What is a Dosha?

Nature of the Universe is made of five basic constituents/elements as per Ayurveda, these; are called the Pancha Mahabhuta, namely – 

Prithvi (Earth) | Jal (Water) | Agni (Fire) | Vayu (Air) | Akash (Space) –Read more on the Panchamahabhuta

They exist in all beings and matter.

As per Ayurveda, every human body is an ‘exact representation’ of the Universe or Mahabhutas, in a miniaturised form, which must stay in harmony and equilibrium.

The Pancha Mahabhutas or the five constituent elements combine to form three bio-energies  or operating principles called ‘Doshas’. These three doshas have their existence in every person’s body, mind, and also consciousness but in varying combinations and that form one’s constitution.

When these three energies work in perfect equilibrium, an individual is in a healthy state of body and mind. But when these same energies are imbalanced, they become reasons for ill-health.

Space (Ether) and Air Mahabhuta combine as they have similar properties to form the ‘Vata Dosha’.

Fire element combines either with Air or Water element to make up ‘Pitta Dosha’.

Water and Earth Mahabhuta constitute the formation of ‘Kapha Dosha”.

Doshas play a dynamic role with constant fluctuations in response to our regime, lifestyle, diet, seasons, and mental or emotional state. Whatever good or bad tendencies created by us are manifestations of our dosha and vice versa. We may be tempted to chug that bottle of coke, eat those finger-licking steaks, sleep in late after a night out or neglect sleep altogether when needed the most without realizing that these practices can influence our constitution in negative ways. Understanding and appreciating our Doshas is key to knowing ourselves. It is the gateway to our  body and provides cues for what we should follow or avoid in terms of diet and lifestyle when we know what’s causing us to feel out of balance.

Though each dosha is present in every cell of the body at a subtle level, due to functionality, these Doshas are predominantly situated in certain parts and perform their specific functions.

Ayurveda divides the human body into its halves, within which each Dosha displays its gross presence and functions.

Vata Dosha controls and maintains all movement in the body. Therefore it is present predominantly in the lower half of the body below the navel, as this region is rich in nervous and movement-related activities. – To read more, click here for the details of Vata Dosha.

Pitta Dosha governs metabolism, and digestion. and energy production and is present in the mid-region of the body – the abdomen – To read more, click here for the details of Pitta Dosha.

Kapha Dosha is grossly present and performs its main function of nourishment for the root of the body – the central nervous system/brain and is present in the region above the chest, including the head and neck. To read more, click here for the details of Kapha Dosha.

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