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Body Type: Vata Pitta Kapha

In Ayurveda, the most basic building blocks of the material world are the five elements: ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth.

Vata is characterized by the mobile nature of Wind (Air) energy.

Pitta embodies the transformative nature of Fire energy.

And Kapha reflects the binding nature of Water energy.

In Ayurveda, the most basic building blocks of the material world are the five elements: ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth.

Vata is characterized by the mobile nature of Wind (Air) energy.

Pitta embodies the transformative nature of Fire energy.

And Kapha reflects the binding nature of Water energy.

The Elements and the Doshas

All of the doshas contain all five elements (as do all things in nature), but each is predominantly composed of two elements.

Dosha Primary Elements
Vata Air + Ether
Pitta Fire + Water
Kapha Water + Earth

The Qualitative Nature of the Doshas

Each dosha is characterized by a collection of qualities that support its particular energetic:

Dosha Qualities
Vata Dry, Light, Cold, Rough, Subtle, Mobile, Clear
Pitta Hot, Sharp, Light, Liquid, Spreading, Oily
Kapha Heavy, Slow, Cool, Oily, Smooth, Dense, Soft, Stable, Gross, Cloudy (Sticky)

These qualities make balancing the doshas very intuitive because, according to Ayurveda, like increases like and opposites balance. When any one of the doshas is aggravated, we can generally promote a return to balance by reducing the influence of that dosha’s qualities, while favoring their opposites. And if we know which specific qualities are aggravated, we can focus on pacifying those qualities in particular, while favoring foods, herbs, and experiences that amplify their opposing energies. The following table shows the ten pairs of opposites most commonly referenced in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda’s Ten Pairs of Opposites
Heavy Light
Slow (Dull) Sharp (Penetrating)
Cold Hot
Oily Dry
Smooth Rough
Dense Liquid
Soft Hard
Stable Mobile
Gross Subtle
Cloudy (Sticky) Clear

The Doshas and Their Functions

Each of the three doshas has a unique personality determined by its particular combination of elements and qualities. At the end of the day, each dosha naturally governs specific physiological functions:

Dosha Primary Functions
Vata Movement and Communication
Pitta Digestion and Transformation
Kapha Cohesiveness, Structure, and Lubrication

Vata governs Movement and Communication.

Pitta oversees Digestion and Transformation.

Kapha provides Cohesiveness, Structure, and Lubrication.

While the doshas can be observed everywhere in nature, they are particularly supportive in understanding living organisms—specifically ourselves. For this reason, we will explore their primary functions in the context of human physiology.

Vata embodies the energy of movement and is therefore often associated with wind (and the air element). Vata is linked to creativity and flexibility; it governs all movement—the flow of the breath, the pulsation of the heart, all muscle contractions, tissue movements, cellular mobility—and communication throughout the mind and the nervous system.

Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. But in living organisms, pitta is largely liquid, which is why water is its secondary element. Pitta is neither mobile nor stable, but spreads—much as the warmth of a fire permeates its surroundings, or as water flows in the direction dictated by the terrain. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding.

Kapha lends structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things, and is therefore associated primarily with the earth and water elements. Kapha also embodies the watery energies of love and compassion. This dosha hydrates all cells and systems, lubricates the joints, moisturizes the skin, maintains immunity, and protects the tissues.

Understanding Imbalances in the Doshas

Imbalances in the doshas are generally caused by unsupportive diet and lifestyle choices, as well as stress or emotional trauma. These disturbances tend to upset the natural state of internal equilibrium represented by one’s constitution. When the doshas become aggravated, each of them disrupts the body in its own unique way. Therefore, vata, pitta, and kapha are each associated with a particular set of health challenges and tendencies toward disease.

While we are all susceptible to an excess in any of the three doshas, we also tend to be somewhat predisposed to imbalances in our predominant doshas. In other words, vata-pitta predominant individuals will usually tend toward vata and pitta imbalances before kapha imbalances. If you are just becoming familiar with how the doshas affect your day-to-day life, this awareness can be very helpful. Again, if you would like to assess your constitution, your current state of balance, and receive personalized recommendations based on both, please consider setting up your Ayurvedic Profile™.

Imbalanced Vata
When out of balance, vata tends to cause fear, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. It can lead to both physical and energetic depletion, disrupt proper communication, and cause all sorts of abnormal movements in the body, such as tics, tremors, and muscle spasms.

Imbalanced Pitta
When out of balance, pitta causes fiery, reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism. Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders, which can affect organs and tissues throughout the body.

Imbalanced Kapha
When out of balance, kapha triggers emotions of attachment, greed, and possessiveness and can also create stubbornness, lethargy, and resistance to change. Physically, kapha tends to invite stagnation and congestion in organs and tissues throughout the body—including the mind.

