Vata - Pitta - Kapha
Vata - Pitta - Kapha
Your natural constitution, often referred to as your body type, is described in terms of the Ayurvedic tridoshic principles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Characteristics of Vata dosha
Vata dosha is principally composed of Space and Air. Responsible for all movement in the body and mind Vata is most closely related to the central nervous system and its associated sensory perception and motor reflexes. Some functions it governs include respiration, excretion, speech, hearing, touch and creativity.
Vata (meaning “wind”) brings the characteristics of lightness and mobility, and in the absence of the elements of Fire, Water and Earth, also coldness and dryness.
A balanced, healthy Vata promotes flexibility, creativity, enthusiasm, good circulation and excretion. Imbalanced or excess Vata tends towards a restless mind and body, dry skin, hair and nails, constipation, insomnia, weight-loss, hearing disorders, anxiety, fear, poor circulation and nerve-related pain.
Vata’s priority in order to stay balanced is regularity – particularly of sleep and meals, favouring warm nourishing foods, as well as regular relaxing exercise such as yoga, and warm oil massage.
Characteristics of Pitta dosha
Pitta dosha is principally composed of Fire (90%) and Water elements. Pitta is responsible for all transformation in the body and mind. It is most closely associated with the body’s metabolic system and its ability to convert food into nutrients. Pitta dosha governs the process of digestion and hunger, the endocrine system, the liver and blood, vision and skin complexion, as well as qualities of intelligence and courage.
Pitta (meaning “bile”) brings the characteristics of heat, acidity, sharpness and penetration, but also fluidity and oiliness.
A balanced, healthy Pitta promotes a strong appetite and digestive system, soft and glowing skin, intelligence, ambition, organisation and focus. Imbalanced or excess Pitta can manifest in the body as early greying/balding of hair, inflammatory conditions or sensations, excessive sweating, eye sensitivity, blood conditions, excess heat/acidity in the digestive system, skin irritations, plus emotions of anger, frustration, over-ambitiousness and excessive criticism of the self and others.
Pitta is best balanced by assuring it is fed when hungry; has sufficient sleep; exists in cool, calm surroundings; avoids multi-tasking and maintains a good balance between work and rest.
Characteristics of Kapha Dosha
Kapha dosha is principally composed of Water and Earth. The qualities of these elements make it is responsible for stability, growth, maintenance, lubrication and protection within the body and mind. Kapha dosha is most closely associated with the immune and lymphatic systems and along with all the liquid parts of the body it also rules nutrition, adipose tissue, taste, smell and the qualities of tolerance and patience.
Kapha (meaning “slime/mucous”) brings the characteristics of heaviness, slowness, stability and sweetness. Like Vata, it lacks fire and so brings coolness, but unlike Vata’s air-related dryness, its water element lends it fluidity and softness.
Balanced Kapha promotes a strong immune system and overall physical resilience and stamina, as well as a kind, loyal, compassionate nature and a good memory. Imbalanced or excess Kapha tends towards congestive disorders, obesity and weight gain, lethargy, slow digestion and loss of appetite as well as emotions of possessiveness and attachment.
Kapha dominance is best balanced by strong physical exercise and a varied daily routine and lifestyle, avoiding excess sleep and only eating when hungry to avoid weight gain.