CONCEPT OF THE TRIDOSHA IN AYURVEDA
Ayurveda ‘the science of life’ is the worlds oldest holistic healing practice of India.
Ayurveda can also be known as a science of Self understanding. By understanding your own unique nature or constitution, you can begin to understand how you interact with your environment and thus make choices that will lead you toward greater health by mantaining perfect equilibrium with surrounding nature.
According to Ayurveda the Tridoshas are the energy force that govern every physiological and spiritual functions in the human body. A balance of the doshas is necessary for optimal health. Any imbalance in the tridoshas is thought to be the reason for diseases.
The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha and they get associated with us from the point of conseption in the mothers womb. The Doshas then form our constitution and will remain constant as long as we live. This is known as Prakruti (constitution), it is unique to every individual just like your fingerprints. Even though all three doshas are present in our body only one dosha will be predominant and that will determine the Prakruti (body type/constitution) the other two doshas will be subordinate doshas.
Human body is made up of the 5 elements (Panchamahabhuta) and so are the Tridoshas –
Vata is made up of air (vayu) and space (akaash)
Pitta is made up of fire (agni) and water (jala)
Kapha is made up of water (jala) and earth (prithvi)
Each dosha Prakruti of an individual is characterized by a collection of qualities which are listed below –
Vata body type-
These individuals tend to be non-muscular, thin and active, but they lack the stamina for prolonged activity. They are restless, enthusiastic, and creative in nature, have a quick gait, rapid speech and frequently change decisions. Their complexion is brown, the skin is cool, rough, dry and cracked. Their hair is thin, dark color, coarse and either kinky or curly, face usually long and angular, has irregular teeth, thin lips and small eyes. They have a variable appetite and digestive efficiency. They have restless minds and weak memories and have quick mental understanding , they are are likely to be artistic. They have light, interrupted sleep.
Pitta body type –
Pitta is a interplay of water and fire thus these individuals are passionate and dedicated, but can be overly competitive, intolerant and irritable. They have moderately well-developed physique with muscular limbs and a stable gait, have loud, strong voice, and precise, convincing speech. The skin is soft, lustrous, warm, and tends to burn easily in the sun. Hair is fine and soft, fair, reddish / brownish hair that tends to grey soon. Face is heart-shaped, often with a pointed chin, pointed nose and medium sized lips. These people have a strong metabolism, good digestion and resulting strong appetites. They have an intellectual and precise disposition, are irritable, jealous and aggressive by nature. Discriminating and judgmental, they are articulate, learned and proud. Pitta people take strong decisions, organise affairs well, and their selectively excellent memory makes them fast learners. They argue with a sense of humour.
Kapha body type –
These individuals have a thick, broad, well-developed frame and large, long limbs go well with a pleasant, deep and resonant voice with low, slow, rhythmic speech. The skin is usually thick, oily and cold. With thick hair, round face, large nose, attractive eyes, full lips, white and big teeth, they are stable, patient personalities they are slow to anger. Kapha people have low appetites and due to slow digestion, they tend to consume less food but have a strong tendency to carry excess weight. Loyal, honest, calm and forgiving, they can be lethargic. Their learning may be slow but memory will be strong. Long hours of deep sleep come naturally.
As I mentioned before, you may not be of just one dosha, most fit predominantly into one and sometimes secondarily into another and rarely into the third.
Optimal health is achieved through Ayurvedic Medicine when we are living in complete harmony with our environment. In order to live in harmony, we must first understand our own natures. Only then can we intelligently make choices which support us on our journey.