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A simple guide to the Doshas

by Claudia Wareham

According to Ayurvedic medicine, the Doshas are three energies that circulate through the body and govern physiological activity. There differing proportions determine individual temperament and physical constitution and when out of balanced can cause particular physical and mental disorders.

Just like a Zebra’s stripes, we are all completely unique. Ever notice how some people move fast and light, while you never see some people run? One friend has a more reserved and calm demeanour while another is forever joyous and happy? Ayurveda explains how our Doshas and their related properties – water, air, fire, earth, space – create our wonderful differences. Knowing your Dosha can help you to live a healthier more balanced life.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three energies believed to circulate the body and mind influencing physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Having an understanding of these Doshas helps us to better understand ourselves and the world. Generally, we are a dominant Dosha, or we are combination of two. It is believed to be healthy to have, or strive for, a balance between all three.


Elements of space and air, Vata types commonly reflect this with tall and thinner body shapes. They are quick thinkers but quick to forget. They are very creative and fast moving with high energy bursts that lead them to tire easily. Full of joy and enthusiasm when the Dosha is in balance but when out of balance they can act in impulse affecting their decisions.


Elements of fire and water, usually personalities that are strong and fiery, with a sharp mind. Pitta bodies are of medium physique, strong and concentrated. Assertive and confident, pushing the boundaries often to bossy and aggressive. They enjoy challenges, are romantic and passionate types. Although great leaders, they become irritated very easily.


Elements of earth and water, with a bigger bodily frame and calm persona. They tend to be easy going, slower paced and non judgemental. They speak slower, as they think thoroughly about their words. They strive for peace and calmness in their surroundings, almost being a grounding stability for others. Sometimes Kapha bodies may easily gain weight due to slower digestion and can be prone to depression.

Curious to know your Dosha? Click here to take a quick three minute test and find out!