According to the concept of Ayurveda, the human body is made up of five elements (panchamahabhootas), seven tissues (dhatus), waster products (malas), channels (srotas) and energy modes (doshas).
Every living and non-living thing in the universe is a combination of five basic elements. The seven dhatus or tissues are responsible for composing the human body. Malas are the body wastes and proper elimination of the waste products is an important factor in maintaining good health. Srotas are the channels that transport the nutrients and other substances to all parts of the body. The three doshas (tridoshas) are responsible for the creation of various tissues of the body and to eliminate the waste products from the body. All the bodily movements and other physiological functions are influenced by the tridoshas.
The word tridoshas is composed of two parts- tri and doshas, tri means three and doshas means the physical modes or energies. These tridoshas are the primary and essential factors of the human body that controls the physical structure and all the functions of the body. These doshas are derived from the five basic elements known as the panchamahabhootas. Each dosha is the combination of any two of the five elements with one primary and the other secondary. The three doshas are responsible for the physiological and psychological processes taking place in the mind and body.
All activities in the universe are categorized into three main basic functions- creation, organization and destruction. The balance state of these functions is a key to good health.
According to Ayurveda these three functions are balanced by tridoshas namely vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (mucus).
The main cause of disease is the lack of proper physiological and psychological functions that is due to an excess or deficiency of vata, pitta and kapha.
Vata is composed of elements air and space. This biological humor is responsible for controlling the function of destruction. It is regarded as the main dosha among all the three as it controls and governs all the functions performed by other doshas.
Pitta is composed of elements fire and water. It organizes all activities performed by body after the process of transformation. The whole chemical process including enzymes, immune power, hormones, nerves and the nutritional system attributes to pitta. Kapha is composed of elements earth and water. It is responsible for the maintenance of all creations taking place in the body. All the activities of the skeletal and the anabolic system come under kapha.
People fall into seven prakriti categories:
4. Váyu/Pitta (combination)
7. Tridoshic (equal amounts).
According to Ayurveda’s basic concept of human body there are seven body types and they are :
• Mono Types
o Wind dominated individuals (vata)
o Bile dominated individuals (pitta)
o Mucus dominated individuals (kapha)
• Dual Types
• Wind and bile dominated individual (vata and pitta)
• Wind and mucus dominated individuals (vata and kapha)
• Bile and mucus dominated individuals (pitta and kapha)
• Equal Types
• Vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions
We all born with some unique default conditions, these conditions make us special among rest of the people. Your inborn metabolic pattern is called Prakruti. Prakruti also means Nature, Your Prakruti is your first creation, your first reaction when you are forced to adopt to some change in your environment.
Your Constitution is that set of metabolic tendencies which determine how your body and mind will instinctively react when they are confronted by a stimulus. Many of the traits you prize in your personality arise from and are dependent on these metabolic tendencies. Many of the qualities you dislike in yourself also arise from these tendencies. Knowing your constitution allows you to know your body and mind better. You learn why there is no need to feel guilty for your dietary preferences, or for your mental traits like anger or fear. Once you understand these traits are determined by your constitution, lifestyle changes can help your organism minimize their influence.
Your Personal constitution was determined by the states of the bodies of your mother and father at the time of your conception. It also depends on your parent’s genetics, your mother’s diet and habit during her pregnancy, and any abnormal events at the time of your birth. Once your personal constitution and its accompany tendencies have been set they cannot be permanently altered Like your Genes, you have your constitution for the rest of your life, like it or not.
Your Personal Constitution, which is yours Individual metabolic make up, helps determine how much effect specific tastes and emotions have on you. This is why everyone who eats same food does not necessarily suffer from exactly the same mental or Physical effects from it. When all the family members enjoy a meal together, each individual’s tastes and emotions well be affected according to his or her own individual taste and emotional balance.
Personalizing the healing process is a uniqueness that Áyurveda brings to the holistic field of health. From the insights of the Vedic sages, we learn that people are different and need to be individually treated. Expanding upon this elemental view, the Áyurvedic practitioner understands that people are made up of various combinations of the elements. Some people have more air in their system; some people have a more fiery constitution. Others are predominantly made up of water. Still others are combinations of fire and air, fire and water, or air and water. Some people have an equal amount of
all three elements (ether is combined in air and earth within water). Thus a more air-predominant individual needs to take in less air and more fire and water. A water person already has an excess of water, so there is a need to reduce the intake of water and to increase the fire and air elements in the diet and lifestyle.
People who are predominantly an air (Váyu) prakriti will have different experiences depending on whether their doßha is balanced or in excess. Balanced Váyu-prak^iti individuals will be adaptable, cheerful, have natural healing tendencies, be thin-framed, and very tall or very short. If there is excess Váyu in their bodies, they may be very thin, have dry skin, gas, constipation, bone problems, or arthritis. They may talk very fast or become easily tired. Mentally, they may quickly grasp concepts but soon forget them; be anxious, worried, fearful, or nervous.
Pitta-dominant individuals, when healthy and balanced, will be warm, and have clear, penetrating thoughts. They will tend to be leaders and/or athletic. They will be of moderate, muscular build, and will be passionate. When they overheat, they may find themselves impatient, hot-tempered, or too critical. Physically, they will develop heat-related problems like ulcers, infections, rashes or acne, eye problems, or high blood pressure. The Kapha-paramount individuals, when balanced, are loyal and calm. Physically, they are big boned and strong, with deep-toned voices.
When Kapha is excessive, they tend toward water excesses like water retention, being overweight, or having bronchitis. Mentally, they will find themselves lethargic, too attached, and sentimental. As we discussed earlier, each person is made up of a combination of these elements, yet each usually has a combination predominantly of two or all three of these elements. These elements in turn, form three physiological principles, Váyu (ether and air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water and earth). Like the elements, people are predominantly made up of one or more or these doshas.