Dosha is the Sanskrit name for your specific psycho-physiological constitution. Ayurveda looks at the body as an integrated whole, rather than isolated parts that occasional suffer from break down. According to the Ayurvedic model, disease is an imbalance in the doshas, which if left unchecked leads to physical symptoms that manifest in the integrated, interrelated tissue layers, organs, mind, and consciousness of the patient. This is also examined in the context of the integrated environment; the family, our society, and the world. We are a microcosm of the larger macrocosm of the universe and what goes on “out there” effects us on many levels.
The Sanskrit terms for doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. There are other ways of labeling the different constitutions or body types such as “Type A” or “Type B” people, etc. We are all made up of the same stuff that the Universe is made of; Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Our doshas are a combination of these five elements.
Following is a simplistic overview of the dosha characterisics:
Made of Space and Air and therefore light and dry.
- Light, thin build
- Performs activity quickly
- Irregular hunger and digestion
- Light, interrupted sleep, insomnia
- Enthusiasm, vivaciousness, imagination
- Excitability, changing moods
- Quick to grasp new information, also quick to forget
- Tendency to worry
- Tendency toward constipation
- Tire easily, tendency to overexert
- Mental and physical energy comes in bursts
Made of Fire and Water and therefore hot and moist.
- Medium build
- Medium strength and endurance
- Enterprising character, likes challenges
- Sharp intellect
- Sharp hunger and thirst, strong digestion
- Tendency toward anger, irritability under stress
- Fair or ruddy skin, often freckled
- Aversion to sun, hot weather
- Precise, articulate speech
- Cannot skip meals
- Blond, light brown, or red hair (or reddish undertones)
Made of Water and Earth and therefore moist and solid.
- Solid, powerful build; great physical strength and endurance
- Steady energy; slow and graceful in action
- Tranquil, relaxed personality; slow to anger
- Cool, smooth, thick, pale, often oily skin
- Slow to grasp new information, but good retentive memory
- Heavy, prolonged sleep
- Tendency to obesity
- Slow digestion, mild hunger
- Affectionate, tolerant, forgiving
- Tendency to be possessive, complacent
Rarely is a person made up of only one dosha; and never do our levels remain static. We have fluctuating levels of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that are influenced by all aspects of our lives; age, season, birth time, time of day, diet, exercise, rest, occupational environment, emotional patterns, stress, and interactions within our relationships. Most of us are a combination of the three doshas and then have different imbalances to top it off; this is what makes us unique. This is also why standardized dosing of medications in the Western medical model so frequently goes awry. We are not made to react uniformly to anything.
Take a minute to take our dosha assessment to determine YOUR dosha.