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The Doshas


  • Ayurveda - is an intricate system of healing and also known as one of the oldest life sciences in the world dating back 6,000 years ago. Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain optimum health by using the principles of nature to bring equanimity and balance to one’s true self.

  • The same sages in India that brought us Ayurveda brought us meditation and yoga as well.

  • Human body is composed of doshas, which govern the physio-chemical and physiological activities. (Think of all the physical and chemical processes that are constantly going on in the body; circulation, digestion, respiration etc.)

  • Through Ayurveda, one is able to choose specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines that will help heal and balance the body according to your Doshas.

  • Five Elements

  • Earth: heavy, matter, dense, cold, grounding of mind, skeletal structure the body

  • Water: heavy, cold, moist, fluid in the body, nourishment, emotion, love, compassion

  • Fire: heat, transformation, warmth, metabolism, power of perception

  • Air: motion, mobility, cold, light weight, dry, movement, thoughts

  • Ether: space, light, flow, mobile, connection

  • Three Doshas

  • Vata (air & ether): dry, cold, light, thin and long figure, long arms (Tupac)

  • Imbalanced- not grounded, not responsible, emotional, panic, fear, constipation. Sinus and bronchial congestion, slow digestion, overweight, sluggish, asthma, diabetes, cold, cough, dullness offend, greed, depression. Insomnia, worries, gas, constipation, underweight, and cracking joints

  • Governs the principle of movement and is the force that directs nerve impulses,circulation, respiration and elimination.

  • Represents: fear, insecurity, anxiety, creativity, and flexibility

  • Organs: Colon, pelvic cavity, bones, brains, skin

  • Pitta (fire & water): hot, light, moist, medium and defined figure, leader, sharp (Kanye)

  • Imbalanced- rashes, intense, angry, jealousy, acidic, sores. Diarrhea, ulcers, acid indigestion, migraine headache, inflammation, skin rashes and red eyes

  • Governs the process of transformation, digestion and metabolism

  • Represents: ambition, irritability, jealousy, anger, aggressiveness, frustration, concentration, a thirst for knowledge, determination and strength

  • Organs: Liver, spleen, heart, brain, blood, eyes, skin, small intestine, secretion and sweat

  • Kapha (earth & water): heavy, cold, moist, bigger structure, rounder face, large eyes, thick hair (Biggie)

  • Imbalanced- lethargic, inertia, weight gain, not motivated. Sinus and bronchial congestion, slow digestion, overweight, sluggish, asthma, diabetes, cold, cough, dullness offend, greed, depression

  • Governs growth and protection. (Cerebral spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column is an example of Kapha in the body)

  • Represents: attachment, greed, love, calmness, faith, lethargy

  • Organs: lymph nodes, breast tissues, chest, lungs, sinus, mouth, throat

  • We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha that will change throughout the course of our life.


  • Digestion-transforms food to energy (3 types of energy we digest)

  • Prana: life source, pure energy and nourishment

  • Agni (enzymes): assists the digestion and assimilation of food

  • Ama: a form of liquid sludge lodges in parts of the body, blocking channels, a product of improperly digested food and drink

  • Properly digested foods provide valuable nourishment, which keeps our immune system healthy and aids in disease prevention.

  • Ayurveda sees most illnesses as a result of impaired digestion, which include the process of absorption and elimination. When the digestive system is out of balance and foods are not properly digested, gas, bloating, irritation, difficulty walking int he morning, and constipation can occur. Nutrients that aren’t absorbed and undigested food sit and accumulate in the colon. This becomes a breeding ground for yeast infections and toxins.

  • If the fire (agni) is too low (constipation) or too high (heart burn), our life essence (healthy energy) would be diminished

  • Over eating is one of the most common causes of suppressed agni

  • Excessive agni can occur from eating overly spicy food, repressed anger and prolonged periods of not eating

  • A weak immune system is the cause of all illnesses and to maintain immunity, one needs adequate rest and pure foods that rebuild the ojas.


  • In Ayurveda, taste is used as one of the energetic classifications of food, as well as the heating and cooling action and post digestive effects

  • Vata: sweet, sour, salty

  • Pitta: sweet, bitter, astringent

  • Kapha: pungent, bitter, astringent

  • Sweet- earth/water (cold): grains, fruit, sugar, starch

  • Salty- water/fire (hot): seaweed, table salt, celery

  • Sour- earth/fire (hot): tomato, lemon, cheese

  • Pungent- fire/air (hot): onion, cayenne, ginger

  • Bitter- air/ether (cold): coffee, dark chocolate, saffron

  • Astringent- earth/air (cold): chickpeas, pomegranate, parsley

  • Ayurveda Dietary Guidelines

  • Begin each meal by giving thanks before each meal

  • The largest meal of the day should be eaten between 10 AM-2 PM when the digestive fire is at it highest and strongest

  • Do not eat after sunset

  • Eat until you are 3/4 full

  • Try not to eat large meals late at night

  • Try to fast once a week

  • Foods are best consumed when cooked lightly

  • Be mindful of what you are consuming and digesting; don’t eat mindlessly

  • Do not drink excessive amounts of fluid during a meal; it dilutes the digestive enzymes

  • Avoid drinking ice cold water, it dampens the agni (digestive fire), go for room temperature or hot water

  • Allow 3 hours between meals to digest

  • Eat fruit alone, or BEFORE other foods, otherwise it sits and ferments in the gut

  • Do not combine concentrated proteins like beans, nuts, fish or dairy

  • Eat only fresh food, stay away from processed, pre-made, frozen and canned goods.

  • Do not eat while angry

  • Eat at fixed times

Ayurvedic Recipes

  • Vata Foods

  • Spiced oatmeal w/ cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and ginger

  • Crispy sweet potatoes fried in ghee

  • Pitta Foods

  • Crispy potato patties fried in ghee or sunflower oil

  • Garden pea and zucchini soup w/ fresh mint

  • Kapha Foods

  • Hot quinoa cereal w/ warm spiced soy milk (cinnamon, ginger, honey)

  • Steamed broccoli w/ collard greens and red pepper

  • Tridoshic Drink Recipe (morning time)

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1/4 fresh lemon

  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root

  • 1 tsp raw unheated honey

Sources: SunshineAyurveda.com.au

SadhanaYoga.com

"Eat, Taste, Heal” by Thomas Madera MD, Daniel Rhoda and Chef Johnny

Brannigan