Ayurveda & your Doshas

Ayurveda & your Doshas

Ayurveda is considered by many to be the oldest healing science – in Sanskrit Yur means life and Veda means science ~ combining both beautifully translates as The Science of Life. It originated in India thousands of years ago, and is still followed and practised today. Ayurveda places great emphasis on preventative life measures and encourages reflection on your own health through paying attention to your own body’s balance – through diet, lifestyle and medicinal plants. Knowledge and understanding of this allows us to create balance of the mind, our consciousness and body, at the same time giving us an understanding of how lifestyle changes can bring about balance.  Everyone is uniquely different and has different levels and patterns of energy, these are unique to each individual in a combination of mental, emotional and physical entities.

Ayurveda describes three fundamental mind & body types – our Doshas – and as there are no direct translations for the words we still use the Sanskrit terminologies – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They relate directly to the basic biology of the body and the definitions are:

  1. VATA – Governs all movement 

In balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility

Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety

  1. PITTA – Governs metabolism & transformations in the body 

In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence

Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy

  1. KAPHA – Governs lubrication and provides stability & structure

In balance, kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness

Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed and envy

People have all three qualities of all three doshas in their bodies but one tends to be more prominent and primary, the second less so and the third very minimal. In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance and viewed as simple tools to be complete and whole.

To be able to engage with this and understand how to achieve balance, you need an understanding of the following things:

  1. The five cosmos – the method of these elements interacting with each other brings us our three doshas 
  2. What your primary dosha is 
  3. How your doshas work together to achieve personal balance


1. The five cosmos elements are:

  1. SPACE Sound – Our ears. Space is the universe & body
  1. FIRE Vision – Our eyes. Fire is heat – all metabolic adjustments
  1. AIR Touch – Our skin.  Air is communication and movement
  1. WATER Taste – Our tongue. Water is nourishment & balance
  1. EARTH Smell – Our nose. Earth is all hard structures


2. Figure out what your primary dosha is:


Vata types have variable appetite and digestion. 

They are often attracted to astringent foods like salad and raw vegetables, but their constitution is balanced by warm, cooked foods and sweet, sour and salty tastes. 

With a tendency to produce little urine, their feces are often hard, dry and small in size and quantity.

This diet nourishes the nervous system, raises the digestive fire and aids the absorption of nutrients.

It is useful for relieving nervous tension, cramps, pain, anxiety, coldness, insomnia, bloating, constipation or pebble-like stools, and dryness. 

It is particularly valuable at the vata times of year, which are primarily spring and autumn.

General guidelines for balancing vata:

  • Keep warm
  • Keep calm and avoid overly stressful situations 
  • Avoid cold, frozen or raw foods
  • Avoid extreme cold
  • Eat warm foods and spices
  • Keep a regular routine with exercise but not excessively 
  • Get plenty of rest



Those with pitta-dominant constitutions have a strong metabolism, good digestion and strong appetites. 

They like plenty of food and liquids and tend to love hot spices and cold drinks. However, their constitution is balanced by sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. 

Pitta people’s sleep is sound and of medium duration. 

They produce large quantities of urine and feces, which tend to be yellowish, soft and plentiful. 

They perspire easily and their hands and feet stay warm. 

Pitta people have a lower tolerance for sunlight, heat and hard physical work.

This heat-reducing diet is useful for inflammations, skin conditions, itching, yellowing of the eyes, loose and smelly stools, joint pain, hot flushes, acidity, ulcers, bitter taste in the mouth. 

It is particularly beneficial in late spring.

General guidelines for balancing pitta:

  • Avoid excessive heat and oil 
  • Avoid excessive steam
  • Limit salt intake
  • Eat cooling, non-spicy foods or sour foods
  • Don’t fast
  • Exercise during the cooler part of the day



Kapha types are attracted to sweet, salty and oily foods, but their constitutions are most balanced by bitter, astringent and pungent tastes.

They are more likely to have diseases connected to the water principle such as flu, sinus congestion, and other diseases involving mucous. 

Sluggishness, excess weight, diabetes, water retention, and headaches are also common.

Kapha types are blessed with strength, endurance and stamina. 

In balance, they tend to have sweet, loving dispositions and be stable and grounded. Their skin is oily and smooth. 

Physically, kapha people may gain weight easily and have a slow metabolism. They tend to shun exercise. 

They have thick skin and their bodies and muscles are well developed. Their eyes are large and attractive with thick, long lashes and brows. 

Kapha people evacuate slowly and feces tend to be soft, pale and oily. 

Perspiration is moderate. Sleep is deep and prolonged. 

Kapha types are attracted to sweet, salty and oily foods, but their constitutions are most balanced by bitter, astringent and pungent tastes.

This diet is particularly beneficial during the winter months.

General guidelines for balancing kapha:

  • Get plenty of exercise, no sleeping during the day 
  • Avoid heavy foods and mindful of over eating 
  • Keep active
  • Avoid dairy
  • Avoid ice cold food or drinks
  • Vary your routine
  • Avoid fatty, oily foods
  • Eat light, dry food


3. How your doshas to work together to achieve personal balance:

By learning what dosha our body is aligned with makes it easier to figure out what our bodies like and don’t.  Making this connection with your diet, lifestyle and mindfulness can bring along a self acceptance and almost instant change in the way you perceive yourself and things around you. Life is all about balance – in everything we do finding the middle ground is where we feel most content and with that seems to always come with more of a want for self love and acceptance.

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