The Sanskrit term Ayurveda translates to “knowledge of life”. Ayurveda is based on the very basic principle that all living beings are composed of five basic elements: space/ether, fire, water, air, and earth. These elements combine to form three metabolic types - in ayurveda, these metabolic types are called doshas.
The Vata dosha is a combination of air and space.
The Pitta dosha is comprised of fire and water.
The Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth.
Dominant Doshas Determine Physical, Mental & Emotional Characteristics
According to the ancient ayurvedic texts, people are born with a combination of doshas, making them an innate part of our being. There are usually one or two dominant doshas which determine our physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. This varies from one individual to another. The dominant dosha is the reason why, for example, one person may not be able to tolerate humidity or oily foods while another person may have no reaction to them.
In Ayurveda, each of the doshas thrives under a specific diet, lifestyle, and exercise regimen. An imbalance among the doshas can be corrected by changing diet and lifestyle factors. If left unchecked, an imbalance can lead to illness. This is why it's best to seek guidance and evaluation from an ayurvedic practitioner.
Colour Of The Tongue May Reflect a Dosha Imbalance
A person's tongue color may suggest that he or she has a dosha imbalance. For example, a whitish tongue coating may indicate an accumulation of mucus and imbalance in the Kapha Dosha.
Nadi Pariksha or Pulse Analysis
Each dosha is also associated with a different type of pulse. Which is why we assess six pulse points on each wrist as part of the basic evaluation. This pulse evaluation is also known as ‘nadi pariksha’. This is a unique indicator of an individual’s health. It can help identify dosha imbalances and risk of potential diseases. Pulse analysis is especially useful as a first step in the diagnosis of diseases such as -
Evaluation Of Eyes & Finger Nails
The eyes and fingernails are also observed during an ayurvedic assessment. If the whites of the eyes are reddish in color and the nails are medium pink, for example, it may suggest a pitta dosha.
Characteristics of The Three Doshas
Vata Dosha: Slender with prominent features, moody, impulsive, enthusiastic. This dosha is associated with the large intestine, pelvis, bones, ears, thighs, and skin.
Pitta Dosha: Medium build, well-proportioned, stable weight. This dosha is associated with the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, eyes, skin, and blood.
Kapha Dosha: Solid, heavy, strong, with a tendency to be overweight. This dosha is associated with the lungs, chest, and spinal fluid.