Ayurveda posits that there are 5 master elements that make up everything in existence both internally and externally. Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Space has to be there for anything to exist, air has the qualities of movement and change, fire represents heat - direct and transformational, water is cohesive and protective and earth is solid, grounded and stable.
From these 5 elements, we come to 3 primary patterns or biological forces that exist within us known as doshas. Vata (space + air), Pitta (fire + water), Kapha (water + earth). Each of these doshas have their own characteristics and each and every one of us has these elements within us in varying proportions. Understanding how these elements manifest within our bodies gives us a clear picture of our own “ unique” physical and biological constitution, a blueprint that according to Ayurveda is determined at the time of conception and never changes.
Space + Air
Wind Energy = Movement
Vata is responsible for movement, controls all body functions associated with movements like blood circulation, breathing, blinking, heartbeat, and peristalsis
When in balance Vata people are highly creative, enthusiastic, clairvoyant and vital.
When out of balance, they become insecure, nervous, fearful, scattered and restless.
Light, delicate bodies, small frames, quick in movement and thought, cold extremities, rough and dry skin, irregular appetites digestion and absorption
Fire + Water
Fire Energy = Transformation
Pitta is responsible for transformation in body and mind. It controls metabolic and hormonal functions throughout the body and regulates heat.
When in balance Pitta people are very sharp, highly intellectual and posses excellent leadership qualities.
When out of balance, they can be judgemental, critical and perfectionist and tend to become angry easily.
Medium frame, with sensitive skin, bright penetrating eyes, strong appetite and thirst, excess heat in the body causing issues like acne, acidity, and inflammation.
Water + Earth
Earth Energy = Stability
Kapha is responsible for growth, stability, lubrication, and cohesion in the body. It’s responsible forthe nourishment of all body parts, moisturizes the skin and maintains immunity
When in balance Kapha people have the greatest capacity for strength, love, loyalty, nurturing, compassion and forgiveness.
When out of balance they can struggle with greed, attachment, laziness, possessiveness, and inertia.
Strong and large body frame, big lustrous eyes, shiny, thick and smooth hair and skin. Excess water and earth lead to sinus congestion, water retention, excess weight, sluggishness and heaviness in the body.
This is a small intro in the doshas and how they function within and all around us. Seems quite logical to me that understanding these doshas and how they play a role in our health and well being is a big part of understanding ourselves and the manifestation or prevention of “dis-ease”