshas are out of balance it produces fear and anxiety.

Physical Ailments: emphysema, pneumonia and arthritis

Vata Brain-type have characteristics of quick learners, are creative, can multi-task and have compassion and kindness.

Their body type is often energetic and slender.

GUIDANCE FOR when vata is out of balance

KEEP WARM – MAINTAIN CALMNESS – AVOID RAW OR COLD FOODS STAY OUT OF COLD WEATHER – KEEP A REGULAR ROUTINE

Unlike the doshas of pitta and kapha when vata has imbalance the nature of this dosha is:

  • Impacted nervous system
  • Emotions in turmoil
  • May develop anxiety
  • Sensitivity to the cold
  • Appetite may increase or decrease easily
  • May develop digestive problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Difficulty sleeping

To Balance:

  • Stay in warm and moist environments.
  • Be around supportive and warm people who make you feel relaxed.
  • Seek sweet fragrances and warm, sweet types of music
  • Eat soft and warm foods
  • Engage in meditation
  • Intermittent fasting may be helpful
  • Consume more foods that have sweet, sour and salty tastes.
  • Foods that you should eat more of are cooked vegetables, fresh berries, eggs, and dairy products.
pitta dosha, dosha type

ELEMENTS:

FIRE & WATER

nature of the doshas CHARACTERISTICS:

HOT, SHARP, LIGHT, LIQUID, MOBILE, OILY

Pitta Dosha.

  • Body Types are medium to heavy, strong, well-built
  • skin is fair, warm, reddish, soft and moist.
  • many freckles and moles.
  • Skin may have rashes and acne.
  • Hair is normally fine, straight with a tendency for thinning
  • Burn easily in sun, sensitive to humidity adn heat
  • Robust appetite, irritable when meals skipped
  • Have a very sharp mind
  • Good powers of concentration
  • Good circulation
  • Strong metabolism
  • Normally seek to avoid and dislike hot weather
  • Benefits from daily meditation after 6 p.m.
  • Overheat during sleep
  • Burn candle both ends

PACE

Balanced Pitta promotes intelligence and understanding.

Imbalance or Vitiation in the Pitta produces anger and jealousy.

Physical Ailments: fevers, inflammatory diseases and jaundice.

Pitta in the body controls digestion and how we judge what is right and wrong.

Nature of the doshas in Pitta mean they are quick learners, good leaders, are motivated, determined and tenacious.

Pitta is associated with fire, this manifest with strong metabolism

find balance and learn To BALANCe PITTA

avoid excessive heat or steam – avoid excess oil – LIMIT SALT INTAKE – EXERCISE ONLY WHEN ABLE TO KEEP COOL

Vitiation in any dosha can happen but in pitta means:

  • Easily lose patience
  • Quick to anger
  • Quick to enter into conflict
  • Gets hungry easily
  • May exhibit mood swings
  • Sensitive to hot temperatures
  • May have health concerns particularly with inflammation

How To Balance

  • Be in a cool environment.
  • Provide yourself comfort such as soft beds or cushions.
  • Take time out in a silent meditation retreat.
  • Make sure you only be in places that have a relaxed environment.
  • Eat foods that are light and sweet.
  • Eat foods that are fresh and cold.
  • Food types to eat plenty of are fruits, vegetables, and salads.
  • Foods should be naturally sweet, sour or bitter.
  • Processed or refined foods are to be avoided.
kapha dosha types, what are the doshas

ELEMENTS:

WATER EARTH

CHARACTERISTICS:

HEAVY, SLOW, COLD, OILY, SMOOTH, SOFT

Kapha Dosha.

  • Body type is a larger sturdy build
  • Stocky, gain weight easily
  • Regardless of size they are usually physically strong
  • Skin is oily and moist, usually pale
  • Soft, thick, oily hair that is wavy and plentiful
  • Usually very white teeth
  • Strong bones and joints.
  • Strong immunity.
  • Deliberate thought patterns; Reflective and Calm
  • Dislike of damp and/or cold weather
  • Cool extremities that may be clammy
  • Heavy sleepers with a tenency to over sleep
  • Early to bed and early to rise is best for the Kapha
  • Grounded and stable individuals
  • They are powerful but incredibly caring.
  • Supportive of others

PACE

Balanced Kapha promotes calmness and forgiveness.

Imbalance or vitiation in the doshas for Kapha produces greed and envy.

Physical Ailments: Flu, Sinus, Congestion and Excess mucous.

Kapha provides the body lubrication for our physical form, and smooth function of the body parts.

Kapha ayurveda type are caring in nature, are empathetic, calm, composed and patient. They trust others and are wise and mature.

Kapha in the body gives people substance and is related to loyalty, strength and patience.

Ayurveda attribute types and how to balance KAPHA

staying active – ensuring plenty of exercise – avoiding heavy oily foods – limit dairy and iced drinks- vary your daily routine.

When Kapha is an unbalanced body type ayurveda tells us this shows with:

  • Slow or sluggish metabolism
  • They may put on weight quickly
  • May be prone to oversleeping
  • They may have respiratory issues
  • Potential to be at risk of developing heart disease
  • May have little motivation
  • Prone to developing depression

The functioning described in this table helps Kapha find Balance:

  • Be in warm and dry environments.
  • Accept emotional support from loved ones.
  • Be more active and take exercise
  • Consider daily fasting
  • Add foods to your diet that have pungen or bitter tastes.
  • Eat more spicy foods
  • East more acidic foods
  • Food types to include in the diet are whole grains, eggs, low-fat cheese, and spices.
  • Improve circulation by taking exercise.

I hope this guide has explained the Dosha and you have been able to identify your ayurvedic body type. Why not take our Quiz – Discover Your Dosha to find out exactly!

I would love to hear your feedback so please leave me a comment in the thread below or contact me directly by clicking here.

Wishing you great health

what are the doshas? discover the 4 ayurveda dosha types.

References

  • 1
    Dosha brain-types: A neural model of individual differences

Photo of author
Author
HolisticJB
Educator and International Leadership Consultant with over 20 years experience, and still loving it! Qualified and Licensed Reiki Master Teacher, Hypnotherapist and Chakra Energy Health Body Worker. A traveler, a foodie and a knowledge seeker with a passion for all things healthy, herbal and energy holistic!