Introduction to Ayurveda: Doshas 101 by Dr. Christie Smirl

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic health system originated over 5,000 years ago in India. The science of Ayurveda has been returned to and is now widely practiced internationally. To understand the foundation tenets of Ayurveda one must master knowledge of the tri-dosha theory and panchamahabootas (five element theory). Here are the basics. There are three doshas that control all physiologic functions within the human body: vata, pitta and kapha. Each dosha is composed of two panchamahabootas. The five panchamahabootas are akasha (space), vayu (wind), agni (fire), aap (water) and pritvi (earth). Each dosha is formed by a pairing of these elements. Let’s take a look at how these elements compose vata, pitta and kapha to better understand Ayurvedic physiology.

Vata is composed of the elements Akasha (space) and Vayu (wind). This gives rise to the understanding of vata dosha gunas (qualities) which are rooksha (dry), laghu (light), sheeta (cold), khara (rough), sookshma (minute) and chala (mobile). Learn a little more by watching my short video about Vata.

Kapha is composed of the elements aap (water) and pritvi (earth), therefore kapha gunas (qualities) are guru (heavy), sheeta (cold), mrudu (soft), snigda (unctuous), manda (slow), sthira (stable) and slakshna (jelly like). Learn more in this short video about Kapha.

Pitta is composed of agni (fire) and aap (water). The gunas (qualities) of pitta are sneha (unctuous), teekshna (penetrating), ushna (hot), laghu (light), visra (viscous) and sara (fluid). Here’s a short video about Pitta to learn more.

To learn more about Ayurveda, the Ayurvedic Yoga Awakening Teacher Training Program or Holistic Advisor Program visit HealthierVibrations.com.

Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.

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14 comments

  1. […] Ayurveda understands clearly the process of metabolic toxicity. When the body undergoes improper metabolism of food in the gastro-intestinal system, a toxic substance called aama may develop. Initially, this toxic aama will be isolated in the gut and may be excreted through the feces, but if aama continues to accumulate through abnormal diet and digestion, it will spread through the rasa (plasma) and travel to a weakened dhatus (body tissues). Aama creates the substrate for disease. For this reason, Ayurveda always targets the elimination of aama from the body during any panchakarma (detoxification) or rasayana (rejuvenation) protocol. […]

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  2. […] During the cold and flu seasons many clients and friends are seeking natural ways to recover. Turmeric ginger spice tea is a blend of ingredients that Ayurvedic medicine uses to reduce symptoms related to the common cold and influenza. Symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, indigestion, aches and pains and congestion in the head, neck and chest region are related to accumulation of kapha and vata doshas. […]

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  3. […] Rajas is a state of extroverted action which can facilitate great accomplishments in life. However, when rajas is excessively elevated it creates rajasic personality imbalances. Rajasic imbalances are demonstrated by competitiveness, aggression, anger, envy, hostility, frustration, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia or anxiety. These conditions should first be evaluated in terms of elevated Vata or Pitta and treated with nutritional and lifestyle modifications. Learn more about Vata and Pitta doshas by reading my  article here Ayurveda Introduction – Doshas 101. […]

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  4. […] Rajas is a state of extroverted action which can facilitate great accomplishments in life. However, when rajas is excessively elevated it creates rajasic personality imbalances. Rajasic imbalances are demonstrated by competitiveness, aggression, anger, envy, hostility, frustration, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia or anxiety. These conditions should first be evaluated in terms of elevated Vata or Pitta and treated with nutritional and lifestyle modifications. Learn more about Vata and Pitta doshas by reading my  article here Ayurveda Introduction – Doshas 101. […]

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