Jan 27, 2015


THE DOSHAS are the qualities of the five elements which affect the nature of matter, for example moisture in the air causes humidity thereby changing the properties of air. When there is water in sand it has more earth properties and when there’s air in it, it is dry and lighter. Air makes a fire burn more and when there is water in it, it goes out. These principles are so familiar to us that we don’t necessarily associate these qualities affecting the body and mind in the same way, but they do. The doshas are the causative factor of disease but also have a positive value to the body by supporting the tissues and organ functions.  

In ayurveda we simplify the five elements into three categories: VATA - air and space: PITTA - fire: KAPHA - water and earth. Please refer to the blogs and videos on the five elements where I said we are looking at the energies of the elements not so much their physical nature although that is a factor. They are not physical structures, but physiological forces. There are spaces in the body, such as in the lungs where there is air, and we often use spacey, airhead, airy or light headed when describing the quality of air in a person, but not air itself.

We don’t mean there is literally a fire inside us, but we do talk about burning sensations, firey personalities and hot is often used. Water does literary exist within us and we know when we don’t have enough and excess is accumulating. We may describe a person as being wishy washy meaning the mind moves around like water or an earthy or stable person meaning they have the qualities of earth. We recognize the doshas by their attributes. When there is excess or deficiency in the attributes then the same is for the doshas.


Pitta dosha has the quality of fire and there is a little bit of water in it, therefore its qualities are hot, sharp, light, unctuous, liquid, mobile and foul smelling. The attributes of pitta are hot, moist and light. In nature the force of fire comes from the sun, the energy of transformation causing things to grow. In the body Pitta is “That which Digests” cooks or transforms.”


We talk about the “seat “ of the dosha and what we mean by this is that  each dosha has a primary and secondary site in specific parts of the body. The seat of Pitta is in the small intestine (duodenum). Its action is seen in sweat, lymph, sebaceous glands, eyes and blood.  Each dosha has a role to play in the functions of the body. The role of Pitta is to control the conversion process of food into nutrients which the body can absorb. It is responsible for metabolism, digestion, enzymes and hormones. Pigmentation of the skin, hunger, thirst, sight and courage are all functions of pitta. The fluids which it governs are those of the digestive system and blood.


The doshas are also in the mind. Pitta in the mind makes us mentally sharp and perceptive, and gives us drive, courage and ambition. Pitta gives us the power to perceive reality and to understand things as they really are. It allows us to discriminate and gives us the penetrating power of thought. Too much pitta in the mind will make us irritable, fly off the handle and angry.

The True Natural State of Pitta (Prakriti). Prakriti gives us our particular characteristics. Please review the video on “States of the Doshas” on the physical health page. Prakriti is what we are born with and is determined by the prakriti  of our parents. We each have a unique combination of Vata Pitta,Kapha, it is the same throughout life and gives us our physical and psychological characteristics. It is like an energy form of DNA. You are what you are throughout life and it does not change.There is questionnaire on the Physical Health Page where you can determine your own true nature.

Pitta characteristics in people give them an average build and body frame, their skin is soft, oily and smooth. and their eyes are sharp and penetrating. Pitta gives good digestion and require cooling foods and drink. Pitta people tend to have average strength and capacity for work, they have good circulation and warm extremities. Pitta dominant people are highly motivated, they make good leaders and are often wealthy, but tend to be irritable and hot tempered.  

Pitta also has a variable state which is covered in videos and blogs on the Physical Health Page on PITTA AGGRAVATION. When you go to an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner they will read the pulse. They are not checking your heart rate like an allopathic doctor, but are determining two things. One is your true nature or prakriti and the other is the disturbances of the doshas or the state of the doshas the time of examination. This is called Vikriti or the aggravation of the doshas.


The Doshas Video

Everybody has a unique combination of the five elements in the body which are called “Doshas" Vata Pitta Kapha. They must be kept balanced, when they are aggravated they cause disease. This and videos & blogs can be viewed at According to Ayurveda & Yoga  www.ataytv.org - Physical Health.




According To Ayurveda & Yoga - Ann Holaday

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