What is a dosha? A dosha, it translates into a ‘stain’. Yah, it doesn’t sound so great does it?
But from the view of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, a dosha is a covering which hides our inherent inner beauty, our radiant light, our Soul.
Does that help explain the first definition? Its an expansive view but one that is unusual to this modern age, the Soul often left in the shadows of our daily activities, and yet in Yoga and Ayurveda it is foremost in its reasoning and practices.
“Our body is but a vessel for our Soul.”
Yoga and Ayurveda are not afraid of knowing, and continually reminding us, that we are much more than this physical body. In fact, according to Yoga and Ayurveda, we are so incredibly vast, that we have the energy of the Universe within us at any given time.
My take on this? It means the Universe has got our back.
The Dosha’s will help us connect to this broad process of the Universe within, even if we find our imbalances become a hindrance to our connection to this way of thinking. Why? Because it is a simple view that we are made up of the five elements.
What is a dosha? A dosha is a specific combination of the five elements, which creates our body humours, our personal doshic balance.
So you feel we have have a lot of balls in the air? Ok. I always regail #KeepitSimple. I shall try.
The 5 main elements of life, they are everywhere.
They are the basis of the cosmos, the earth, nature, wildlife, humanity. And here they are:
These great elements. They mix together in a fashion that creates three factors/humours of life.
Each blend or Dosha is made of two of these Five great elements. The first of each being the most dominant.
VATA DOSHA < > Dry, cold, light, mobile, irregular,
Air dispersing, erratic
PITTA DOSHA < > Hot, flowing/liquid, light, spreading, oily/wet,
KAPHA DOSHA < > Wet/oily, cold, heavy, static,
Water soft, gelatinous
Each Dosha is the controller, or the manager, CEO, of certain systems of the body.
So what is a dosha? As you look at the above, can you identify any one of the five elements that is out of balance in your body? It can be hard to distinguish in such flat language. So next is another level of Ayurveda to help with education and understand. Hopefully you will find something that can help you identify one or more of the elements in your body, and at least one dosha right now.
Vata Dosha < Movement = perception, cognition = the Nervous system > Vatas are the ideas people.
Balanced- Creative, enthusiastic, spontaneous
Imbalanced – Restless, extra sensitive, anxiety
(Can you see how movement and the element of air is involved in these attributes?)
Pitta Dosha < Consumes and Transforms = sharp intellect and digestion = All metabolism and organs of > Pittas are the leaders and organisers.
Balanced – goal orientated, direct and gets the job done
Imbalanced – Frustrated or angry, impatient, arrogant
(Can you see how transformation and the element of fire or heat is involved in these attributes?)
Kapha Dosha < Cohesion and support = All stability and foundation in the body and mind > Kaphas are the worker bees, the production force, the security guards.
Balanced – Solid body and mind, slow moving and cautious
Imbalanced – Difficult to change, attached, fear, depression
(Can you see how support and the element of earth is involved in these attributes?)
What is important to understand is life has all five elements. The elements combine and life has the three dosha’s as a part of the whole functioning system of the living universe. Every person is living balancing act of the three doshas, each person has a doshic balance of varying degrees of balance and dysfunction.
Ayurveda is simple and it is intense. As we focus on the elements, we can understand what is a dosha slowly. There is no rush is there? The basics are moving around you in every moment. Identify them in this moment. In your body sensations of …heat? fluidity? sharpness? dark? space?
Next blog we look a little further into the functioning of each dosha and what it means in the body and mind.
Thank you for reading,
go gently and let your dosha’s arrive in your awareness in their own good time.
Kelly Marie Mills