Three doshas - Vata, Pitta a Kapha

Ayurveda has drawn the most comprehensive picture of human body and the natural world, saying that, the elements of the nature, the Panchamahabhuts: kshit (earth), ap (water), marut(air), tejas (fire), and vyoma (space or ether or akash), are also, the components of human body, which are manifested in three types of physic -kaph (water/earth), pitta (fire), vata (ether/ air).

These three types are further recognized by Ayurveda as tridoshas or the three faults - VATA, PITTA and KAPHA irregularities. The smooth functioning of the body is hampered owing to the imbalances in the three doshas (prakriti) causing all kinds of diseases.Ayurveda takes into consideration the body, mind and soul of an individual as the unit for diagnosis. Hence, it recognizes negative emotions like anger, fear, insecurity, jealousy and greed as incorrect thinking on the part of an individual. These can directly create an imbalance in the doshas.

Sattva, or peaceful equilibrium, rajas, or excessive activity and tamas, or inertia -the three tendencies or gunas of mind influence the imbalances in the three doshas. Hence the mind-body imbalance impairs the creative functioning of man. Having a balanced state of doshas, agni (digestive fire), dhatus (tissues) normal functioning of mala (waste products), cheerful state of atman (soul), sensory organs and mind are the symptoms of healthy life.


There are seven possible combinations of vata, pitta and kapha. Every individual has all three doshas within them but it is the dominance of any one, two or all three that makes up a person’s individual prakriti (constitution). Established at conception, prakruti is the psycho-physical constitution of an individual.  It creates the inborn tendencies that influence how one experiences life.  When functioning normally and present in normal quantities, the doshas maintain balance in all body processes. When out of balance they create dis-ease.  The imbalanced state is referred to as vikriti.  If the present state of the doshas is the same as prakruti, that individual is balanced and healthy.  Vikruti is the result of any aspects of diet, lifestyle, emotions, age, and environment which continually change from moment to moment. No matter what the constitution, it is possible to achieve optimal health through proper diet, cooking methods, lifestyle habits and an attitude towards life that specifically suits each individual.  

Ayurveda and the Rhythms

The Wind, Vata, is the principal of movement, transportation and activity that changes from moment to moment.
The Fire, Pitta, is the principal of transformation.
The Earth, Kapha, is the principal of cohesion, structure and stability.

Each Element is predominant at certain times of day

6am – 10 am  The Earth or Kapha period.  This is a hypometabolic period and the best time to perform excercises.  This is especially true if you want to lose weight.   If you are trying to heal your body, this is a good time to take medicine.

10am – 2 pm  The Fire or Pitta period.  This is the time when you are transforming.  Your Agni or digestive fire is highest at this time.  This is the best time for you to eat a large meal lunch.

2pm – 6pm The Wind or the Vata period.  This is a hypermetabolic period.  This is when you want to do all of your thinking and work that requires thought and creativity.  Your mind is moving fast.

6pm – 10 pm  The Earth or Kapha period.  This is when we slowly wind down from the day.  By 10pm you are ready for bed.  Wind down.  Reading and Entertainment

10pm – 2 am  The Fire or Pitta period.  You are asleep and your body is digesting and healing.  Your body is rejuvenating itself and detoxifying.  This is a very important time to be asleep and healing.  Renew and Detox and Sleep.

2am – 6 am  The Wind or Vata period.  You slowly become hypermetabolic.  This is when you have REM sleep.  You may find that this is the period of time when your sleep becomes interrupted.  Clear mental stress.

Get up at 6am, no later than 8:00 am.  This is when you will feel the freshest and most alert.  Drink your warm water to start the process of digestion.  This is a signal to your body. 

Characteristics of the three doshas:



Vata governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system and the process of elimination. Vata influences the other doshas.

... read more


The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation.

... read more


Kapha governs the structure of the body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat, bone, and sinew. The primary function of Kapha is protection.

... read more