The Dosha Types

The Three Doshas

Central to the philosophy of Ayurveda is the belief that we are composed of three vital energies or body types known as the doshas. These are unique to us at the time of our conception. In Western terms, this blend of energies is known as our blueprint or DNA. In Ayurveda it is called our prakruti.

Knowing that the best defence against illness is a strong constitution if our doshas become imbalanced, through bad habits, food or overwork for example, we become susceptible to dis-ease. Ayurveda helps to prevent the development of dis-ease by working with our constitution, aiming to restore it to its prakruti state (what we were uniquely born with).

What are the Doshas?

The three doshas, (or tridoshas) are known by their Sanskrit names of vata, pitta and kapha where our constitution is governed by all three in varying degrees. Most of us are governed by one or possibly two dominant doshas and less common, an even balance of all three, known as tri-doshic.

You can see how the dosha types are structurally similar to the three body types, or somatypes that William Sheldon first introduced in the 1940s as general categories that many people might feel describes their body type.


The Sanskrit word vata means “to move” and vata people really do have mobile natures. They are often thin, with a long angular face, small eyes, irregular teeth, and narrow lips, restless, with erratic sleep patterns. Vata upholds the supportive structure, tissue, and circulation throughout the whole body. The cosmic link of vata is wind, its main principle is change and its elements are ether and air influencing activity and movement. Therefore will be changeable in both action and thoughts, with an active lifestyle and/or personality.

Vata’s are naturally intuitive and very perceptive!


The Sanskrit word pitta means “to heat” and is responsible for all biochemical activities, including the production of heat. They are often muscular, fair-skinned, and freckled, with heart-shaped faces, neat noses, and pale eyes. Pitta types tend to be a medium frame and height, quite slender with a tendency towards “excess fire”, the ability to transform or change things easily. The Pitta’s cosmic link is the sun and is made up of the elements fire and water. The fire in the pitta nature can create sudden outbreaks of bad temper.

Pittas are often the “movers and shakers” of the world!


The Sanskrit word kapha means “to embrace”, a real source of strength and resistance, and responsibility for the body’s constitution. They are often large-framed, well-proportioned bodies, with a solid build, maybe oily-skinned, with thick wavy hair, blue or brown eyes, and prone to weight gain. Kapha is made up of water and earth elements and steadier than the other doshas as the earth is stabilising. The cosmic link is the moon and the main principle is inertia, they must have stimulation in order to avoid boredom. Kaphas are very grounded and care deeply.

Everyone needs a kapha friend in their life!

Influence of the Doshas

In Ayurveda, we delve deep and look at how our dosha determines more than just our constitution, adding in our preferences, personality traits, and sleeping patterns for example, and even looking at the foods best suited to us.

As we go through life, environment, diet, stress, trauma, and injury can cause the doshas to become unbalanced. This condition is known as the vikruti state. When the imbalance is excessively high or low it can lead to dis-ease.

If our bodies are functioning well, dis-ease is unlikely but when the constitution is weakened, we become susceptible to illness. Ayurveda aims to prevent dis-ease by working with the individual’s constitution.

Are you intrigued by the doshas? Have you taken my dosha quiz yet? If not, click here to find out your body type!

If you have any health challenges and would like to see if Ayurveda can help you, you can book in for a free 20-minute discovery call to find out more. Please contact me here, with any questions, call on 07789 516 517 or use the online booking system to book in.




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