Within the realms of Ayurveda, the term dosha is often used. Dosha refers to each person’s mind / body type, or their unique psychological and physiological ‘signature’. Each person’s dosha is determined by the amount of varying physical qualities within them, how they respond to stress, and their inherent characteristics. Knowing your dosha or your ‘type’ can be incredibly insightful and helpful when searching for the right foods, spices, exercise regimes and daily routines for you. It can also be very useful to know more about the doshas and their energies when you’re feeling unwell or out of balance, as this is a sign that certain qualities may be too high, and others too low.
The three doshas are Kapha consisting of earth and water elements, Pitta consisting of fire and water, and Vata consisting of air and ether. The primary qualities of Kapha are steadiness, heaviness, slowness, kindness, endurance, growth, coolness, stability, loyalty, lethargy and oiliness. The qualities of pitta are hot, fiery, dynamic, passionate, acidic, determined, irritability, anger and order. The predominant qualities of vata are quickness, change, coolness, dryness, fragility, movement, creativity and lightness. We’re all born with one or two (sometimes three) doshas – for instance your inherent nature may be made up of a dual dosha or pitta and vata, or one single dosha of kapha. Think of this as your default mode or blueprint. Our everyday wellbeing can move in and out of balance easily depending upon the season, our actions, diet, weather, social interactions and much more. This is known as your vikruti, or current state. Actions such as eating hot spicy foods can increase your current level of pitta energy, whilst cool and heavy foods like dairy can increase kapha. The season of Autumn is governed by vata energy, so many of us are likely to experience an imbalance of vata during that particular season.