The doshas - The Tridosha theory
One of the founding pillars of Ayurveda is to consider that all creation is made up of 5 elements:
- Ether: "Aakash": which represents empty space. It is a subtle element. In the human body: ears, vocal cords, sound...
- Air: "Vaayu": is movement: breathing, heartbeat, skin, hands...
- Fire: "Agni": is represented by hormones, enzymes, eyes, feet. Fire controls digestion, vision, thoughts, metabolism.
- Water: "Jal" represented by blood, lymph, taste, tongue, genitals
- Earth: "Prithivi" is smell, nose, excretions, nails, skin, hair, muscles, cartilage.
The combination of these 5 elements constitute the 3 doshas.
- Vata: formed by Aether and Air: movement
- Pita: formed by Fire and Water: transformation
- Kapha: formed by Water and Earth: structure
Dosha is the dominant of a combination of these 5 elements.
The doshas are humors, fluids in constant motion such as energies that circulate constantly. Complementary fluids, when one decreases, one or both others increase(s): hence the notion of balance and imbalance.
In addition to our "Prakriti" we also have "Vikriti": which corresponds to a temporary imbalance brought about by our lifestyle, our environment, our nutrition. Vikriti is the present state of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in relation to prakriti. Vikriti changes every moment.
Ayurveda tends to maintain the balance of the birth doshas. Everyone can ensure their balance by acting on their diet, and lifestyle.
When out of balance, they lead to diseases, negative emotions such as anger, fear...
The doshas are present within the body, but also across time and space, the universe. Thus, the three Doshas are present in the three ages of the individual's life, the day and night, the seasons.