What Is Dosha, Dosha Types Vata Pitta Kapha And Characteristics

What is Dosha,Doshas Vata Pitta Kapha and Their Characteristics

Doshas -Vata Pitta Kapha
Written by Anima Sur

The three doshas-Vata, Pitta, Kapha can destroy and sustain the body when they are abnormal and normal respectively. The perfect balance of the three doshas leads to health, whereas imbalance in tridosha leads to diseases. Doshas are the bio-energic forces which govern our body. Under normal conditions, they maintain the normal functioning of the body and give us health as well as longevity. But these doshas have a tendency to get deranged- they increase or decrease in their quality, quantity or functioning. And when become abnormal by deviating from their normal position, they disturb the dhatus. It is because of this tendency of vitiation that they are known as doshas or vitiators. As they are concerned with the body they are also called bodily dosha. But what happens in the body also affects the mind, and vice-versa, for body and mind are intricately connected.

Doshas are present all over the body but have dominance only in certain areas. Thus derangement of the dosha leads to specific diseases in those regions. Dosha has an effect on digestion, nutrient assimilation, and elimination. essentially they influence all bodily functions. Dosha dominance is related to the three stages of life. In general,  Vata is dominant in old age, Kapha is dominant in childhood, and Pitta is dominant in youth. In addition, there is a diurnal variation in dosha dominance. Kapha is predominant in the morning, Pitta in the afternoon and Vata in the late evening. As long as these forces are in balance, all systems operate optimally and smoothly.

What is the Definition of Dosha? What are the Types of Doshas Vata, Pitta, Kapha

The Sanskrit word “Dosha” means fault/defect. The three bio energic forces are known as “tridoshas” because when they undergo alterations, they induce a defect in the body i.e in the seven dhatus and in the excretory systems. Health is excellent when Doshas -Vata, Pitta, and Kapha abide in their natural state. Thus, maintaining a balance in the bio-energic forces is the objective of Ayurvedic Healing.

By adopting a lifestyle and dietary habits complementary with the seasons and one’s Prakriti (innate constitution), the bio-energic forces go through a natural process of accumulation, aggravation and calming down. It just happens on its own. Intervention is necessary when due to improper lifestyle and incorrect dietary inclinations you invite disease to home in your body. In order to keep your body healthy and disease free, first, you need to understand the working of these bio-energic forces in detail.

The three types of Doshas- Vata,Pitta, Kapha

  • Vata Dosha– this is the main one
  • Pitta Dosha– The second main factor
  • Kapha Dosha

Doshas Vata Pitta Kapha

Let us start with the Vata Dosha or Vata Imbalance

Vata is paramount among the bio-energic forces Doshas-Vata Pitta Kapha.  It causes the Vayu which means ” that which flows or moves”. It is very important that the Vayu present in the body remains balanced. When Vata is balanced, one can experience joy because Vata is the prime factor enthusing the sense and mind. Deranged Vata can lead to eighty types of diseases. Thus it is necessary to know the causes of derangement and the ways to prevent and disturbances to maintain optimal health.

In fact, Vata governs Pitta and Kapha Doshas. By maintaining Vata in a balanced state, in effect, the other two doshas too abide in their natural state. Moreover, the seven dhatus and bodily excretions such as urine, feces, and sweat also function optimally. When Vayu becomes deranged, then all bodily functions become deranged. Such is the might of this force.

Characteristics of Vata

  • Dry
  • Buoyant
  • Cold
  • Coarse
  • Unsteady or moving

Vata Characteristics

Characteristics of increased Vata:

  1. Dryness in the body and skin, brittle nails, dry thin hair
  2. Bloating, constipation
  3. Sleeplessness, Restlessness
  4. Weakness, dizziness, giddiness
  5. Body aches, Joint stiffness

Characteristics of decreased Vata:

  1. Sluggishness, inclination to stay silent
  2. Lack of enthusiasm, tiredness
  3. Reduced awareness, drowsiness, loss of awareness of surroundings

It has different effects on different parts of the body. Thus it has five sub-types: Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana, and Vyana. All activities happening in the body like respiration, circulation, excretion, seeing, hearing happen due to Vata. It governs the activities of the senses and also excites, stimulates the mind.

Vata stimulates digestive fire, eliminates waste matter from the body, and influences the working of all body systems. Our entire life depends on it, which is why Vata is regarded as the life-giving force in sentient beings. In fact, derangedcVata is the causal factor that precedes every bodily illness. Thence, calming and balancing the aggravated Vata is the very first step towards treating the disease. Only when the Vata is balanced the other two bio-energic forces can be brought back to their normal state.

Sub Types of Vata and its significance

Vata Sub Type Name Location Function Sign & Symptoms of Deranged
Prana Vayu Head, Face, Throat, ear, Lungs, Nose, Mouth, Tongue and other organs in its sphere of activity.

The movement is inward

Swallowing food and liquid, Spitting, Sneezing, inhaling, cognition, the beating of the heart and so on Cough, Panic attacks, palpitations, Disease of the throat, heart, and lungs, Difficulty in swallowing, etc.
Udana Vayu Heart, Lungs, Nose Throat.

Movement is outwards and upwards from the umbilicus

Exhalation, Speech, memory, imparting strength to the body. Ailments of nose, throat, eyes, ears, teeth head hair. Imbalance leads to headaches, vomiting, tiredness, hiccups, reduced memory
Samana Vayu Close to the digestive system and digestive fire. it is active in the stomach, duodenum, and proximal small intestine. Strength to the digestive fire, and induces the release of gastric and intestinal juices which aid digestion. After digestion, it segregates the residue into the nutrient part and excretory part.

