Ayurveda means "science of life"and it comes from the Sanskrit words (ayur - life) and (veda - science or knowledge). The practice dates back to more than 5,000 years ago in the sacred texts called the four vedas or the Sruti:
Rig-Veda - considered the oldest of the vedas which consists of mantras
Yajur-Veda - consists of worship and rituals
Sama-Veda - contains chants and melodies to be performed at ceremonies
Atharva-Veda - chants and mantras to use daily for different applications such as prayers and protection
In Ayurveda, three doshas in the human body are present - Vata, Pita, and Kapha. The three doshas are comprised of seven constitutions from the five elements - Ether, Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. The seven constitutions are Vata-Pitta, Kapha-Pitta, Kapha-Vata, and Vata-Pitta-Kapha (perfect balance and rare to obtain), predominant Vata, predominant Pitta, or predominant Kapha.
Vata is the quality of space and air. It represents wind and movement that gives expression; it is the force that drives biological activity, and moves the other doshas. A Vata individual has a slender build, sharp eyes, and is attracted to warm climates. Characteristics include impulsiveness, enthusiasm, and moodiness, and vulnerabilities such as anxiety, joint disease, circulatory disorders, and arthritis.
Pitta is the quality of transformation and it is associated with the fire an water elements It is the quality that influences metabolic processes of the body, including body temperature regulation, and the breakdown of nutrients and absorption. A Pitta individual has a muscular build, medium sized eyes and of average height. Characteristics include mental clarity, focus, and retention, love of sports and the outdoors. Vulnerabilities include inflammatory conditions such as intestinal ulcers, eczema, and gastritis.
Kapha is the quality of binding and structure-forming, and it is associated with the water and earth elements. It is also the quality that binds the cells of the body. It also has the quality of joint lubrication, skin moisture, and immune system function. It represents stability, cohesion, substance, muscle growth, weight, and strength. A Kapha individual has a large eyes, well built body structure, and smooth skin. Characteristics include a calming and composed nature, disciplined, like to stick to routines, and the ability to multi-task. Vulnerabilities include the tendency to over-eat and oversleep.
Maintaining a balanced and harmonious lifestyle with your dosha type, according to Ayurveda, reduces disturbances in the body that can lead to disease.
Take the Dosha quiz to see what best describes your mind-body type.