Vata, Pitta and Kapha
The three Doshas:
The three biological “managers”
Ayurveda looks functionally at the natural intelligence in our physiology through which all physiological processes take place and has divided it into three overarching categories: the three Doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Processes that organize movement at all levels of our physiology are categorized under the heading ‘Vata’: such as the excretion of waste products, processes of cell division and cell signalling, or your breathing and heart pulsation. Pitta processes have to do with turning things around and transformation in your body, such as in your metabolism, the chemical processes of your hormones, or the thermoregulation within our body. And Kapha processes stabilize and ensure that structure can arise. Consider, for example, processes such as the structure of our body tissues and cell structure.
These processes are present in every human being, in all kinds of forms, on a micro and macro level. When these processes are balanced in you as a human being, bodily functions can go unhindered and there is health. In the event of imbalance, a process may not have its normal course, but may, for example, proceed too fast or too slow. When a process becomes unbalanced, disease can develop.
The distribution or functioning of Vata, Pitta and Kapha processes is not exactly the same for everyone. Although we all have the same body processes in which all three Doshas play a role, the individual distribution can determine characteristic differences in our physical structure, digestion, our habits and preferences and weaker or strengths that we have as human beings.
Ayurveda works with these differences and offers appropriate advice and treatment for the person’s metabolism.