Understanding Ayurveda

Understanding Ayurveda

Ayu = Life / Veda = Knowledge

Conceived through meditation and intuition and passed on in form of poetry from generation to generation, this ancient science of life is sacred.

Ayurveda suggests that our body is comprised of the five elements of nature (space, air, fire, water, earth). These elements are combined into three categories called “Doshas” also known as Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth).

Every person contains all three doshas and therefore qualities of all five elements, however, each of us has a unique blend possessing certain elements more than others.

Due to many sources of imbalances in and around us— including our environment, lifestyle, and diet— our ideal state can be disturbed. These disturbances leave us exposed to further stress and illness in the system. The holistic science of Ayurveda provides a path to return to your optimal state of balance. With the help of herbal remedies, lifestyle practices such as yoga and dietary changes, and traditional ayurvedic body-work (known as Panchakarma) Ayurveda offers a strong support in healing and cleansing the body/mind.

Sources of Imbalance

Many factors are involved in altering our ideal state in Ayurveda known as Prakruti, our nature or “constitution”, with which we were born. Some of these include: current season, daily weather, time of day, lifestyle and routine, our core relationships, age, pollution and the food we eat. By correcting these factors we can return to our ideal state, preventing and even curing disease from the body and mind.

5 Basic Elements

Space | Air | Fire | Water | Earth

Ayurveda recognizes that our body and mind similar to the Universe are made up of these five elements. To understand in depth, these are further categorized into the following three doshas (constitutions)

Space & Air = Vata

Responsible for Movement

Fire & Water = Pitta

Responsible for Transformation

Water & Earth = Kapha

Responsible for Structure and Lubrication

20 Main Gunas (Qualities)

These 20 main gunas (qualities) outlined in Ayurvedic text are used to describe the characteristics of the five main elements.


Vata Dosha



Pitta Dosha



Kapha Dosha


Let's Take a Deeper Look


Vata contributes to a thin body frame, light in weight, long bones or small in size, fine curly hair, small, thin or irregular features and tends to have dry or rough skin. Mentally, it brings a natural connection to the space element resulting in creativity and sensitivity. The air element brings the mobility and quickness in action and thought. Vata loves to explore!


Pitta dosha often has a balanced medium size body type with a combination of dry and oily skin, sharp features, colored eyes and straight hair, hot in temperature phsycally and mentally. Red or blonde hair, freckled skin and a strong decisive mind are all easy signs of Pitta. Leadership is a natural quality for Pitta and it's always ready for a challenge or adventure.


Kapha is strong, heavy and slow when it comes to body and mind. Large body frame, thick wavy hair, oily or damp skin, large features and a compassionate heart. Long lasting memory, strong faith and loyalty are good signs of Kapha along with stability and grounding. Kapha brings a natural desire for routine, comfort and family. Kapha types are wonderful story tellers!