Introduction To Ayurveda: The Three Doshas
Ayurveda isn’t alone when it comes to classifying people into different types. For instance, the “Four Temperaments”, used by the Ancient Europeans are the basic constitutional bodymind types of medicine known as: Melancholic, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Sanguine.
The several decade ancient Indian doctrine of health depends on the classification, where advice for life guidance is given. Since Ayurveda is characterized by a holistic view of the human beings, the division into the so-called Dosha types is not only about nutrition, diets or using miraculous phenomenon for recovery.
For those who are interested in Ayurveda and are open to be advised on health or well-being, the question arises: “What Dosha type am I?”
Translated from ancient Sanskrit, the language of the priests, physicians and yogis, “Dosha” means as much as the “influencing factor”. In the ancient writings of the Vedic wise men, three Doshas were distinguished: Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
These, originate from the five original elements:
Their properties influence the Doshas decisively. The whole world and thus also human beings should consist of these basic materials. However, the world and humans are much more complex than expressed in a few attributes. Thus, the Doshas are associated with further characteristics:
- Vata → Air & Space/Ether (Movement)
- Pitta → Fire & Water (Metabolism)
- Kapha → Water & Earth (Structure)
The living human being, on the other hand, can simply not be pushed by even the wise doctors or physicians. We change in the course of a lifetime, root from a family and are influenced by environmental factors. The relationship between individual attributes must be considered.
The Basic Scheme
Based on the experienced ayurvedic basic principle, the three Doshas are assigned with their own characteristics and tasks in our body.
Vata → principle of movement
- Alertness, movement, liveliness
Pitta → principle of metabolism
- Metabolism, combustion/digestion, warmth, energy
- Targetedness, emotions, intelligence
Kapha → principle of structure
- Shaping, structure, togetherness, liquid
- Balance, stability, memory
Each person has characteristics which are embossed from all three Doshas. We are all unique, individual and different. In addition, we “behave” sometimes in the usual course, sometimes depending on situations, also in the interplay with other individuals and the whole environment.
If the three Doshas are in balance, Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be healthy. But that does not mean that the equilibrium and the Doshas are meant to be indifferent. Mindfulness is the magic word for a fulfilled life.
If, on the other hand, our inner balance is out of balance, discomfort is created, which could lead to illnesses with an increasing and persistent disorder. Therefore, it is useful to explore its own basic constitution and to live accordingly, through a healthy lifestyle, and in harmony with your original constitution.
Everyone is a mixed type
Depending on the Dosha type, one speaks in an Ayurvedic treatment of three different kinds:
- Vata type
- Pitta type
- Kapha type
In real life, however, there are many types of different mixes (Pitta-Vata-type or Kapha-Pitta-type, etc.).
Questions are always right and important
A well-founded constitutional analysis is carried out by a trained Ayurveda doctor or therapist by means of a detailed conversation, tongue, face, and pulse diagnosis. Based on this, individual health recommendations, help for regeneration, nutrition tips, herbal preparations, as well as yoga exercises are offered.