Ayurveda: Doshas 101 by Dr. Christie Smirl

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Ayurveda: Doshas 101 by Dr. Christie Smirl

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic health system originate over 5,000 years ago in India. Ayurveda is now widely practiced internationally. To understand the foundation tenets of Ayurveda is, the doshas must be mastered.  Here are the dosha basics. There are three doshas that control physiology of the human body – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The health science of Ayurveda is also based on the Panchamahaboota theory. Panchamahaboota means 5 elements – Akasha (space), Vayu (wind), Agni (fire), Aap (water), Pritvi (earth). Each dosha is formed by a paring 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)

Vata qualities: Rooksha (dry), Laghu (light), Sheeta (cold), Khara (rough), Sookshma (minute), Chala (mobile)

Vata anatomic regions:  Pakwashaya (colon), Kati (low back/pelvis), Sakti (legs), Shrota (ear), Asti (bone), Spashanendriya  (skin)

Vata physiology: Vata supports movement of prana throughout body including chewing, swallowing, nerve impulses, breathing, muscle movements, thinking, peristalsis, bowel movements, urination, menstruation.

Here’s a short video about Vata.

Kapha is composed of Aap (water) and Pritvi (earth)

Kapha qualities: Guru (heavy), Sheeta (cold), Mrudu (soft), Snigda (unctuous), Manda (slow), Sthira (stable), Slakshna (jelly)

Kapha anatomic regions: Urah (thorax) Kantah (throat) Shirah (head) Kloma (pancrease) Parvani (joints) Aamashaya (stomach)

Kapha physiology: Kapha stabilizes and supports body structure, strength, stamina, immune system, lubrication throughout the body, support to mind and memory as well the myelin sheath for proper brain function.

Here’s a short video about Kapha.

Pitta is composed of Agni (fire) and water.

Pita qualities: Sneha (unctuous), Teekshna (penetrating), Ushna (hot), Laghu (light),Visra (viscous), Sara (fluid)

Pitta anatomic regions: Naabhi (naval), Amashayo (stomach), Swedo (sweat), Lasika (skin secretions), Rudhirum (blood), Rasahadrik (eyes), Sparshanam (touch)

Pitta physiology: Pitta regulates metabolism, digestion, liver function, hunger, thirst, visual perception, skin complexion and valor.

Here’s a short video about Pitta.

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

Dr. Christie Smirl is a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine, Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science, E-RYT Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.  Visit Dr. Christie Smirl’s website HealthierVibrations.com, connect on social media at the Healthier Vibrations page on Facebook and follow her education site on WordPress.

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