The essence of ayurveda is the tri-dosha theory. According to ayurveda the three dosha constitute the chemical nature of every living thing. The dosha are created by the five elements in this way; Vata is made of ether and air; Pitta is made of fire and water; Kapha is made of earth and water.
If we delve further into the details of the human body in relation to the dosha, we see different parts of the body and its functions are ruled by certain dosha. This can help determine a persons prakruti (constitution). Once we have examined a persons current status, mentally and physically, while taking into account their constitution, we can determine their vrkruti (imbalances).
There are seven possible combinations of dosha constitution;
The Three Dosha
Vata is made up of ether and air. It has a lightness about it and people who are vata-dominant type people, will often show characteristics of this lightness. They sleep little due to their active minds. They walk fast and talk a lot. These restless minds may struggle to stick to one subject for too long. They can be creative and fun, yet prone to anxiety and worry. Generally speaking they are slim due to their fast metabolism, and quite tall or short. As they have a high level of air in their nature, they may suffer from dry skin, brittle nails and dry hair. But they have an air of elegance about them, light on their feet. They would fly away if only they had wings.
Pitta is fire and water. Water is often forgotten when referring to pitta, as the fire element is so strong here. Pitta-type people can be determined leaders/competitive achievers. Athletically built with a strong digestion. They are the go-getters and the winners! Of course, this must be kept in check or pitta may increase dramatically causing irritation, anger and internal inflammation; emotionally domineering and judgemental of others. Calming foods and calming lifestyles are best to keep pitta cool. As mentioned before, the belief that ‘like attracts like’ can be particularly dangerous for those with pitta-type constitutions. Too much heat will quickly develop into inflammation and other such problems.
Kapha is of water and earth. A grounded figure offering love and attachment. They have a slower pace in life, noticeably in their thoughts and speech. Kapha-type people also tend to have a slower digestion. This often means kapha people may carry a little more weight. They are the carers and the sharers. Kindness, love and generosity drives them, when in balance. Kapha has the attributes of heavy, sticky and cold; too much food in similarity to a kapha-type persons nature will slow the digestion down even more and create a heavy sticky mentality, attachment, jealous and greed can seep in.