Dosha 101: Vata, Pitta, Kapha

In Ayurveda, the elements of Air, Space, Fire, Water, and Earth are metaphorically represented within each of us.  The three "doshas" (or mind-body types) are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and each dosha is made up of two of these elements (more below).  The doshas are ever present within us, as well as our food, the seasons, different times of day, and environments.  

Greater self-awareness of our doshas can help us compare our true nature (prakruti) to our current nature (vikruti) in order to help us understand how we are out of balance and how we can fix it.  Ayurvedic practitioners can be excellent sources of knowledge to help us along this journey.  

Vata:  Represented by air and space.  In the body, Vata is said to control movement.  In the mind, Vata directs mental balance and well-being.  

Pitta:  Represented by fire and water.  In the body, Pitta controls metabolic processes that create heat and digestion.  In the mind, Pitta directs cognitive perceptions such as willpower, judgment, enjoyment, ambition, and anger. 

Kapha:  Represented by earth and water.  In the body, Kapha is responsible for nourishing the body and giving it strength and structure.  In the mind, Kapha directs emotional support such as love, well-being, and compassion.