According to Ayurveda, our mind-body system governs our health, as the thoughts in our mind lead to various reactions in our body. Both the terms are inseparable and hence to decipher one’s health issues it’s important to understand the mind-body type. Ayurveda explains this interconnectedness or psychophysiological relation via 3 operating agents known as the doshas viz – Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
All 3 doshas are present in each and every human being; however, the dominance of one or more dosha describes an individual’s mind-body type. An Ayurvedic practitioner identifies your Dosha and prescribes foods based on it, to strike a balance between your mind and body that helps you attain a healthy body & happy mind.
Let’s understand Vata, Pitta & Kapha doshas:
1. Vata Dosha
Vata energy is associated with wind, and controls our body functions related to motion including blood circulation, breathing, heartbeat, nervous system, digestion etc.
Characteristics of Vata Mind-Body Type:
A person with Vata as a dominant energy has a thin build, and is often active, enthusiastic, imaginative, an avid learner (but forgetful), however, tires easily, has irregular hunger and sleep patterns, mood fluctuations and a tendency to worry. The skin of Vata dominant people is mostly dry, transparent and prone to dark circles.
The Vata Imbalance:
When Vata is perfect, a person is often creative and brimming with vitality, however, an imbalance can produce fear and anxiety. Also, Vata imbalance in your body leads to bloating, unexplained pain, brittle bones, arthritis, asthma and Alzheimer's.
2. Pitta Dosha
The Pitta energy is associated with fire, and controls metabolism as well as our body’s temperature.
Characteristics of Pitta Mind-Body Type:
A person with dominant Pitta dosha has medium build, and is often strong, enterprising, articulate and intellectual, has a strong digestion and sharp hunger and thirst, however, is also vulnerable to anger and irritability under stress. The skin of Pitta dominant people is mostly fair, ruddy and freckled.
The Pitta Imbalance:
When Pitta dosha is stable, a person is often content and highly intellectual, however, an imbalance can lead to acid indigestion, skin rashes, blood and liver problems, heart conditions, ulcers and frequent bouts of anger.
3. Kapha Dosha
The Kapha energy is associated with earth, and controls building your muscles, fat, tendons, ligaments and bones.
Characteristics of Kapha Mind-Body Type:
A person with Kapha mind-body type enjoys a strong and powerful build, and is often slow yet steady while performing everyday tasks, displays a relaxed and cool personality, slow learner but with a good memory, is affectionate, tolerant, complacent but at times possessive, a deep sleeper, has mild hunger and slow digestion; however, is a slow decision maker and has a tendency towards emotional eating that leads to obesity. The skin of Kapha dominant people is generally smooth, thick and oily.
The Kapha Imbalance:
When Kapha dosha is perfect, a person exudes love and forgiveness, however, an imbalance can make one feel insecure and envious. Physically, Kapha dosha imbalance translates to obesity, asthma, diabetes, depression and cancerous growths.