Understanding the Dosha's
Vata dosha is comprised of akasa (ether) and vayu (air). Each dosha contains aspects of al the panchamahabhuta, but akasa and vayu are predominate in vata. Vata’s qualities are cold, light, rough, mobile, subtle, clear, dry and astringent. When vata manifests in the body, these qualities are apparent. The primary site of vata is the colon. Vata also resides in the thighs, ears, bones, bladder, and sense of touch. The root ‘va’ means “to spread, ’ and vata is responsible for all movement in the body. This includes; the flow of breath, pumping of blood, waste elimination, movement of muscles, limbs, diaphragm, regulations of the nervous system, the gut’s secretor-motor functions, expression of speech and also stimulates the function of intellect and transmits sensations. The bones and nerve network of the mind and body are primarily affected by Vata. It is known as the master dosha, as with out it all of the other doshas would be inert. It is the messenger and is involved in the movement and regulation of pitta and kapha.
Pitta relates to the internal fire, bile, body heat, digestive enzymes, physiochemical, biological, metabolic, and endocrine systems. It is responsible for the transformation and digestions of all aspects of the body. Such as the digestion of the chyle into a protoplasmic substance like sperm and ovum. Pita is also related to the agni- digestive fire. Pitta is made up of Tejas (fire) and apa (water). This seemingly contradictory combination of fire and water that form pitta, are complementary. Pitta also exists as water or oil in the body, thus preserving the tissues from the destructive aspects of fire. Its qualities are pungent, hot, penetrating, greasy, oily, sharp, liquid, spreading and sour. Its force associated with the endocrine functions, also effect hormone levels, body temperature, visual perception, hunger, thirst, and skin quality. Mentally it plays a role in understanding and in digesting the sensory impressions. Primarily, pitta resides in the eyes, blood, sweat glands, the small intestine, stomach, and lymph. Its main site is in the small intestine.
The kapha dosha is the combination of the pruthivi (earth) and apa (water elements. As the water element is contained within the earthen structures of the tissues and skin, the dry earth is moistened by the reviving water element. It is responsible for the gross structure of the body, solid and liquid including phlegm and plasma. Kapha fills the intercellular spaces of the body as connective tissues. Examples of these tissues include mucus, synovial fluid, and tendons. The protective and immune system are controlled by kapha. Kapha relates to the bodies ojas. Kapha is slow, heavy, cool, dense, soft, greasy, unctuous, sticky, cloudy, liquid and sweet. It holds the body together, gives it shape, form, aids with growth, lubricates, protects, and helps with smelling and tasting. Kapha mainly resides in the chest, through, head, pancreas, stomach, lymph, fat, nose and tongue. Its primary site is the stomach.
The three doshas exist throughout the entire body, in every cell yet are predominate in their origin sites, vata in the colon, pitta in the small intestine and kapha in the stomach. Some authorities say that vata primarily resides below the navel, pitta form the navel to the hear and kapha, above the heart. By becoming familiar with the signs of each dosha, you will be able to quickly determine the prevalent dosha. This has the purpose of determining whether the dosa is in a state of virddhi (increase) or kashaya (deficiency). The clinician looks for symptoms of increase as these are usually the patterns of manifesting as disease and most effectively treated.