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Ayurveda Home | Holistic-online.com Home | Yoga | Meditation | Stress

Basis For Ayurvedic Philosophy

Concept of Tri-Dosha

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.

The three active doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Dosha Related Elements
Vata Air and Ether
Pitta Fire and Water
Kapha Water and Earth

Vata is a force conceptually made up of elements ether and air. The proportions of ether and air determine how active Vata is. The amount of ether (space) affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. If unrestricted, as in ocean, air can gain momentum and become forceful such as a hurricane.

Vata means "wind, to move, flow, direct the processes of, or command." Vata enables the other two doshas to be expressive. The actions of Vata are drying, cooling, light, agitating, and moving.

Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells. Vata also governs such feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors, and spasms. The primary seat or location of the Vata in the body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. It  is related to the touch sensation. If the body develops an excess of vata, it will accumulate in these areas.

The effect of Vata on our body or microcosm is described in the table below.

See Also:     Characteristics of Vata Types

Signs of Vata Dosha Imbalance

General Tips on Health and Wellness For Vata Types

A Food Plan to Balance Vata Dosha

Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces represent transformation. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes to occur. (For example, too much fire and too little water will result in the boiling away of the water. Too much water will result in the fire being put out.)

Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.

The effect of Pitta on our body or microcosm is shown in the table below.

See Also:     Characteristics of Pitta Types

Signs of Pitta Dosha Imbalance

General Tips on Health and Wellness For Pitta Types

A Food Plan to Balance Pitta Dosha

Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of water and earth. Kapha is structure and lubrication. One can visualize the Kapha force as the stirring force to keep the water and earth from separating. For example, if we take a pot, fill it to the half with water and then add sand to it, the sand will gradually sink to the bottom of the pot. (It separates from the water). The only way to keep the sand in equilibrium with the water is by stirring the mixture continuously. The Kapha force can be visualized as this stirring force in our body.

Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance. Water is the main constituent of kapha, and this bodily water is responsible physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs, and maintains immunity. Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body such as mucus. Psychologically, kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, and long-standing envy. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness, and love. The chest is the seat of kapha.

The effect of Kapha on our body or microcosm is shown in the  table below.

See Also:      Characteristics of Kapha Types

Signs of Kapha Dosha Imbalance

General Tips on Health and Wellness For Kapha Types

A Food Plan to Balance Kapha Dosha

Effect of Constitution Type On Body or Microcosm

  Vata Pitta Kapha
Function of the Dosha (or controls)
bulletMovement
bulletBreathing
bulletNatural Urges
bulletTransformation of the tissues
bulletMotor functions
bulletSensory functions
bulletUngroundedness
bulletSecretions
bulletExcretions
bulletFear
bulletEmptiness
bulletAnxiety
bulletThoughts
bulletLife force
bulletNerve impulses
bulletBody heat
bulletTemperature
bulletDigestion
bulletPerception
bulletUnderstanding
bulletHunger
bulletThirst
bulletIntelligence
bulletAnger
bulletHate
bulletJealousy
bulletStability
bulletEnergy
bulletLubrication
bulletForgiveness
bulletGreed
bulletAttachment
bulletAccumulation
bulletHolding
bulletPossessiveness
Manifests in living things as The movement of::
bulletnerve impulses
bulletair
bulletblood
bulletfood
bulletwaste
bulletthought
The quality of transformation. Pitta controls the enzymes that digest our food and the hormones that regulate our metabolism. Pitta transforms the chemical/electrical impulses in our mind to thoughts we can understand. Cells which make up our organs and fluids which nourish and protect them.
Characteristics
bulletcold
bulletlight
bulletirregular
bulletmobile
bulletrarefied
bulletdry
bulletrough
bullethot
bulletlight
bulletfluid
bulletsubtle
bulletsharp
bulletmalodorous
bulletsoft
bulletclear
bulletoily
bulletcold
bulletheavy
bulletstable
bulletdense
bulletsmooth
Too much of the dosha force can result in
bulletnerve irritation
bullethigh blood pressure
bulletgas
bulletconfusion
bulletulcers
bullethormonal imbalance
bulletirritated skin (acne)
bulletconsuming emotions (anger)
bulletMucous build-up in the sinus and nasal passages, the lungs and colon.
bulletIn the mind it creates rigidity, a fixation of thought, inflexibility.
Too little dosha force can result in
bulletnerve loss
bulletcongestion
bulletconstipation
bulletthoughtlessness
bulletindigestion
bulletinability to understand
bulletsluggish metabolism
bulletExperiences a dry respiratory tract
bulletburning stomach (due to lack of mucous, which protects from excess stomach acids)
bulletinability to concentrate
Where found in a plant flowers and leaves (the parts which reach farthest into air and space) Plant's essential oils, resins and sap Roots (The roots are where water is stored. Roots also stay within the earth.)
Climatic influences Dry climates or cold autumn winds increases Vata Hot summers or hot climates will increase Pitta Wet winters and damp climate add to Kapha.
Predominant during the life stage of Old age
As we get older, we "shrink and dry out".
Teen and Adult.
During this stage, our hormone changes transforms us into adults
Childhood years.
During this period, we grow or increase in substance of the body.

Related Topics:
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Uniqueness of Individuals

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Harmony With The Nature and Developing Perfect Health

bullet

Human Body As A Self Correcting Mechanism and Balance

bullet

The Concept of Self

bullet

How Do We Get Sick?

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The Five Great Elements

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The Senses

bullet

Like And Unlike

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Balanced Tridosha means a Healthy Person

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Concept of Prakruti and Vikruti

Next Topic: Balanced Tridosha means a Healthy Person

Diagnostic Tests To Determine Your Tridosha

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