Befriending the Doshas in Your Life

It is important to remember that we all have innate strengths and gifts, as well as persistent challenge areas. The doshas are a wonderful tool for understanding both, and also for recognizing and correcting any imbalances at work in our systems. Invariably, the doshas shed light on our personal nuances, guide us in improving self-awareness, and can help us to understand how to offer support—precisely where and when it matters most. As a result, cultivating a relationship with each of the three doshas can have a transformative impact on your overall health and well-being. We would love to support you in beginning to befriend the doshas in your life.
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WHAT IS NADI PARIKSHA (Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis)

This is the most powerful Diagnostic Tool for understanding the cause of any Ailment or Disease in the Human body. It is a part of our Vedic lineage and is passed on from Guru to the disciple depending on the spiritual evolution of the disciple.

In the normal course of our visit to a doctor, we specify the ailments we feel we are suffering from. Based on this preliminary information, the doctor checks us up and if necessary, recommends us to undergo further tests to collaborate his understanding with what we have told him. He thus forms an understanding of the symptoms.

On the contrary, during the Nadi Pariksha, a person need not have to specify his/her problems in advance. The Nadi Vidwan is not supposed to know the details in advance as he should not get influenced by the patient’s symptoms. Though the symptoms reveal the disease process, it is the cause of the prevailing or persisting symptoms that are more important. Each cell in our body possesses its own intelligence. It is the communication of this intelligence in the form of vibrations that is studied in Nadi Pariksha. Nadi Pariksha understands the vibratory frequency of the Pulse at various levels on the Radial artery.

Subtle vibrations are read at seven different levels vertically downward that help in ascertaining various functions in the body.The pulse, when examined, reveals both physical & mental characteristics of the pulse. This is interpreted in the form of symptoms along with their prognosis which helps in understanding the cause. Thus, Nadi Pariksha forms the basis for addressing any ailment in an individual.

The accuracy of the pulse reading depends on the intuitive awareness of the individual and also the ability to understand and interpret the subtlety of vibrations. This sensitive awareness determines the success of Nadi Pariksha.

The 5 elements or the “Panchamahabhutas” are Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The 3 doshas or humors of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha come as a combination of these 5 elements.

Ether + Air = Vata (Mobility)

Fire +Water = Pitta (Heat)

Water + Earth = Kapha (Viscosity)

Any imbalance in the doshas will bring forth an ailment that will subsequently lead to a disease process. Each of these doshas have their Physical, Mental, Emotional and Physiological characteristics.


Every aspect of the human organism, the Body, Mind etc. is understood during the Pulse Diagnosis.
Apart from understanding the Cause of the current ailments, the Diagnosis tracks the disease back to its origin. Even subtler levels of causal factors like emotional issues or specific thought patterns of the individual, that manifest into physical ailments subsequently are understood.

Nadi Pariksha is undertaken to understand the following aspects in an individual:

Helps to ascertain “One’s Original Constitution at the time of Conception” (Prakruti). This forms the basis of deciding the basis and structure of the individualized Healing process.
Helps to understand “One’s Current Constitution as against the Original Constitution” (Vikruti). The diagnosis ascertains the deviation that the body and mind have taken as compared to its original constitution. Also, it enables one to understand the prognosis of ailments that have arisen during this transition from Prakruti to Vikruti.

Nadi Pariksha successfully tracks down the altered state of the mind. This is very important as the science of Ayurveda believes that a major part of human ailments are psychosomatic in nature. This is so because the only way the Mind can express itself is through the body. Therefore, the body works to a very large
extent according to the dictates of the mind.

The analysis at the Doshas, the subtle entities of the psycho – physiological body. Any alteration in the Doshas can lead to understanding of the disease process. The doshas like Vata, Pitta & Kapha and their sub units help in understanding:
The movement of energies and the working of the nervous system, circulation as defined by the pulsation of the heart, and the movement of nutrition to various tissues in the body.

The metabolic process and the process of bio-transformation in the body, which governs the activities of Digestion, Absorption & Assimilation of Nutrition.

The assimilating and binding functions through the help of bodily fluids, which includes the Proper and Healthy formation of Muscles, Bones, Ligaments and Tendons etc.

The study of the health of various types of tissues in the body like Plasma, Blood, Muscle, Marrow, Bone, Nerve and reproduction.
The health of the Chakras or the subtle energy wheels in the body that corresponds to the glands in the physical body is ascertained. Chakras relate to and control certain physiological processes in the body.

