Ayurveda & the Three Doshas
19 March 2013
Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Ayurveda began about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago when Indian sages were looking for new ways to be healthy. Revering their bodies like temples, the sages believed that preserving an optimal state of health would help them meditate and develop spiritually. Over thousands of years of observations, they gathered all their conclusions and advice and preserved it for future generations. Since the term itself, Ayurveda, is a combination of the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (knowledge or science), which means “the science or knowledge of life,” this collection of knowledge came to be known as “the science or knowledge of life” – Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three Doshas. It is difficult to translate the precise meaning of Dosha and it is commonly translated as “biological type”, “humor” or physical constitution. This definition presents a simplistic understanding of the concept. However, the original Sanskrit definition of Dosha is more complex, being defined as “doosyati iti doshah.” The literal translation of this is “that which contaminates is called Dosha.” So in this sense, Doshas may be considered pathogenic factors, or disease causing agents in the body. Imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas cause diseases in the body.
So Doshas are the energies (or types of energy) that make up every individual and each Dosha performs different physiological functions in the body:
The 3 Dosha types:
1. Vata Dosha: The energy that controls all the bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing and your heartbeat, even blinking your eyes…
- – In balance: Results in creativity and vitality.
- – Out of balance: May produce fear and anxiety.
- – A dominant Vata is thought to make you susceptible to certain conditions, heart disease, insomnia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Pitta Dosha: The energy that controls all the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and bodily temperature…
- – In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
- – Out of balance: May cause anger resulting in ulcers.
- – A dominant, Pitta can lead to rashes, heartburn, excessive body heat and indigestion
3. Kapha Dosha: The energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
- – In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
- – Out of balance: May lead to insecurity and envy.
- – A dominant Kapha may predispose you to diabetes, cancer, obesity and asthma.
Because one or two of these Doshas usually dominate in each person, the various Dosha proportions determine one’s physiological and personality traits, as well as their general likes and dislikes.
The ancient seers also declared each Dosha represented different elements and attributes…
Elements of the Three Doshas
Air + Ether
Fire + Water
Earth + Water
Attributes of the Three Doshas
(attribute, not a guna)
(attribute, not a guna)
(guna but not a classical attribute)
We are most susceptible to imbalances related to our predominant Dosha, and you are probably wondering which Dosha (or Doshas) dominate you. There are many books and websites online that will offer questionnaires that can be used to determine predominate Dosha. A comprehensive one can be found by clicking on: Dosha Diagnostic Test
Summary: Ayurveda offers specifically personalized recommendations for every individual which range from general lifestyle changes to the treatment of disease. For this reason, Ayurveda can truly be called a system of individualized health care, something remarkably different from the Western approach of “one-pill for all.” Since the Doshas are used to detect imbalances before the manifestation of disease, Ayurveda is also considered a complete system of preventative medicine.
Latest Blog Posts
- The True Goal of Yoga (Part 2): On or Off the Mat?
- Yoga – Is It a Religion? (Part 2)
- Yoga – Is It a Religion? (Part 1)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 16)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 15)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 14)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 13)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 12)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 11)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 10)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 9)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 8)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 7)
- Has Your Mind Made You Its Slave?
- Within Your Inherent Nature, Yoga Is Already Being Established
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 6)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 5)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 4)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 3)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 2)
- Approaches to the True Goal of Yoga (Part 1)
- Examples of Spiritually Empowered Women…
- Spiritually Empowered Women…
- Coping With Past Friends Who Have Turned Against You…
- The Kleshas (part 5 – Vijnanamaya kosha)…
- The Kleshas (part 4 – Manomaya kosha)…
- The Kleshas (part 3 – Pranamaya kosha)…
- The Kleshas (part 2 – Annamaya kosha)…
- The Kleshas (afflictions of the mind)
- Plant-Based Vs Animal-Based diets – What Does Science Say?
- Compassion in the Bhagavad Gita…
- Compassion and Yoga Are One
- Sympathy, Empathy & Compassion – Do You Know the Difference?
- How the Benefits of Yoga Transcend Conventional Exercise Regimes
- Yogis, Gurus & Spiritual Teachers – Spot the False Ones…
- Choosing a Qualified Yoga Teacher…
- Problems Athletes May Have on a Vegan Diet and Solutions…
- Athletes and Veganism (With / Video)…
- Yoga and Veganism…
- Transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan…
- Are Plants Sentient Beings?
