According to Ayurveda, the first requirement for healing oneself and others is a clear understanding of the three dosha. The concept of vata-pitta-kapha is unique to Ayurveda and it holds the potential for revolutionizing the healing systems of the west. However, the concept of the 3 principles and the sanskrit words, vata-pitta-kapha, are very difficult to translate into Western terms.
Vata is a principle of movement. Vata is formed from the two elements Ether and Air. Pitta is translated as fire, the bodily heat energy. Pitta is formed from the two elements Fire and Water. The translation of Kapha is biological water, and this bodily principle is formed from the two elements Earth and Water.
A balance of the tridosha is necessary for optimal health. For example, the air principle kindles the bodily fire, but water is necessary to control fire, otherwise the bodily fire would burn the tissues. Vata moves kapha and pitta, since kapha and pitta are immobile.
In childhood, the kapha element is predominant, since this is the time of greatest physical growth. In adulthood the element of pitta is most apparent because at this stage the body is matured and stable. In old age vata is most in evidence, as the body begins to deteriorate.
Next week we will start to break down the three constitutions starting with Vata!
Source: Ayurveda – The Science of Self-Healing – By: Dr. Vasant Lad