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  • Writer's pictureValerie

The Doshas: Your guide to Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

Updated: Feb 19

An extensive beginner's overview of the basic building blocks of Ayurvedic medicine.

You will never come across a book in Ayurveda that does not talk about the doshas. To understand how Ayurveda works, you need to know about vata, pitta, and kapha: the foundation upon which Ayurveda's unique system of medicine is built – here is a guide to everything a beginner needs to understand the doshas, simple and clean.

These days you can find plenty of online "discover your dosha" quizzes that tell you whether you are Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, or a combination. Based on a variety of factors, including physical features, digestive tendencies, personality traits, and dominant emotions, these quizzes create a profile of which dosha(s) are most prominent in you. While these quizzes can be a great resource, you may find yourself asking questions about how the doshas work, whether they are fixed or changeable, and what it means for your doshas to be balanced. When working with clients, I often find that there are many misconceptions and points of confusion around the doshas, the difference between constitution and current state of health, and other key Ayurvedic concepts. This guide seeks to provide readers with a clear and systematic way of understanding the doshas and an idea of how Ayurvedic practitioners apply these concepts in treatment plans.

What are the Doshas?

Prakriti: Constitutional Traits

Vikruti: Challenges & Imbalances

Health & Doshic Balance: Further Exploration


What are the doshas?

The energetic forces of nature

The system of Ayurvedic medicine was developed upon a greater foundation of Vedic philosophy - a system that considers all the forces and workings of the Universe and how they relate to the human experience. As a result,