Doshas are the 3 energies that govern the body; vata, pitta, and kapha.
At conception we were created with a unique blend of the 5 great elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth). That unique blend is called our prakruti or individual body constitution. Our prakruti is a combination of the three doshas vata (ether + air), pitta (fire + water), and kapha (water + earth). Since prakruti is made of the 3 doshas, knowing what your dosha(s) is, is key to maintaining your health.
Once we know what doshas are dominant in us, we know what our balanced state should be. This is extremely important because with this knowledge we are able to notice when the body goes out of balance AND we know how to bring it back to balance. Since we are little beings of nature and are made of the same 5 elements, we can use the opposite elements to bring us back to balance.
In Ayurveda like increases like, therefore too much “like” will cause aggravations that could lead to disease. For example, if you are a pitta person (who naturally has more heat) and you are eating spicy foods in the hot summer, your pitta dosha will increase and could create heartburn or maybe a skin rash (heating diseases). To balance it, you would use the opposite qualities by eat cooling foods and cooling drinks.
Another example would be a vata person eating salads in the fall/winter. The cold and dry qualities increase of the salad increase the cold and dry qualities of vata, thus increasing vata dosha which causes disorders like anxiety, dry skin, constipation, etc., To keep vata balanced, keeping warm and moist in fall/winter is their best bet.
An example of excess kapha would be eating yogurt in the spring. Kapha is sticky, wet and heavy, So when the weather is sticky, wet and heavy, and the yogurt has the same qualities, you get increased kapha dosha. It creates imbalances like chest congestion (mucus), allergies, lethargy. To cut through kapha and get it moving, have warm and spicy liquids.
So basically disease is caused by the body going out of harmony with it’s natural state, when we know what that natural state is, we have the ability to keep ourselves free of disease. Take the test to find out your dosha, whether you are vata, pitta, kapha or any combination of the three. Once you know, you can make decisions accordingly to keep your body, mind, and soul totally balanced and healthy.
For a printable version to give to your friends and family, use this .pdf. They should know their doshas too!