• Lauren Baptiste

The Three Ayurvedic Doshas: Are you Vata, Pitta or Kapha?

Updated: Jul 16

“Ayurveda is the science that teaches what is good and what is bad for one’s life in terms of diet, routine and environment. Not following these recommendations leads to disease. The method of diagnosis is through finding the underlying cause(s), and the treatment helps pacify the imbalance and cure the disease.” – Charaka Samhita, 1.1.41


As humans, each of us is made of all three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), but our unique constitution or combination of those qualities (prakriti) can determine our unique mental and physical tendencies. I like to call it "yogi genetics" that make up both body and mind. The goal of Ayurveda is to come back to your divine proportion, not to the one that's trending highest on Instagram. Your prakriti was determined at birth, and in order to live to your healthiest state, the goal is to balance your proportion of each of the three ayurvedic doshas.


To make sure we’re on the same page, let’s take one step back to understand what Ayurveda is.

Ayurveda is the science of life (“Ayur” = life, “Veda” = science or knowledge), but also known as “the mother of all healing”. Ayurveda dates back over 5,000 years and uses natural techniques to come back to our perfect selves. It offers a deep wisdom designed to help us stay vibrant and healthy while realizing our full potential.


Everyone and everything in this world is composed of energy. This energy is comprised of the five elements: space, air, fire, water, earth. These universal energies manifest in our physiology as three doshas (personalities): Vata, Pitta and Kapha.


  • Vata: space and air

  • Pitta: fire and water

  • Kapha: earth and water


Keep in mind: although you embody all three doshas, there may be one or two that stick out as the primary permutation(s) that aligns most with your unique body-mind type. Below are the physical and mental archetypes that make up Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.




VATA DOSHA – SPACE AND AIR

They call Vata the "king of doshas" because it governs movement. This one dosha is the one that helps you move your arm, blink an eye, swallow food, eliminate waste and much more. Without Vata, life in the body would not exist.


Vata is often the first dosha effected by stress, which is why Acheloa Wellness dedicates a lot of time, love and attention to Vata dosha.


Archetypes of Vata:

  • Light bones and muscles, long straight frame

  • Cool skin; cold hands/feet

  • Small, fine features, sometimes irregular features

  • Hard to gain weight, easy to lose

  • Variable digestion

  • Sometimes they’re hungry, sometimes not

  • Eats fast, moves fast, talks fast; light on feet


Mental & Emotional Personality:

  • Career examples: poets, dancers, connectors, artists, writers, cooks (creativity & visionary)

  • Enthusiastic, social, creative, innovative

  • Likes variety; adaptable; travel

  • Learns quickly, forgets quickly, needs lists/reminders




PITTA DOSHA – FIRE AND WATER

Pitta is the transformer. It's the energy within you that digests food and emotions. It's through pitta that you perceive what's happening in your surroundings. For example, you hear a loud sound, and it's pitta that discerns whether it's a firework or thunder.


Pitta is the fiery-nature within you that is high-achieving and goal-oriented. Like any fire, we want to make sure your inner fire is strong, yet contained. We don't want you burning down the kingdom you've created over the past few decades.

Archetype of Pitta:

  • Medium size, frame and musculature; warm skin

  • Oily reddish skin, fine oily hair, light-sensitive eyes, intense gaze

  • Easy to gain weight and easy to lose

  • Strong appetite and digestion

  • Steady hormones

  • Sharp, clear voice; walks with intention

  • Strong eyesight

  • Good complexion


Mental & Emotional Personality:

  • Organized; focused; disciplined

  • Competitive, goal-oriented

  • Courageous, inspiring, passionate

  • Learns quickly, good memory

  • Career examples: activists, spiritual leaders, CEOs, managers

  • Sharp memory, good comprehension

  • Speaks in bullet points; to the point; concise



KAPHA DOSHA – WATER AND EARTH

Kapha is the protector. It's the fluid in the joints that prevents that "tin-man" effect or the myelin and sheath in the brain that protects thoughts as the synaptic nerves flair up (Pitta) and move around the brain (Vata).


Similar to the other doshas, it's important to make sure there's the Goldilocks amount of kapha qualities in the body.

Archetype of Kapha:

  • Broad frame, strong bones and muscles, curvy

  • Physical and mental strength and endurance

  • Smooth, cool skin; thick, wavy hair; large, bright eyes; full lips << more pronounced features

  • Easy to gain weight, difficult to lose weight

  • Steady, sometimes slow digestion, okay with just a couple meals a day.

  • Walks slowly, low booming voice, talks leisurely

  • Strong immune system


Mental & Emotional Personality:

  • Works well with (or loves!) routine and structure (same restaurant, same table, same meal, same night of the week, every week)

  • Steady, dependable, predictable, calm, loyal, true to their word

  • Generous, compassionate, caring

  • Learns best with repetition, long memory

  • Career examples: opera singers, social workers, nannies, kindergarten teachers, caretakers


WHAT’S YOUR DOSHA?

Of the three doshas, what Ayurvedic type are you most aligned to: Vata, Pitta or Kapha? Based on the above, feel into which dosha resonates with you. If only for today, start your journey with dosha awareness. To reinforce your understanding of the doshas, watch the replay of our #WellnessWednesday episode that aired on February 12, 2020, titled, "What Are the Three Ayurvedic Body Types?"


The journey starts here, but there’s lifetimes of knowledge that can discuss the deeper levels of ayurveda. If you’re looking to better understand your personal dosha, or believe your health is being impacted by one of the doshas, reach out to Lauren and team to support and empower your journey forward.

  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Pinterest
HOME   |   CONTACT   |   TERMS   |   PRIVACY POLICY

Proudly created by Perri Runion, LLC