Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth make up the five great elements, and when these elements combine they form the Ayurvedic archetypes known as the Doshas. The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind, and in nature. They govern all physical and mental process and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and happiness.
There are three doshas; Vata which is made up of Ether and Air, Pitta made up of Fire and Water, and Kapha made up of Earth and Water. These energies are subtle in nature and cannot be perceived directly in the body. However their presence is visible through distinct qualities and actions. Every cell in the body contains Vata, Pitta, and Kapha the proportions in which they are present is what makes up an individuals unique mind-body composition. Also known as an individuals constitution (prakruti).
One dosha tends to be dominate in most individuals and a second dosha will have a strong influence. Classically Ayurveda describes seven constitutional types Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Vata, and Vata-Pitta-Kapha. The doshas are consistently changing in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, food that we eat, the seasons, and sensory input that we put into our mind and body. When the doshas are balanced then your health will be vibrant, its when imbalances occur that the body and mind begin to experience disease.
Imbalances arise from numerous influences such as season, diet, or carrying too much stress in ones life. You can restore balance back into the mind and body when you begin to understand your unique constitutional make-up, and begin to make decisions that bring harmony from your internal environment to the your external environment.
As you become familiar with Ayurvedic principles you will discover that balancing your doshas is an intuitive process. Nurturing your individual nature is a direct pathway to finding health, wellness, and contentment in everyday life.