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What is Dosha?

In Ayurveda, the body is believed to be a storehouse of different forms of energy. It is the correct constitution of these energies that keep the body upright and working. What is dosha is an interesting question, to begin with. Doshas are the three different forms of energy that define every person’s build. If we know about our dosha it will help us live a healthier and more balanced life. 

Dosha refers to bodily humour or bio-energy centre in Ayurvedic medicine. The term comes from the Sanskrit dosa, meaning “fault” or “disease”. There are three doshas in total: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Their energies are believed to circulate in the body and govern physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Each person has a dominant dosha or combination of doshas. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that health is achieved through balancing the three doshas.

Three Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha – Ayurvedic symbols of body constitution types, designed with the elements ether, air, fire, water and earth.

In yoga, the practitioner can achieve health by focusing on asanas that support the doshas, thereby creating mind-body balance. In Ayurveda, the five elements that are found in all living things—ether, air, fire, water, and earth—are the building blocks of life. While this foundation unites all humans, the manifestation of those elements through the doshas is what gives rise to our different constitutions. How the three doshas appear, and in what proportion, is what makes each of us unique.

There are namely three doshas

. The fiery and intense Pitta dosha may enjoy the occasional power trip. One who has Pitta dosha will devour a mountain of food with ravenous hunger and yet be ready to eat again when it comes to the next meal. In contrast, a delicate Vata can never seem to get warm. They will nibble, snack, and graze her way through the day, and she may feel the need to rest often. They are also inclined to talk about several diverse subjects, probably repeating themselves more than once. The contented Kapha type may, with great deliberation, consume three pieces of cake. She will spend quality time curled up on a couch making phone calls to loved ones with uplifting, motherly advice.

The role the doshas play is a dynamic one, constantly changing in response to weather, conditions, and stress. Your tendencies—good or bad—that you create are manifestations of your dosha. You may be inclined to go a bit overboard on ice cream, spend too much time talking on the phone late at night, or neglect sleep when you need it most. Your habits can influence your make-up in positive or negative ways.

Getting to know and appreciate your dosha is key to knowing yourself. It provides clues for what you should eat and what things you should address when your energy gets out of whack. The more you know about what may cause certain reactions or tendencies, the easier it will be to balance them. Addressing your needs according to your dosha may prevent expensive and painful conditions down the road, and could even add years of quality living to your life.

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