Associated with the elements of air and space, vata means ‘’wind’’ or ‘’that which moves things’’ and represents the force that governs biological function. It is the prime impetus of the nervous system, controlling both sensory and mental balance, mental adaptability and understanding. It is the basic life force and is enhanced by the consumption of pure, whole foods, the breathing of clean air, and by the connection with the Divine within, the deepest energizing force for the entire body.
People who are of vata nature tend to move faster than others; they move in many different directions, and they feel most comfortable after they are on their feet and headed to the next activity.
The dosha represents itself through physical, mental and emotional tendencies, as well as common disease conditions or minor health challenges.
Physical aspects of vata dosha: people who have a predominance of vata dosha in their body tend to be long and lean. If you were going to draw an image of this person, you might want to draw a stick figure because of the body type they will have. They tend to be towards extremes, either very tall or very short, so they often have long narrow frames.
The mental and emotional status of a Vata dosha individual: They tend to be very anxious and worrisome, and they may have problems concentrating. They will be simply confused and distracted because their mind is moving so quickly that it’s difficult for them to be here in this moment without distraction.
Pitta – the biological fire humor, or ‘’bile’’ means ‘’that which digests things‘’ or that which “heats, cooks, or transforms.’’ It is the fire that digests the food we eat and gives our bodies warmth. Our internal fires determine our capacity to perceive reality, and our power to digest life experiences.
The second bodily humors present in the body, the primary elements of Pitta are Fire and water.
The person with predominant Pitta in their constitution is blessed with great willpower and initiative, the capacity to laugh at their troubles, great determination to reach to their goals, and a penetrating mind.
Pitta is our enthusiasm for life, our joy and laughter. It finds negative expression in burning sensations in the body and mind, in a drive toward unhealthy competition and anger, and in the need to control. Mentally and emotionally, pitta governs laughter, willpower, enthusiasm, mental perception, judgement etc. Pitta is our inner digestive fire, acids and bile, all of which help to combust food, providing energy and warmth.
The physical aspects of a Pitta dosha individual include a medium size and weight, thin hair, excellent digestion, and a warm body temperature throughout. Pitta nails are soft, strong, rubbery and well formed. The eyes look as though they are burning with an intense fire and radiate a high level of energy. Pitta skin may be pale, pink or copper in hue, and warm to touch. It tends to be delicate, irritable, and prone to rashes, pimples etc. Pitta individuals can endure vigorous exercise, as long as they do not grow overheated.
Kapha, the biological force of water / earth, means both ‘’phlegm’’ and ‘’that which holds things together.” It is the physical and emotional ‘’home’’ in which we reside, providing the substance and support for our body, giving bulk to our tissues.
Emotionally, kapha is the love and support we receive in life. It governs feelings of compassion, devotion, modesty, patience and forgiveness. Negatively expressed, kapha can show greed, attachment, and self-pity.
Kapha helps to ground and control the active and consuming natures of vata and pitta. It exerts a conserving, consolidating, stabilizing, and restraining force over the body and mind. Vata and pitta individuals would squander their energy without kapha to hold them down.
The subtle essence of all kapha, or water in the body, is called Ojas. Ojas is the prime energy reserve in the body and is the vitality of the immune system. If there is an excessive loss of kapha due to stress, improper eating, and illness, the Kapha individual will suffer from a compromised immune system and will lack both physical and emotional support.
Kapha in the chest or lungs produces moisture, as it does in the throat, head, sinuses, and nasal passages. In the mouth and tongue, kapha produces saliva. Kapha creates fat tissue, which stores water. It is also held along the sides of the abdominal cavity in the form of peritoneal fluid. An excessive amount of kapha will produce an overabundance of mucus, and therefore, congestion. Kapha people are the bulkiest of the three different constitutions, with medium to broad frames, heavy bone structure, wide shoulders and hips.
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