Subsequent to doing the Nadi Pariksha, other forms of examination are taken up. This is done to cross examine the correctness of the Pulse Diagnosis. These various methods are highlighted as under:

NAILS – The shape and size of nails reveals the type of constitution a person belongs to. For example, smallsize nails with serrated edges (basically bitten by a person due to anxiety or nervousness signifies a Vata nail. Pitta nails are slightly larger in size with a slight curvature in the middle that resembles a semi “D” shape. These nails when pressed at the top will reveal a slight yellow tinge in the center. A Kapha nail is usually large in size. These nails normally will be whitish in colour. The surface of the nail is usually large.

Indications: Vata nails have vertical lines that look like deep serrations or ridges. Pitta nails, apart from having vertical ridges (not always necessary) can also have reddish lines along these ridges starting from the bottom of the nail running towards the top. Kapha nails may have a larger curvature in the center owing to the larger surface area.

TONGUE – The tongue reveals all the organs of the body and particularly reveals the aspects of Digestion and Assimilation of food. It reveals the kind of digestive disorders and which of the 3 doshas were responsible or are in a state of imbalance. the type of ailment is also revealed.
Indications : Vata when aggravated shows a cracked and rough tongue. Pitta when aggravated shows a reddish tongue and Kapha when aggravated shows a whitish slimy mucus coatin on the tongue. The tongue also reveals the physiological problems present in other parts of the body but this is a very lenghty subject and cannot be discussed in detail here.

2. EYES – The shape of the eyes reveal the nature of the person’s original constitution. Also on examination, the eyes reveal what is the nature of the ailment and the doshas responsible for it.

Indications : A person suferin from a Vata disorder will have a brownish colouration in the eyes. There will be dryness felt in the eyes too. A Pitta condition will reveal redness of yellowish colouring in the eyes. A kapha condition will show denseness or cloudy vision along with whitish marks in the eyes.

3. SPEECH – The strength of the voice and the intonations while talking reveals the predominant dosha present in the person at the time of examination. Also, which talking, gesticulations or emphasis during communication shows the predominant dosha at the time of analysis. This also reveals the nature of symptoms present in the body and the cause.

Indications: A Vata person will talk fast and will change subjects without relevance or context. Breathing will be erratic and gesticulations will be predominant. A Pitta person will speak in a loud, strong tone which will display dominance which can be easily mistaken for arrogance. The conviction in the speech will be evident. A Kapha person will be mild, soft and musical in his speech. He will slow in his expressions and will not rush in his conversation.

4. SKIN – The feel and texture of the skin reveals the kind of dosha present. The temperature of skin reveals the presence of either Vata, Pitta and Kapha in circulation. The pigmentation on the skin reveals the kind of toxins in the blood.

Indications: A Vata skin is dry with scales or flaking. It will be cold to the touch. It can also have a darkish colouration. A Pitta person will have an oily skin, with possible inflammation under the skin which will be denoted by redish patches. It will be hot to the touch. Normally a pitta person will have a skin which will be hot to the touch. A Kapha person will have a cold and damp feeling to touch. It is either milkishly white or pale.

5. URINE – The colour, nature, frequency and the content in the urine determines the nature of ailment in the body. The frequency and the volume of urination reveals the intensity of ailment.

Indications: A Vata person will experience scanty urination or infrequent urination. The quantity of urine will also vary. The urgency to urinate will not justify the quantity of urine coming out. The urine will be astringent in smell. A Pitta person will have hot urine coming out and in a better volume. Normally, when the Pitta dosha is aggravated, frequent, irritant urination will persist. Urine will either be Dark yellow to yellow to reddish in colour. The urine will have a strong and pungent smell. A Kapha person will have a large volume of urination. The colour of urine will be whitish and can be frothy.

6. STOOLS – The formation and colour of stool shows the nature of ailment. Also, the number of evacuations or lack of evacuation like constipation for example provides the information of both the emotional levels of the individual as well as the working of the physiological of the body. Even the smell in the breathe when a person is talking reveals the kind of toxins present in the large intestine and the predominant dosha imbalance which has caused these toxins to manifest.

Indications: A Vata person will have varying stool formation. He will experience lots of gas and distention in the abdomen. Normally, stools will be hard and the person will feel constipated. The colour of the stools will vary between dark brown to black. The stools will normally float. A pitta person will have well formed stools to loose stools. The colour of the stools will vary from brown to light brown. Especially when the pitta dosha is aggravated, the stools colour will be yellowish in colour and can vary between semi formed to loose stools. He can also experience burning in his rectum while passing stools.

Occasional mucus formation will also be present. A Kapha person will have large volume in his stools. There will be mucus present in stools. The colour of stools will be between brown to yellow.

with thanx Dr.Ravishekhran
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