Basic Principles of Ayurveda: The Theory of Tridosha

The central concept ayurveda is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata is the air principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system.

Pitta is the fire principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system.

Kapha is the water principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means “that which changes.” It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix ‘dys’, such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. Doshas are required for the life to happen. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the dosha.

Elements corresponding to Doshas

Vata: Air and Ether
Pitta: Fire and Water
Kapha: Water and Earth

Vata Dosha

Vata is a Sanskrit word that means “wind” or “that which moves”.It is the dosha of movement or change.

Vata Combination of Vayu (Air) + Jala (Water)

When imbalanced it produces pain in various parts of the body. They have inability to sleep through the night, inability to concentrate and stay on task.

A balanced person with Vata dosha can be very creative.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta is often translated as “Fire” or “Heat”. It is responsible for transformation, metabolism. Pitta is a combination of Agni (Fire) + Jal (Water).

This functional unit is often characterized by heat, temperature and digestion in the body when it is out of balance, it makes a person sarcastic, sharp tongue and fidgety. When in balance, a person shows signs of being competitive, assertive, and self-confident. bin balance, it has power and energy to transform the life of an individual and also lives of others. This dosha sustains the body when it is in balance, but creates many diseases when imbalanced.

Kapha Dosha

It is one of the three doshas, which can be translated as “that which holds things together”. This is made of earth and water in our body and is characterized by fluidity, strength and nourishment. When imbalanced, it produces heaviness and phlegm in the body. When Kapha dosha is in balance, a person tends to be slow and stable and excel in jobs and situation that require logical analysis. When out of balance, a person can’t sleep and gets easily intimidated.

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