There are 3 doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha; they can be used as a system of classification when examining microbiology or meta-social constructs. For example, the cell membrane is oily and therefore has Kapha qualities, or – at the personal-level – someone who tends to have lethargic tendencies, tends to gain weight, and has an active mind, is Kapha-dominant. Every system in the human body can be described as having either Vata, Pitta, or Kapha qualities-with a combination of all three.
- Vata Dosha has been described as being composed of Ether and Air. People with this dominant trait tend to be creative and quick learners. When out of balance, Vata types are likely to have anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and mental fogginess.
- Pitta Dosha has beendescribed as being a combination of Fire and Water. In balance, Pitta types are friendly, disciplined, and good leaders and speakers. Out of balance, Pitta looks like compulsivity, irritability, indigestion, and inflammation.
- Kapha Dosha has been described as a blend of Water and Earth. These people are kind, nourishing, and stable, but when the system is out of balance, this dosha Kapha is lacks the motivation, is sluggish, gains weight, and may be congested.
Everyone of us has a combination of the 3 doshas which is unique to the individual, from birth (prakriti). Environment and lifestyle choices further shape our expression of these qualities, influence the person toward balance or imbalance (disease) (vikruti). These concepts are supported by modern scientific studies. Genomics looks at these predispositions acquired at conception and is beginning to prove these concepts of the Dosha and prakriti through genotypic influences on the metabolic pathways and chronic diseases. An example will be, while one’s genetics might predispose a person to being more Pitta – or more intense and fiery – so too do their actions. Goal-driven, aggressive, and passionate, the Pitta personality is more predisposed than others to being stressed-out, having high blood pressure, and acid regurgitation.
Although, if that person fuels the stress with a high-pressure working environment, as such, he/she can become more pitta in thinking, and more heat builds in the body.
Pitta-predominant types have a high basal metabolic rate (BMR) and energy consumption that can lead to tissue destruction and premature aging, and foster an average life span, whereas Kapha-predominant prakriti types have a tendency toward a delayed manifestation of aging and a longer life span.
This cyclical system of thinking and being is mind-body medicine manifesting itself through.
Ayurvedic practitioners, help people to see how they can either help or harm their bodies with their actions, personalizing approach all the while, rather than following a “conventional-fits-all” modality. An individual may be told to as a Pitta-dominant that he/she must eat cooling foods and avoid hot and spicy foods. We may tell the parents of Kapha-dominant child to encourage sports activities participation so that they are raised with a good exercise habits and can avoid Kapha-prone imbalanced such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.