Air & Ether
Fire & Water
Earth & Water
Each of us are made of elements that were determined at the moment of our conception.
According to Ayurveda, we are all made up of elements that create health when well-balanced, and illness when imbalanced. This can be on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. It takes into account all of the unique aspects and qualities of each person and helps to relieve symptoms, prevent diseases and treat illnesses.
These elements are the five gross elements of existence (The Pancha Mahabhutas):
Air (Vayu), Ether (Akasha), Fire (Agni), Water (Apas) and Earth (Prithvi) exist in everything in the Universe. They uniquely manifest in all life, as well as each of us - to give us our physical and mental qualities. Each person has their own unique combination of these 5 elements that contain 20 different qualities.
These elements then go on to further combine and form three distinct physical and energetic DOSHAS: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Each Dosha behaves very differently and responds to different treatments.
Cold / Dry / Light / Subtle / Flowing / Mobile / Sharp / Hard / Rough / Clear
Governs movement of all things. It is primarily located in the colon, thighs, hips, ears, bones and organs
of hearing and touch. It gives life to all things. It is responsible for breathing, movement, flexibility and biological processes. It governs the nervous system and sensory functions. Thin, Small Frame, Small Muscle Tone, Thin & Dry Hair.
Examples of Balanced Vata: Tranquility, Stability, Calmness, Creativity, Energy, Enthusiasm, Light-heartedness, Easy digestion, Restful sleep, Adequate hydration, Grounded and Focused.
Examples of Vata Overflow: Anxiety, Fear, Overwhelm, Indecisiveness, Addictions, Moodiness, Fatigue, Insomnia, Aches & Pains in the body, Depletion, Low immunity, Anorexia, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Dehydration, Dry skin & hair, Brittle nails, Light & painful menses, Sensitivity to cold, Constipation, Sensory perception issues like prism migraines or tinnitus. Sensitivity to Cold/Wind. Aggravated in Winter or cold climates.
Hot / Moist / Light / Oily / Subtle / Flowing / Mobile / Sharp / Hard / Rough / Clear
Governs all heat in the body. Located in the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, lymph & eyes. Responsible for digestion, metabolism, chemical transformations and the production of cellular energy. Also governs digestion of information. Pitta-types are very sharp thinkers, philosophers, analysts, consultants, managers, advisors, mathematicians and engineers.
Medium Frame, Medium muscle tone, Sharp & Radiant Features, with slight redness to skin. Early Grey Hair.
Examples of Balanced Pitta: Strong appetite with cool digestion& assimilation of nutrients, low level of toxins, focused, intellectual thought, soft leadership, balanced work/rest & healthy ambition.
Examples of Pitta Overflow: Feelings of Anger, Jealousy or Resentment, Being Critical or Judgmental (Self/World), Ego-Centric, Excessive body heat, Acid reflux, Extreme competitiveness (Self/World), Excessive Work or Production, Unable to rest, Burnout, Fever, Toxic blood, Inflammation of bodily tissues/bones/joints, Auto-Immune Disorders, Vision problems, Hot skin rashes, Excess acidic sweat or urine, Psoriasis, Anemia, Diarrhea, or Liver and Gallbladder issues. Sensitivity to heat / sun. Aggravated in Summer or hot climates.
Cold / Moist / Heavy / Gross / Dense / Static / Dull / Soft / Smooth / Cloudy
Governs the structure and stability of the body. Binds and solidifies our existence. Attachment. Supplies nutrition and hydration to bodily tissues. Located in the chest, throat, head, pancreas, stomach, fat, nose and tongue. Creates bodily tissues and holds bones and muscles together. Short, Dense Frame. Thick, wavy hair, big round eyes, full lips, luminous skin. Husky, nasally voice.
Examples of Balanced Kapha: Good digestion, Flexible joints, Adequate Energy & Movement, Ambitious,
Can adapt to Change, Gentle nature, Caring, Loving, Happy, Laid back and Loyal.
Examples of Kapha Overflow: Depression, Lethargy, Possessiveness, Cluttered, Unmotivated, Excess Mucous Production, Frequent Congestion, Weight Gain, Swelling, Edema, Nausea, Diabetes, Sluggish digestion, High Cholesterol, Toxic Accumulation. Sensitivity to Dampness. Aggravated in the Spring or damp climates.
Noticing a pattern?
See some common physical characteristics below.
Keep in mind that each person is a unique combination of all three doshas.
For example, not all Pittas have red hair.