Understanding the three Doshas in Ayurveda

The secret to understanding Ayurveda is through learning the subtle energy and qualities of the three Doshas. Ayurveda recognises three doshas which are present in everyone and everything.

When we look at the principles of Ayurveda we have the five elements, which conjugate in each individual in patterns of energy known as Doshas. Most people who have heard of Ayurveda have heard of the Doshas.

Do you know your Dosha? Read more below and let’s discover what this Dosha energy is and how you can learn what your Dosha is!

What does Dosha mean?

Doshas in Sanskrit means ‘toxicity’ or ‘impurity’ or ‘ that which is at fault’, since doshas mainly become visible when they are out of balance or in disequilibrium.

In a state of balance, it is harder to notice the doshas. You can notice signs of the doshas through mucus, wind, body discharges and other early signs of disorder. It is an invitation for you to bring awareness to it before it becomes a full-blown disease.

So doshas aren’t a problem until the imbalances have been hanging around for a while. Same in every aspect of your life and business.

What are the three Doshas?

There are three doshas : Pitta, Vata and Kapha. They naturally arise when the 5 elements come together in combinaisons. They coexist in all living organisms. Each dosha is formed by a union of two elements in dynamic balance.

In synthesis:

  • VATA combines Air + Space and is the energy of movement

  • PITTA combines Fire + Water and is the energy of transformation

  • KAPHA combines Earth + Water and is the energy of cohesion (think glue)

Each Dosha is associated with key qualities and part of your body as well as season and time of the day which we will dive deeper in the Ayurveda in Business course.

But I’ll still share a very succinct overview now (which I mention in my blog article here):

Vata is an energy associated with air and space, therefore linked to bodily movements like breathing and blood circulation. Vata is predominately in people who are lively, creative and thinkers. When this is out of balance, Vata individuals can experience joint pain, constipation, dry skin and anxiety, just to name a few.

The energy of Pitta correlates with fire and water and is believed to be in control of the digestive and endocrine systems. Those with pitta energy are fiery in temperament, intelligent and fast-paced. When the individual is out of balance they can suffer from ulcers, inflammation, anger, heartburn, digestive problems and arthritis.

The last principle of Ayurveda is Kapha energy, or earth and water. Kapha is said to be in control of growth and strength, associated with the chest, torso and back. If you were someone associated with Kapha, you are likely to be strong and sold in constitution and calm in nature, however, obesity and diabetes, sinus, insecurity and gallbladder issues may result when not in balance.

Why is it important to know your Dosha?

Understanding the Dosha helps us understand how to get and stay healthy. Knowing which Dosha is dominant in your body helps you understand your own physical rhythm and adjust your way of living with it.

I cover deeper about this in my Ayurveda in Business course but you can already explore the parallel between your dosha and productivity in a previous blog article I’ve written on this topic here.

It is important to know your Doshas as it is about discovering your unique metabolic type and then aligning what you eat, using your senses and mind in alignment with it, embracing your inner rhythms, the cycles of the seasons, the cycles of the day, etc.

For example, a fire/pitta person will be especially exacerbated on a hot summer day, whereas an air/Vata person will feel especially out of balance in very windy weather.

Exploring and widening the capacity of our senses allows us to feel and experience the many facets of the self and awaken the journey to self-knowing more deeply. When we get to know our unique constitutional type we can learn how to balance it by working with the elements. To go back to our Pitta type, who is burning up in the summer sun, jumping in the ocean will be the perfect antidote.

How to discover your Dosha, your unique constitution and finding balance?

I will share practices for you to discover your own dosha inside my Ayurveda in Business course as well as specific rituals to balance your dosha mentally, physically, socially and in your lifestyle so you can thrive in your life and business. So join us.

You may wish to also explore some of my blog articles on Ayurveda to dive deeper into it before the course starts.

My story with discovering my dosha and how it has impacted my life

You might have heard my story before, but in case you haven’t…

I was first introduced to Ayurveda, it was in July 2004 so over 16 years ago as I recorded this episode when my housemate told me about Ayurveda. So in Mumbai, I went to see an Ayurvedic practitioner to get an Ayurveda massage - have you ever had one of these? It was the best experience ever!

The practitioner took my pulse to tell me what my constitution was (for those who don't know what this is, it is the Pitta, Kapha and Vata). Then they worked out my skin, my hair, the position of my eye.

For me, I was told I was mostly Pitta and Vata with a bit of Kapha. As a Pitta, I was told what types of foods to avoid, which meant meat (especially red meat) was not recommended at night. It is just so incredible to be given this knowledge which helps guide me through life.

The second time I explored Ayurveda was in July 2005 (~15 years ago) when I returned to India. Again, I went to see an Ayurveda practitioner and learnt more about food and what I need to bring to awareness in order to be in balance (to correct the imbalance).

This is when I thought I wanted to be trained to be a practitioner but in India, it was required that you do 7 years in the ashram.

Final thoughts

When you know and understand your Dosha, it makes it easier to work in alignment to the energy you have. That is why I created my FREE quiz, to help you understand your Dosha. Once you have this information, you can explore the abundance of resources I have on Ayurveda and the Doshas.

Of course, this is just one element of Ayurveda and will be covered (along with A LOT more) in my Ayurveda in Business course.

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