The Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta & Kapha

In Ayurveda, there are three fundamental principles or Doshas active within the body. The three Doshas are known as Vata, Pittaand Kapha. Together, they regulate and govern thousands of separate functions in the body, mind and emotions. When Vata, Pitta and Kapha are in balance, health is optimal. But when their balance is disturbed, health problems can arise.


Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts in the mind. Since Pitta and Kapha cannot move without it, Vata is considered the leader of the three Doshas in the body. Therefore it’s very important to keep Vata in good balance.

Vata imbalance can lead to diseases of the nervous system, chronic pain, cardiac arrhythmias, rheumatic disorders, constipation, anxiety and insomnia. It’s also responsible for anxiety and worry.

The chief site of Vata in the body is the large intestine.

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Pitta governs all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest foods, how we interpret and metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong. Pitta governs the important digestive “Agnis” or fires of the body.

Pitta imbalance can eventually lead to peptic ulcers, hypertension, inflammatory bowel diseases, skin diseases and allergic reactions. An imbalance can also be responsible for anger, envy and jealousy.

The chief site of Pitta in the body is the navel region.

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Kapha governs all structure and lubrication in the mind and body. It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all the seven tissues–nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues.

Kapha imbalance predisposes one towards diseases of the respiratory system, sinusitis, diabetes mellitus, obesity, atherosclerosis and tumors. When out of balance, it is also responsible for feelings of attachment and greed.

The chief site of Kapha in the body is the chest.

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Going Deeper

During your Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultation, I’ll be able to help you determine which Dosha is predominant in your life, and give you practical tips for creating and maintaining balance in your mind, body and emotions.