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Ayurveda was created by nature, not humans and doshas are seen by many as biophysical energies in our bodies.  When we are born into this physical realm, our natural state or PRAKRITI includes hair, stature, eye colour, as well as inherent personality and characteristics. We each have a unique balance of 3 Doshas: Vata (Air), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Earth). Quite often one Dosha is more dominant and guides the way to a lifestyle that suits us best. We may also have a second dominant Dosha, and a more or less equal blend of all three is called Tridoshic e.g we might be creative, fast, wiry, light, cold and dry like Vata, but also at times laid-back, soft, heavy, slow and relaxed like Kapha.

Often, due to many factors that accumulate such as our environments like weather, seasons, lifestyle choices and diet, the most dominant Dosha and the other doshas can become imbalanced. These imbalances create a current state, known as VIKRITI, which results from not supporting our natural constitution (Prakriti). If we continually eat foods or adopt unhealthy habits this can manifest into symptoms such as bloating, rashes, spots, hot flushes, itchy skin, sore gums, gassiness, tummy upsets, bad temper, tiredness or anxiety. If we ignore these warnings it can form dis-ease in our body.

The great news is that in Ayurveda, by getting to know the Doshas and their qualities, we can use our symptoms to identify which Dosha is playing up. We can support his by taking certain drinks, herbs and spices, colours, textures, aromas, environments and lifestyle choices as a holistic medical system. The key is to choose those that have the opposite qualities or characteristics to the symptoms we’re experiencing, to create equilibrium.

Air Pressure

VATA (air)  - made up of the elements space and air

Vata is considered to be the king of all doshas as it starts life and ends life with our breath. Vata types are sually slim with bony limbs and straight body shapes, Vata types gain weight in the middle. Their skin is fine and dry, they feel the cold more than others and have difficulty sweating. They have an irregular and erratic appetite. Vata types are prone to feeling confused and stressed, and may feel tired come late afternoon. They are creative, enthusiastic, active, alert and restless, jumping from one idea to the next.

Despite not having a great memory, Vata types are quick to learn, spiritually perceptive and are happiest when in contact with nature and the outdoors. They have a heightened sense of touch and an appreciation for beauty. You might recognise them as having their head in the clouds and talking at a million miles per hour.

The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Vata are light, dry, rough, clear, active, cold and mobile, and pungent, bitter and astringent in taste. Therefore, choosing more of the qualities or characteristics in food and lifestyle choices which have the opposite effect such as heavy, moist, smooth, sticky, slow, warm, stable, salty, sour and sweet helps to maintain balance or bring excess Vata back into equilibrium.

IN BALANCE Vata personalities are energetic, vivacious, joyful, friendly, open-minded, free in spirit, embrace change and learn easily, are clear and alert, sleep long and lightly, have balanced digestion, good circulation and an even body temperature.

OUT OF BALANCE Vata personalities can be tired or fatigued, forgetful or spaced-out, anxious and frazzled with a lack of focus, have difficulty falling asleep, suffer occasional constipation and poor circulation.

PITTA (fire) - made up of the elements fire and water

With a moderate, athletic physique, Pitta types gain weight evenly or on the bottom half. They have soft, lustrous, warm skin and get hot easily. They have a strong metabolism, good appetite and digestion. Pitta types are determined, competitive, ambitious and highly intelligent, with good insight and keen discrimination. They like to be in control and at the centre of attention, they are highly focused innovators with energy levels to match and can be likened to a ‘Type A’ personality. Pitta types, although nocturnal, are deep sleepers and prone to vivid dreams and nightmares.

The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy, spreading and liquid, and salty, sour and pungent in taste. Therefore, choosing more of the qualities or characteristics in food and lifestyle choices which have the opposite effect such as rough, dull, cold, heavy, static, hard, dry, bitter, astringent and sweet helps to maintain balance or bring excess Pitta back into equilibrium.

Pitta personalities are perfectionists, have strong intellect, strong digestion, are radiant, have glowing skin, sleep through the night and have inner peace and happiness.

OUT OF BALANCE Pitta personalities can be controlling, irrational, judgemental, fiery-tempered, irritable, workaholic, overheated, and prone to rashes and acne. They may experience interrupted sleep, acid reflux, headaches and loose bowel movements.


KAPHA (earth) - made up of the elements water and earth

With well-developed bodies, broad shoulders and soft, oily and lustrous skin, Kapha types enjoy a regular appetite with a relatively slow-burning digestion. They are naturally deep sleepers. Akin to mother earth, Kapha types are patient, grounded, caring, stable and supportive of family and loved ones.

Kapha types have an appreciation for art, dance and music. They have an innate sense of taste and smell and love to eat. They can be very attached to material possessions, and have difficulty in recognising the difference between essentials and luxuries. Despite being hard-working people, they also have a tendency to be lazy and are capable of sleeping for longer than others. They strongly dislike the cold and adore warmth.

The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Kapha are cold, moist, heavy, dull, static, smooth, dense, oily and soft, and sweet, sour and salty in taste. Therefore, choosing more of the qualities or characteristics in food and lifestyle choices which have the opposite effect such as hot, dry, clear, light, sharp, active, rough, bitter, pungent and salty helps to maintain balance or bring excess Kapha back into equilibrium.

IN BALANCE Kapha personalities have a stable temperament, good long-term memory, good strength and stamina, a healthy and robust physiology, are team players, are reliable and enjoy sound sleep, are compassionate and affectionate.

OUT OF BALANCE Kapha personalities can gain weight easily, have slow digestion, may be prone to sinus and respiratory problems, feel lethargic, find it difficult to wake-up and can experience food cravings and depression.

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