What are Ayurvedic Doshas?
The balance of energies within
Our bodies are made up of energy. Ayurvedic wisdom stems from the understanding that each of us is a combination of the five elements of akasha (space), aaayu (air), teja (fire), apas (water) and prthivi (earth). Each of us is born with a combination of each element in three doshas: vata (air and space), kapha (water and earth) and pitta (fire).
Each of us has a combination of these three doshas, and it would vary at different points of our lives and even the season we’re in. They are responsible all biological, psychological and physiopathological functions of the body, mind and consciousness.
Dive deeper into our energetic composition
Understanding the prakruthi or constitution is the first step in the Ayurvedic healing journey. An experienced Ayurvedic practitioner would be able to detect your unique doshas with a physical examination which would include listening to your pulse, checking your tongue and under your eyes. They would also observe your behaviour, your likes and dislikes, eating and sleeping habits, how you would respond to situations and so on.
Vata consists of elements of space and air. It governs movement, communication, and sensory perception. People with a dominant Vata constitution tend to be creative, energetic, and enthusiastic. However, when Vata is imbalanced, it can lead to issues such as fear, anxiety, restlessness, digestive problems, and dryness of the skin.
Pitta dosha is linked to the elements of fire and water. It is responsible for metabolism, perception, understanding, digestion, and transformation. Individuals with a predominant Pitta constitution are often driven, ambitious, and have a strong digestion.Imbalanced Pitta can result in issues like excessive anger, jealousy, inflammation, heartburn, and skin irritations.
Kapha dosha is associated with the elements of water and earth. It governs structure, stability, energy and lubrication in the body. People with a dominant Kapha constitution tend to be forgiving, calm, grounded, and compassionate. However, an excess of Kapha can lead to possessiveness, greed, weight gain, congestion, lethargy, and emotional attachment.
What are the seven Dhatus?
According to Ayurveda, the human body is structured with seven vital tissues called “dhatus”.
Once the food is digested, this ‘nutrient plasma’ or ahara rasa converts to nourishment with the help of agni (fire or heat) and this flows through each dhathu giving it the nourishment it needs to perform its functions. When there is a disorder, this process is directly affected which is why the health of the dhathus need to be maintained with the balance of vata-pitta-kapha.
The three waste products or three malas are urine, stools and sweat, the elimination of which is vital to health. The urinary system expels water, salt and nitrogenous waste in the body while faeces expel the remainder of what is digested. Constipation and diarrhoea indicate imbalances in this mala. A practitioner can identify any imbalances by observing the color of urine collected early morning. This same urine will go through another test by introducing a drop of sesame oil onto it with differences in its behaviour indicating varieties of imbalances.