The Tridoshas in Ayurveda: Vatha, Pitta, and Kapha

Body Types
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Ayurveda, ancient medical/holistic system from the Vedic civilization of India, teaches that health is maintained by the balancing of three subtle energies known as Doshas. Individually they are called Vatha (sometimes spelled Vata), Pitta and Kapha.

This ancient healing system teaches maintenance and protection of the whole person (mind, body, and soul). Ayurvedic medicine is based on an individual's characteristics and body frame rather than oriented toward treating disease or sickness.

Each of us is made up of a combination of the three types of doshas. The doshas as a group are comprised of these five universal elements:

  1. space (ether)
  2. air
  3. earth
  4. fire
  5. water

Vatha is a combination of air and space.
Pitta is mostly fire with some water.
Kapha is mostly water with some earth.
Overall well-being and striving for longevity depends on maintaining your health in order to keep your doshas balanced. Any imbalance among the tridoshas causes a state of unhealthiness or dis-ease. Factors that can bring about the balance of the tridoshas include diet, exercise, good digestion, and elimination of toxins.

Review the following characteristics and body structures of each dosha and consider whether you are predominately one dosha or could possibly be classified as a combo-energy such as vatha-pitta, vatha-kapha, pitta-kapha, and so on.

Body Structures and Characteristics of the 3 Doshas

Vatha Body Structure

  • Slender frame
  • Lightweight bone structure
  • Dry, rough or dark skin
  • Brown / Black hair coloring
  • Large, crooked or protruding teeth, thin gums
  • Small thin lips and mouth
  • Dull, dark eyes

Vatha Characteristics

  • Often constipated
  • Little perspiration
  • Sparse urine (although frequent)
  • Poor long-term memory
  • Good short-term memory
  • Anxious, nervous, depression
  • High sex drive (or none at all)
  • Love of travel
  • Dislike of cold weather
  • Slight to variable appetite

Pitta Body Structure

  • Medium height and build
  • Fair to reddish complexion and hair coloring
  • Small yellowish teeth, soft gums
  • Green/Grayish Eyes
  • Average size mouth

Pitta Characteristics

  • Sharp/Clear voice
  • Light sleeper
  • Intelligent
  • Clear memory
  • Jealous
  • Ambitious
  • Sexually passionate
  • Dislikes hot weather
  • Loves luxury
  • Loose stools / diarrhea
  • Strong appetite
  • Thirsty

Kapha Body Structure

  • Large Frame
  • Tends to be overweight
  • Thick and pale-colored oily skin
  • Strong white teeth
  • Blue Eyes
  • Full lips/ Large mouth

Kapha Characteristics

  • Speaks in slow monotone
  • Requires deep sleep
  • Steady appetite
  • Heavy sweating
  • Large soft stools
  • Business-oriented
  • Good memory
  • Passive
  • Dislikes cold and damp
  • Loves good food
  • Enjoys familiar surroundings

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.