- Violence and Compassion in Veganism…
- The Spiritual Aspects of Veganism (Part 2)…
- The Spiritual Aspects of Veganism (Part 1)…
- Effects of a Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet on Mental/Emotional States…
- The Ethics of Veganism…
- Snacking – Vegan Style (W/Bonus Recipe)…
- Supporting Evidence for Vegans
- Dining Out – A Vegan guide…
- Vegan Baking – Without Dairy or Eggs (W/Bonus Recipe)
- Eliminating Dairy from Your Diet (W/Bonus Recipe)
- Vegan Nutrition – Addressing Your Concerns…
- Cauliflower – A Versatile Vegan Delight is In Season…
- Stocking Your Vegan Kitchen (A Basic List)
- Vegan Substitutes for Animal Products
- Veganism – Getting Started
- Sattva, Rajas & Tamas – The 3 Gunas
- Your Body’s pH – Is It Acid or Alkaline?
- Yoga and Muscle Conductivity
- Yoga and Diabetes
- How to Use Thoughts to Vibrate at a Higher Level
- How to Raise Your Thought Vibration
- How to Raise Your Personal Vibration
- The Effects of Spiritual Vibrations in the Home (Vastu Shastra)
- Yogic Techniques for Raising your Vibration and Expanding your Awareness
- “Vibrational Healing”
- Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 3)
- Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 2)
- Our Vibratory Patterns – What They Mean (pt. 1)
- The Kleshas (afflictions of the mind)
- Discovering Your Dharma (your true life path)
- God Bless the Child of a Dysfunctional Family
- How to Live Like a Yogi
- Yoga Should Be Fun Too!
- Choose Peace – Embrace Life
- Yoga – The Only Exercise You Need!
- Navigating the Roller Coaster of Life
- Adapt a Plant-Based Diet for Optimal Health
- Yoga Counteracts Stress & Anxiety
- Ayurveda – The Basics
- Finding Peace in Today’s World
- The Importance of the Breath in Yoga
- Listening to Your Heart
- Yoga Practice for Improved Lung Function
- How Well is Your Head and Heart Aligned?
- Is Ashtanga Yoga a Religion?
- Meditation on the “Feeling” of Being
- More About Vairagya (Non-Attachment)
- Abhyasa & Vairagya – the Two Pillars
- Yoga as Science
- Jnana or Bhakti – Which Are You?
- Five Ancient Yoga Secrets for the ULTIMATE Beauty Treatment
- Mindfulness: Benefits & Cultivation…
- Mindfulness – What’s the Buzz?
- Aids to Discovering Spiritual Truth
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 18: Gaining Knowledge – Higher Truths, cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 17: Gaining Knowledge – Higher Truths)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 16: Types of Engrossments, cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 15: Types of Engrossments)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 14: After the Mind is Stable)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 13: Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind, cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 12: Stabilizing/Clearing the Mind)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 11: Obstacles & Solutions)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 10: Samadhi Attained by Devotion, cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 9: Samadhi Attained by Devotion)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 8: Effort & Commitment – Cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 7: Effort & Commitment)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 6: Types of Concentration)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 5: Practice & Non-Attachment, cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 4: Practice & Non-Attachment)
- Karma, Self-determination and Free Will
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 3: Un-coloring Your Thoughts – Cont.)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 2: Un-coloring Your Thoughts)
- The Teachings of Yoga (Part 1 – Yoga Defined)
- Yoga Provides Relief for PTSD Sufferers
- Navarasa – the 9 Rasas or Emotional Essences
- Yoga, Sensitivity and Intention
- Using Bandhas to “Lock-In” Your Life-Force
- Yoga and a Grateful Heart
- Is It Important To Be “Spiritual?”
- Meditation – It’s Not What You Think!
- Looking for a Guru?
- Yoga, Ayurveda and Whole-Foods
- Yoga’s Perspective on Fear & Guilt
- Develop a Positive Attitude with Yoga
- Break the Stranglehold of Thought!
- The Siddhis – What Are They & How Should We View Them?
- The Problem of Thoughts & Yoga’s Solution
- Locating the Source of Stress & the Way of Yoga
- The Ego According to Yoga Philosophy
- Principles of Health and Natural Healing
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and Advaita Vedanta
- The Wisdom of Patanjali
- Yoga, Love and “Connection”
- Common Household Toxins: Are They In Your Home?
- High Blood Pressure – Yoga Lowers the Numbers!
- Therapeutic Yoga Asana for Diabetics
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Yoga Eases the Weariness
- Obstacles to Spiritual Awakening (Self-realization)
- Measuring Spiritual Growth
- Yoga Helps Manage IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Hatha or Ashtanga Yoga? A Beginning Student’s Dilemma
- Nooch – Excellent Source of B12 for Vegan’s and Vegetarians
- The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 3)
- The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 2)
- The Advantages of a Plant-Based Diet (Pt. 1)
- Brain Function – Yoga VS Aerobic Exercise…
- Practicing Self-Enquiry in Daily Life
- Are You Happy? If Not, Here’s Some Tips…
- Introduction to Blue-Green Algae (an overview)
- Summer – The Time for Healthy, Cleansing Foods
- Restorative Yoga Practice and Its Many Benefits
- Got Belly Fat? Yoga Asana Can Help!