Additionally, it maintains a balance between the five Vayus

Sluggish digestive fire, ailments of the digestive system like abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, constipation ulcers, tumors, etc.
Vyana Vayu Heart and the entire body Pumping of the heart, blood circulation, sweating, movement of limbs, blinking of the eyes walking, etc Entire body shows sign. Fever, jaundice, weakness, shivering, low or high BP, skin blisters, etc.
Apana Vayu Pelvic floor, anus, urinary bladder, genital organs, lower limbs, etc. Menstruation, ejaculation, holding or excretion of urine or feces, elimination of wind, etc Diseases of the mentioned organs- like piles, constipation, dysuria, irregular periods, etc

Pitta Dosha or Pitta Imbalances -A part of Doshas- Vata Pitta Kapha

This is the second most important bio-energic force in the body. In normal state Pitta attends to digestion, assimilation of nutrients, regulations of body temperature, vision, appetite, thirst, skin complexion, intelligence, courage zeal are well maintained.

Pitta Dosha

Characteristics of Pitta body

  • Unctuous
  • Sharp
  • Hot
  • Light
  • Pungent, sour smelling
  • Fluidity

Pitta Sub-Types and their Characteristics

Pitta Sub Type Name Location Function Sign & Symptoms of Deranged
Pachak Pitta Stomach and duodenum The main function is the digestion of food. It takes help of three types of digestive fire- Jathragni, Panchbhautik Agni and Dhatvagni Indigestion, acidity, stomach ulcers, etc.
Ranjak Pitta Located in the stomach. Optimal functioning of spleen and liver. Converts rasa in Rakta. Imparts color to rasa, Rakta and also specific hue to feces, urine, skin, hair, eye. Jaundice, anemia, disease of skin and blood, greying of hair, white or black patches on the skin, etc.
Sadhak Pitta The heart is the main site By removing layers of tamas and Kapha from the heart, it purifies and invigorates the mind such that lethargy, somnolence, and listlessness gets eradicated naturally. Depression. irritability, mental stress, giddiness, diseases of ligaments and cartilage, etc
Alochak Pitta Mainly in the eyes Regulates the functioning of the eyes, strengthens the power of seeing. Diseases of eyes like weak eyesight, cataract, color-blindness, etc
Bhrajak Pitta Mainly in the Skin Natural Oleation and moisturization of the skin. Regulation of body temperature. Imparting glow and softness to the skin. Protecting skin from environmental factors. All sorts of skin diseases- boils, blisters, eczema, white or black skin blemishes, etc

Signs of excess Pitta Dosha

  1. Yellowish discoloration of skin, feces, and urine
  2. Increased body heat, burning, acidity, reduced sleep
  3. Increased thirst, desire to ingest cold water-liquids
  4. Excessive anger
  5. Increased perspiration, foul-smelling sweat, itching, boils, etc

Signs of Reduced Pitta Dosha

  1. Lack of enthusiasm, weakness
  2. Reduced body temperature, cold hands, and feet
  3. Sluggish Agni thus decreased hunger
  4. Absence of taste in the mouth reduced thirst
  5. Pale skin, dull complexion, whitening of nails, weak eyesight

Kapha Dosha or Kapha Imbalance

The third bio energic force is known as the Kapha Dosha. Created from earth and water elements, Kapha nourishes the body, imparts unctuousness and strengthens the joints.  Also, it accords attributes like stability, resoluteness, endurance, patience, tolerance, etc.

Plasma, muscle, fat, marrow, urine and feces are the habitat of this dosha. When this force is present in the natural state, it is labeled as Kapha dhatu. And when deranged, it is known as Kapha Dosha.  Derangement leads to ailments in the body and mind.

Generally, Kapha tends to derange in the spring season. This is because there is an accumulation of Kapha in the preceding winter months.

Pitta Dosha

Characteristics of Kapha body

  • Unctuous
  • Cooling
  • Heavy
  • Sluggish
  • Soft
  • Viscous

Kapha Sub-Types and their Characteristics

   Kapha Sub Type Name Location Function Sign & Symptoms of Deranged
Avalambak Kapha Heart, Lungs, Lower back area Gently nourishes the body Affects heart rate, emotions, etc
Kledak Kapha Mainly in the stomach Aid in food digestion Loss of appetite, abdominal pain, etc
Bodhak Kapha The tongue is its main site Helps to know the taste of food Dry mouth, dry tongue, dryness in the throat, water brash, etc
Shleshak Kapha Bones and Joints are the main areas Lubrication of joints maintains ligaments, prevents bony frictions Rubbing of bones against each other, causing painful movement
Tarpak Kapha Head is the main dwelling site Nourishes, supports and provides strength to all sense organs. In allopathy, this co-relates to cerebrospinal fluid. All sorts of dysfunction of senses. Diseases like dry eyes, tinnitus, nose bleed, etc

Signs of excess Kapha Dosha

  1. Productive cough, cold and headache
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Heaviness in the body, Lack of appetite
  4. Obesity, Oedema
  5. Pale skin, reduced body temperature

Signs of Reduced Kapha Dosha

  1. Dryness in the body and skin, increased thirst
  2. Burning sensation in the skin
  3. Joint laxity
  4. Reduced sleep, lack of energy, dizziness

Conclusion: In short these are various Doshas-Vata Pitta Kapha Characteristics. You have to know your prakriti for a better health.

Note: If both Vata and Kapha is reduced, it can lead to the prolapsed rectum and/or uterus

About the author

Anima Sur

A health Blogger. "Take care of the whole, and the part will take care of itself". This is the essence of Yogic Wellness- keeping the whole being healthy.