THE DOSHAS IN AYURVEDA
Doshas are one of the foundational concepts of Ayurveda. The three doshas namely vatha, pitta and kapha are around which Ayurveda is built. Doshas are depicted as the energetic forces through which a human body is built. Technically, these are our vital forces that help us keep alive. We can also call them fundamental elements of our physiology. They are derived from the five energies of nature- space, air, fire, water and earth.
But what are they? And why are they important? According to Ayurveda, the key for good health and strong body is the balance of all elements in the body. If you have one dosha slightly bigger than the others, you suffer from a health problem concerning the body part related to that dosha. Both internal and external factors can disturb this balance. In Ayurveda, both body and mind work together to achieve this balance.
Vata is the energy for movement. It governs muscle and joints, breathing, heart functions etc. It also controls the cell movements. When out of balance, it can create a tendency of restlessness or unbalanced movement. This can create anxiety and stress. This is the dosha of creativity and adventure. Vata imbalance can manifest itself in the form of muscle pain, constipation etc.
Pitta is related water and fire elements of nature. It controls body metabolism and digestion. If out of balance, it promotes problems with digestion, absorption, assimilation etc. Pitta also has direct role in monitoring body temperature.
Kapha is the energy that keeps our muscles, bones and tendons intact. It provides structural balance and strength to the body. It provides nourishment to all parts of the body. If the kapha dosha is out of alignment, body suffers in the form of a lack of immunity. It leads to excess mucous, lack of motivation and heavy body weight.
The healthy alignment of three doshas is primal for a healthy body and mind. According to Ayurveda, the biological energies of nature flow through all creation making living beings. The theory of doshas also throws light to an age old concept that Ayurveda built its very foundations on- that the living is just an extension to the non-living elements of nature. Our lives and environment are deeply tangled together and Ayurveda can help us understand how to use those principles for achieving a better, healthy population.