- Overweight? Yoga is for You Too!
- Positive Thinking, the Power of Thoughts and Patanjali
- Improve Your Posture with Yoga
- Managing Sciatica With Yoga
- Want to Quit Smoking? Yoga Can Help!
- Yoga to Improve Breast Appearance
- The Main Traditional Indian Yogas
- Yoga, Aging and Bone Loss
- Managing Anxiety with Pratipaksha Bhavana
- Using Yoga to Deal With Those Persistent Samskaras
- The Importance of Meditation to Yoga Practice
- Meditation Proven to Decrease Stress and Reduce Inflammation
- The Awesome Benefits of a Yoga Retreat
- Start Your Day Right with “Wake-Up Yoga”
- Sanskrit Will Enrich Your Yoga Practice
- Relieve Allergy Symptoms with Yoga
- Could Yoga Practice Cause Your Skin to Break Out?
- Mala – Hindu Prayer Beads
- Core Strength and Its Importance
- Try These 12 Tips for a Healthier Life…
- Attention – It Can Prevent Injury During Yoga Practice
- The Importance of Attitude & Yoga Practice
- Diet, Hot Yoga and Your Skin…
- You Too Can Apply The Ultimate Beauty Treatment
- Yoga Asana to Balance Your Doshas
- The Meaning of Hand Mudras
- Yoga for Improved Eyesight (Video)
- The Importance of Balance in Yoga
- The Anti-Aging Benefits of Yoga
- Boost Your Immunity with Yoga Practice
- Addressing Common Yoga Injuries (Pt. 2 of 2)
- Addressing Common Yoga Injuries (Pt. 1 of 2)
- Yoga Asana, Emotions & Our Internal Organs…
- Jala Neti – De-mystified…(Video)
- The Basic Mechanisms of Yogic Breathing
- An Anatomical Analysis of Yogic Breathing
- Asana – Protect Your Joints with Proper Alignment
- Yoga – as a Solution for Sleep Disorders
- Homemade Vegan Facemasks
- The Ethical Standards of a Yoga Teacher
- Do the Yamas and Niyamas Support Veganism?
- Yoga & the 5 Kleshas
- Ayurveda & the Three Doshas
- Recovering from Antibiotic Use (or over-use?)…
- The Five Principles of Yoga…
- The Five Koshas (Part 5 – Anandamaya Kosha: bliss sheath)
- The Five Koshas (Part 4 – Vijnanamaya Kosha: wisdom sheath)
- The Five Koshas (Part 3 – Manomaya Kosha: mind sheath)
- The Five Koshas (Part 2 – Pranamaya: air sheath)
- The Five Koshas (Part 1- Annamaya: food sheath)
- The Five Koshas (Sheaths)
- The Five Niyamas (Part 5 – Ishvara Pranidhana)
- The Five Niyamas (Part 4 – Svadhyaya)
- The Five Niyamas (Part 3 – Tapas)
- The Five Niyamas (Part 2 – Samtosha)
- The Five Niyamas (Part 1 – Shaucha)
- The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)
- The Five Yamas (Part 4 – Brahmacharya)
- The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)
- The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)
- The Five Yamas (Part 1 – Ahimsa)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 8 – Samadhi)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 7 – Dhyana, W/Video)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 6 –Dharana)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 5 –Pratyahara)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 4 – Pranayama)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 3 – Asana)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)
- Patanjali’s Eightfold Path (the 8 Limbs of Yoga)
- 5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 5)
- 5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 4)
- 5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 3)
- 5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 2)
- 5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (part 1)
- The Miracle of Oatmeal Water
- How Diabetics Respond to a Vegan/Plant-based Diet
- Whey Protein Supplements vs Plant-Based Proteins
- Yoga & Body Detoxification…
- Third Eye Meditation – Opening the 3rd Eye
- The Importance of the Feet & Pada Bandha in Yoga
- How Inflammatory is Your Diet?
- My Hero – Birke Baehr…
- Raw Vegan Holiday Salad Recipes
- Vegan Holiday Snack Recipes
- Vegan Holiday Dessert Recipes
- Healthy Holiday Indulgence
- Veganism & Yoga
- Non-GMOs after Prop 37 (Video)
- Health, Wellbeing & the “Little Known” Bindu Chakra
- Yogic Alignment – Body, Mind & Spirit
- Serious Health Threat – Autointoxication
- The Basics of Cleansing & Detoxification
- Are You Addicted to Food – Think Again
- Are You “Sold” on Organics?
- Ten-hut – Yoga & the Military
- Yoga and Depression
- Combating Fibromyalgia
- Welcome To New Rae Indigo Blog
Popular Blog Tags