The Doshas

What Are The Doshas?

The doshas are part of an ancient medical system known as Ayurveda. This entirely holistic approach has been practiced for over 5000 years and is still going strong. In this tradition there are three body types or constitutions; 

  1. Vata
  2. Pitta 
  3. Kapha – also known as the doshas 

Each dosha is composed of the five elements responsible for the chemistry of the entire universe; air, fire, water, earth, and ether (space). Each individual has their own unique combination of the doshas, known as Prakriti. It heavily influences the individuals mental, physical and emotional characteristics. 


Vata is the most powerful of the three doshas. It coordinates all movement within the body, including the body itself in motion. Walking, digestion, breathing, and even our perception, memory and reactions are all thanks to Vata. 

Due to this powerful energy of movement, those who are predominately Vata tend to always be on the go. When balanced, they are energetic, free-flowing and full of creative ideas, but when they are out of balance, they can be fearful, anxious and easily overwhelmed. 

Physical Characteristics 

  • Vata doshas are agile, light and lean. 
  • Typically, they will have dry skin and fair hair, with cold hands and feet. 
  • Their eyes are small, and their faces long and angular. 
  • High energy levels mean it is easier for Vata to lose weight, so meal planning is of high importance. Without consuming enough calories, their energy will be high one minute and the opposite the next. 
  • Vatas are extremely prone to mood swings, and if out of balance, they can be edgy, anxious and over analytical. 
  • Typical health problems include; back pain, problems in the digestive system, the tension in the body and mind, nervousness and anxiety. 

Mental Characteristics 

  • Vata usually has a creative, quick mind. 
  • They can be extremely artistic as they can easily think outside the box, and are overwhelmed with creative ideas. However, their creativity comes in waves with their irregular energy patterns. It means if they work in a creative job role they may have trouble coping with task deadlines. 
  • Out of balance they can be easily unnerved and are susceptible to bouts of overthinking. 
  • They are the most likely of the three doshas to experience anxiety, exhausting themselves physically and mentally. 
  • Routine and grounding activities, such as yoga and meditation, can help to balance a Vata’s fluid energy. 

How To Balance Vata

– Regularity, warmth, and consistency will ground and center the Vata dominated individuals.

– As your energy comes in bursts, it’s important not to push yourself too hard. Slower exercises like yoga or Pilates will help to maintain balance and increase flexibility.

– Remember to relax. Give yourself a break and calm down. Take a walk in nature to ground you and give your racing mind a rest.

– Choose foods that are rich and nourishing. Heavier meals with good fats and oils are great for grounding a Vata energy.

– Maintain a routine. Eat at the same time each day, get enough sleep, and try to establish a pattern to live by.

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