Concept of Tridosha

The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called "tridosha" or the three Humors or three biological elements. Doshas are the physiological factors of the body. They are to be seen as all pervasive, subtle entities, and are categorized into:

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha

Vata, pitta and kapha are the biological elements which are responsible for structural and functional unit of the living cells, tissues, organs and the whole body.

Vata Dosha - Movement and Change:

Vata is the most important part of Thidosha concept. This is for two reasons. First, if Vata becomes imbalanced for long enough and sufficiently enough, it can also cause the other two doshas (Pitta or Kapha) to become imbalanced. This is called a Tridoshic imbalance and is the most difficult to overcome. Secondly, Vata is the main driver or mover of the body, including the other two doshas, all the tissues (dhatus) and all of the waste products (malas).


It is a combination of air and space. Vata is light, cool, dry and can move like wind.

The five subtype of Vata:
  • Prana Vata is the central co-coordinator of all the vata and functions in the head-neck-chest region. Thinking, creativity, learning new information and inhalation are examples of Prana Vata governed activities.
  • Udana Vata functions in the throat and chest region. Sneezing, singing and exhalation are examples of Udana Vata regulated activities.
  • Vyana Vata radiates from the heart to all over the body through the circulatory system and the skin. The beating of the heart, sweating and the sense of touch are examples of Vyana Vata activity.
  • Samana Vata works in the stomach area, governing the flow of food through the digestive tract.
  • Apana Vata works in the colon and pelvic area and governs such functions as menstruation and the expulsion of urine, semen and stool.

Pitta Dosha - Transformation and Metabolism:

Pittha dosha is a combination of fire and water. It has hot, sharp, oily, light and mobile qualities.

The five subdoshas of Pitta:
  • Alochaka Pitta functions in the eye region and governs vision.
  • Bhrajaka Pitta is located in the skin and regulates the biochemical processes that occur in the skin. Complexion and skin glow are regulated by Bhrajaka Pitta.
  • Sadhaka Pitta resides in the heart and the brain. Emotional balance, contentment, intelligence and memory are examples of functions governed by Sadhaka Pitta.
  • Pachaka Pitta is located in the duodenum and small intestine. Transformation of food into nutrients and wastes through the process of digestion is governed by Pachaka Pitta.
  • Ranjaka Pitta resides in the liver and the spleen and is responsible for blood composition, liver functions and the distribution of nutrients to cells and tissues through the blood.

Kapha Dosha - Structure and Fluidity:

Kapha dosha is a fusion of water and earth. It is cool, heavy, moist, dull and dense. Kapha is the heaviest of the three doshas. It provides the structures and the lubrication that the body needs. These qualities help to counterbalance Vata's movement and Pitta's metabolism.

Types of kapha:

Kapha is classified according to the site of its function; the types are known as kledaka, bhodhaka, tarpaka, avalambaka and shleshaka kapha.

  • Kledaka kapha functions in the chest and gastric area. It lubricates ingested food, forming it into soft, moisturized balls for ease of passage through the esophagus, stomach and lower digestive tracts. It helps gastric juices to mix with and soften food, so it becomes easier to digest. If sweet, starchy, heavy and liquid foods are eaten often, more kapha is produced and the body becomes heavy and bulky.
  • Bodhaka kapha is found in the region of the tongue, palate and throat and keeps the oral cavity lubricated. As food is chewed, bhodhaka kapha moisturizes and softens the food, making it easier to swallow. It also moisturizes the mouth to facilitate talking as well as eating.
  • Avalambaka kapha is found in the chest, where respiration and circulation take place. Because these activities are constant, the tissues in this region undergo considerable friction, wear and tear, and catabolic destruction. Thus, avalambaka kapha strengthens and lubricates the heart and lung tissues to combat these effects. In the respiratory tract, avalambaka kapha prevents damage to soft tissues and mucous linings caused by inhaled air and other particles.
  • Tarpaka kapha is present in the area of the head and the spinal cord. Tarpaka kapha lubricates nerve tissue and enables it to carry impulses from the brain organs. It supplies nutrition to the brain, prevents wear and tear and drying of brain tissue, and acts as a shock absorber in head trauma.
  • Shleshaka kapha is found in all joints, providing lubrication to soften friction caused by movement. It exists in the form of synovial fluid within the joint space. If it diminishes, the bones become brittle, and movements will be difficult and painful.

The equilibrium of these doshas provide complete health and imbalance of these doshas lead to various disorders. Thus Ayurveda always focus on Balancing vata, pitta and kapha for proper healthy life.


Figuring out your dosha is a helpful way to maintain balance in your life. It’s like holding up a mirror to your body as well as mind and seeing what needs to be adjusted and healed. Once you know what your innate tendencies are, you can make more nourishing choices.

My Dream Child © 2018 All Rights Reserved.