Ayurveda: The 3 doshas explained

Over recent times, particularly if you tune in to health publications, you may have heard a lot more references to doshas. Part of Ayurveda, this is something which is starting to become more and more understood and if we were to look at the three doshas in a nutshell, we could describe them as energies within the body.

Of course, there’s far more to doshas than this, and this is the main reason countless health gurus like Dr. Pankaj Naram are starting to show how we can all use them to our advantage.

To highlight what each of the doshas mean, we’ll now look at them all in detail.


Something that will become obvious through the course of this guide is that doshas are derived from the basic elements of the world. In the case of Vata, this refers to “space and air” – effectively meaning the movement energy.

Many people believe that Vata is one of the most important doshas, as it provides motion for day-to-day life. This isn’t necessarily limited to a physical perspective either, it could relate to the way in which you communicate.

Unfortunately, it might not all be positive. There are negative properties of Vata if its not managed appropriately and it can promote anxiety and even conditions like constipation.

The colon, bones, joints, skin, brain and nerves are the main areas of the body which are affected by Vata and this in itself probably explains why it’s such an important dosha.


Pitta meanwhile is based on “fire and water” and relates to the body’s metabolism. It means that the main areas in which Pitta will affect you include the small intestine, pancreas, blood and stomach. The nature of Pitta also means that it will influence the body’s heat and energy greatly – usually through the way it processes food.

An example of it affecting heat is when a person’s body temperature increases. This is usually down to Pitta; mainly because it is imbalanced and is not able to regulate temperature appropriately.

Just like all of the doshas, Pitta can affect both the body and mind. It means that as well as physically overheating, it can cause anger and rage. However, from a positive point of view, it can also promote joy, courage and willpower.


The final dosha comes in the form of Kapha, which refers to “earth and water”. This is regarded as the energy which “builds” in the body and therefore gives structure to it. It tends to affect areas like the throat, lungs, head and chest.

Kapha is regarded as the dosha which can bulk our tissues, provide lubrication to joints and even store energy – meaning that it has plenty of important roles. From a mental point of view, it also “looks after” love, forgiveness and greed.

The nature of Kapha means that its imbalances can be obvious. It has the ability to “weigh down” the body from both a psychological and physical perspective, with one example of the latter being obesity. At the same time, an individual with balancedKapha can benefit from the love and calmness that it can promote.