Ayurveda and The 3 Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha
The word, Ayurveda, is from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, and literally means "Knowledge of Life".
The Ayurvedic approach to life involves listening and responding to your body's unique needs, recognizing and balancing your mental and emotional states, and deepening your connection to your mind, your essential self.
Knowing your dosha and what that biological inclination implies for you is crucial to determining which lifestyle and daily practises (or dinacharya, as Ayurveda calls them) would benefit you the most.
The doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are one of Ayurveda's most basic principles. But, specifically, what are they?
Vata is characterized by the mobile nature of Wind (Air) energy.
Pitta embodies the transformative nature of Fire energy.
And Kapha reflects the binding nature of Water energy.
The three doshas can be found in everyone and everything, but in different proportions. Different climates, cuisines, species, and even people within the same species are the result of their interactions. In reality, each of us has a unique ratio of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that serves as a blueprint for optimal health (also known as our constitution) and also has a significant impact on our physical, mental, and emotional character traits that our strengths and weaknesses.
Vata is known for a lively personality and a restless, dreamy demeanor. Quick in thought and action, constant motion defines this creative soul. The Vata skin tends to be thin, dry and cool to the touch. It tends to get easily dehydrated and is extremely sensitive to dry, windy weather. Excess dryness, fine lines, premature ageing and wrinkles all signify an imbalance of Vata. However, when the balance is restored, Vata skin often evokes envy with its rich olive skin tone and fine pores.
Pitta is known for a passionate personality and determined soul. With sharp intellect, Pitta makes a good leader and facilitator of change. Pitta skin when in balance is delicate, warm to touch and sports a rosy glow. However, it is susceptible to sun and heat even at the best of times. Acne, inflammation, excess oil, blemishes and redness, as well as, wrinkles between the eyes are all signs of an imbalance in pitta.
Kapha is known for a loyal personality and a strong, steady demeanor. With a calm and grounded presence, Kapha makes a great friend and nurturing companion. Kapha skin, when in balance, is soft, supple and pale. However, when the balance goes away, the Kapha skin is prone to excess oil, acne, large pores and congestion and also to the accumulation of toxins under the skin.