Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, the five basic elements manifest in the human body as three basic principles, known as the Tridosha, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Every human being has a combination of these principles in his or her makeup. Your own unique constitution is the map to discovering the foods and lifestyle that will balance you.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the very foundation of Ayurveda. At the moment of conception, each person’s combination and proportion of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are determined according to genetics, diet, lifestyle and emotions of the parents.
The bodily air principle called Vata is manifested from the Ether and Air elements. The fire and water elements manifest together in the body as the fire principle called Pitta. The Earth and Water elements manifest as the bodily water humour known as Kapha.
According to Ayurveda, the first requirement for healing oneself is a clear understanding of the Tridosha, without this knowledge, one cannot fully realize the hidden secrets of Ancient Ayurveda and its benefits to ones healing.
The concept of vata-pitta-kapha is unique to Ayurveda and in western terms it can be difficult to translate so I will explain it to you as simple as I can.
Vata is the principle of movement, governing all movement in the mind and body. Blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. Vata also governs such feelings and emotions as nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors and spasms.
The large intestine, pelvic cavity, bones, skin, ears and thighs are the seats of Vata. If the body develops an excess of Vata, these are the areas it will accumulate. Since Pitta and Kapha cannot move without it, Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic principles in the body. It’s very important to keep Vata in good balance.
Pitta, the principle of fire governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the lustre of the eyes and also intelligence and understanding.
It controls the important digestive fire of the body, in psychological terms when there is a predominance of pitta, the emotions of anger, irritability and hate set within the mind and body. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes and skin are the seats of pitta.
Kapha is formed by the two elements Earth and Water. The translation of Kapha is biological water, it cements the elements in the body, providing all structure and lubrication in the mind and body. Water is the main constituent of Kapha, and this bodily water is responsible for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. It is responsible for the formation of all the seven tissues – nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues.
Kapha controls weight, growth, it lubricates the joints and lungs, provides moisture to the skin, helps to heal wounds, gives vigour and stability, supports memory retention, and maintains immunity. Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, and joints. Kapha in excess within the body, is also responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and envy. The chest is the seat of Kapha.
The accompanying body diagram shows the seats of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Knowing the influences of the Tridosha, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, is essential for understanding your own needs and what affects your experiences to maintain the body’s natural state of balance, the basis of Vibrant Healthy Living.
Find out your constitution by visiting Anna Fantasia so you too can enjoy the benefits of this Ancient wisdom called Ayurveda, it will change your life forever.
References taken from the books Ayurveda, The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad, and Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad.