Ayurveda: The Tri Dosha Theory

Ayurveda is a life science, and offers guidance on how you can lead a healthy and fulfilling existence. 

One of the most powerful concepts in Ayurveda is the 3 dosha theory. This explains how the five elements, which make up physical creation, dynamically combine to control all processes within the human physiology. These three functional capacities are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

‘Prakruti’ recognises that each of us is born with a unique combinations of doshas, and that this is responsible for the mental, physical and emotional differences between us. By identifying and maintaining an individual’s Prakruti, Ayurveda can help individuals attain their own state of ideal health, through appropriate diet and lifestyle choices.

Ayurveda is at the core of the offering at Ananda in the Himalayas, where guests follow a personalised wellness programmes according to their individual Prakruti. 

Here’s an insight into the core traits of each dosha:


Vata governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system, and influences thoughts and feelings. Vata influences the other doshas.

Qualities of Vata: Cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick and always changing. Vata types tend to always be on the go, with a fast, energetic and creative mind. As long as the Vata is in balance, they’ll be lively and enthusiastic.

Physical characteristics: slim and light frame. Their energy comes in bursts and they’re likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive. When imbalanced, it manifests in the body as weight loss, constipation, arthritis, restlessness, aches and pains.

Emotional characteristics: Vatas love excitement and new experiences. They are quick to anger but also to forgive.They are energetic, creative and flexible. They also take initiative and are lively conversationalists. When imbalanced, they are prone to anxiousness, nervousness and often suffer from insomnia.

PITTA: FIRE & (a little) Water

The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation.

Qualities of Pitta: Hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp and acidic. Pitta types literally have more fire in them than other people, so can be hotter headed, aggressive and impatient, as well as being intelligent and sharp.

Physical characteristics: warm body temperature and can withstand the cold. They have abundant energy, a good appetite and strong digestion. They sleep soundly for short periods of time. When imbalanced, Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, peptic ulcers, excessive body heat, heartburn and indigestion.

Emotional characteristics: Pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate. They are good decision makers, teachers and speakers. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct and often outspoken. Ambitious and practical, they love adventure and challenges. When imbalanced, Pittas can be short-tempered, argumentative, prone to outbursts of emotion and non cooperative.


Kapha governs the structure of the body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat, bone and provides immunity. The primary function of Kapha is protection.

Qualities of Kapha: Heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, oily. Kapha types are naturally calm and attached, speak slowly and melodically. 

Physical characteristics: Kapha types have a strong build and excellent stamina. They have smooth and radiant skin. They sleep soundly and have regular digestion. But when Kapha builds to excess, then weight gain, fluid retention and allergies manifest in the body. When imbalanced, Kapha types may become overweight, sleep excessively, become lethargic, suffer from asthma, diabetes and depression.

Emotional characteristics: Kaphas are naturally calm, thoughtful and loving. They have an inherent ability to enjoy life and are comfortable with routine. Kaphas are strong, loyal, patient, steady and supportive. They love music, reading and relaxing. When imbalanced, they can suffer from excessive detachment and tend to hold on to things, jobs and relationships long after they are no longer present. Also, when imbalanced, Kapha in the mind manifests as resistance to change and stubbornness. 


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