vata pitta kapha

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – Know Your Doshas

The ancient art of Ayurveda originated 5000 years in the ancient Sanskrit texts, the Vedas. Ayurveda is a system that deals with the healing of your physical constitution, emotional nature, and spiritual outlook with regards to the universe. Do you know about the philosophy that deals with yoga doshas in ayurveda? The information below will help you understand the three major yoga doshas.

According to philosophy, the universal life force manifests as three different energies or doshas, which are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. You are made up of a unique combination of these three energies. In the majority of case, an individual always has two of these three energies in abundance in their being. But, when is this combination made? Yoga experts have the answer.

Ayurveda & Three Doshas

You should know, this combination is made at the time of conception and it defines your nature. Moreover, the proportion of these three fluctuates according to your diet, environment, age, and various other factors. As these move in and out of balance, they impact your diet, health, energy level, and mood.

Now, without further ado, it is time you know your doshas in a little more detail.

The Three Doshas in Ayurveda

Based on centuries of Ayurvedic practices, yoga experts have come up with in-detail explanation of all the three doshas – Vata, Kapha, Pitta

1. Vata

Those with Vata dosha are thin and lanky. These individuals are mentally and physically active and enjoy creative activities, meeting new people, and exploring new places. Those with vata dosha are flexible, and are original thinkers.

An imbalance of Vata dosha makes you anxious, ungrounded, and flaky about sticking to a routine or completing any pending projects. If you have too much Vata energy, it is common for you to experience constipation, dry skin, and cracking joints. The air element has much influence on your nature which can cause your energy and mood to fluctuate. Read about Yoga therapy for mental health

Vata Dosha – In Brief

  1. Functions – Movement and Communication
  2. Qualities – Dry, Light, Cold, Subtle, Mobile, and Rough
  3. Life Season – Menopause afterwards

Let us now focus on the strengths and weaknesses of those with Vata energy.


  • Quick learner
  • Multitasker
  • Kind-hearted
  • Naturally slim
  • Flexible and on-the-go types


  • Forgetful
  • Unstable mood
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Irregular appetite
  • Poor circulation in hands and feet
  • Highly sensitive to cold

2. Kapha

The second of the yoga doshas is Kapha. If you have Kapha energy, you are bound to have a strong frame and be naturally athletic till the time you exercise to avoid gaining weight. The influence of the Earth and Water element makes you stable, compassionate, and loyal.

As someone with Kapha dosha, you tend to do things in a methodical and step-by-step manner. In other words, you prefer a proper routine in your personal and professional life. However, an imbalance of this dosha can make you stubborn, unmotivated, and complacent even when change is necessary.

Moreover, your metabolism tends to be slow and appetite for food and stimulation is a bit less than those with Vata or Pitta types.

Kapha Dosha – In Brief

  1. Functions – Lubrication, Cohesion, and Structure
  2. Qualities – Heavy, Dense, Cool, Stable, Sticky, Solid, and Dull
  3. Life Season – Conception through puberty

Now, let us check out the strengths and weaknesses of this dosha types.


  • Emphatic
  • Trusting
  • Caring
  • Calm
  • Wise
  • Happy
  • Romantic
  • Strong bones and joints
  • Healthy immune system
  • Trusting


  • Prone to weight gain
  • Sluggishness
  • Over-sleeping
  • Breathing problems
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Mucus buildup
  • Needs motivation and encouragement

3. Pitta

The third of the Ayurveda Doshas that is dominated by the Fire element is Pitta. This also makes those with Pitta energy as strong, intense, and irritable. If you have Pitta Dosha, you would have a medium build with a powerful musculature.

Pitta dosha makes you strong willed and good at doing what you think is right. You approach both work and play with the same intensity and competitive drive. However, this dosha also makes you a quick learner but judgmental and impatient towards others with less focus than yourself.

Pitta dosha generates intense appetites for food and challenges in your life. Most commonly you would suffer from inflammation, rashes, acne, and loose stool.

Pitta Dosha – In Brief

  1. Functions – Digestion, Transformation, Assimilation
  2. Qualities – Oily, Sharp, Spreading, Light, Freshly smelling, Liquid, and Hot
  3. Life Season – Puberty to menopause

Yoga experts have compiled a list of strengths and weaknesses of this dosha.


  • Intelligent
  • Purposeful
  • Self-determined
  • Stronger desire for success
  • Natural leaders
  • Good circulation
  • Healthy skin and hair


  • Impatient
  • Prone to conflict
  • Mood swings when hungry
  • Prone to acne and inflammation
  • Sensitive to hot temperatures
  • Always hungry

However, for you to balance out these yoga doshas, yoga experts have come up with some easy-to-do exercises. These exercises depend on your unique dosha.

Also Read: Types of Yoga Mudra

Exercises For Different Yoga Doshas In Ayurveda

Given below are three yoga doshas in ayurveda each with the type of exercise suiting them.

1. Vata

Owing to their on-the-go nature, those with a dominant Vata dosha should focus on activities that include constant movement. These can be running, walking, cycling, yoga, and tai-chi.

2. Pitta

You develop a habit of pushing yourself too hard, if you have too much of Pitta dosh. Yoga experts recommend you should avoid exercising in the heat. However, you can take part in team sports which help you stay active and balance out this yoga doshas competitive drive.

3. Kapha

If you have the Kapha dosha, it will work best for you with a workout buddy. You should focus on exercises that offer a combination of cardio and weight-resistance exercises.

But, that is not all. Do you know there are specific yoga asanas for each yoga doshas? Given below is a list of yoga asanas you should do to balance out each of these doshas. Let us start with Vata.

Yoga Poses To Balance Vata Doshas in Ayurveda

Since wind is the elemental energy behind Vata dosha, which keeps you always on-the-go. Yoga experts recommend you should try these 3 yoga poses to slow down and breathe.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)


  • Stand on the yoga mat with both feet hip-width apart.
  • Spread your feet and place your body weight on your entire foot from front to back, and side to side.
  • Engage the muscles in your thighs to hug the bones.
  • Inhale and bring your arms overhead.
  • Reach up to your fingertips and top of your head.
  • Close your eyes and take a long but slow deep inhales and exhales through your nose.
  • Hold this position for three minutes.

Note: Do not strain yourself. Simply breathe, relax, and observe the surroundings. Yoga experts recommend you stay still for a few breaths and simply be an observer.

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)

Seated Spinal Twist

  • Come to a seated position on the yoga mat.
  • Extend both your legs. Bend your right knee and cross your foot to the outside of your left knee.
  • Bring your right hand back to your body. Keep your spine straight and erect.
  • Hook your left elbow behind your right knee.
  • Inhale, lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale, slowly twist your upper torso to look over your right shoulder.
  • Take long and deep breaths.
  • Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes. Change sides.

3. Apanasana (Knee To Chest Pose)


  • Lie down on the yoga mat on your back and pull your knees towards the chest.
  • Wrap your arms around your legs.
  • Bring your knees closer to your collarbones.
  • Lengthen your spine, keep your head on the floor, chin tucked towards the chest, and shoulders down and back.
  • Look between your arms and knees. Close your eyes.
  • Take long and slow breaths.
  • Press your belly gently against the thighs. It will massage your internal organs.
  • Hold this pose for 3 minutes.

These three are the most powerful yoga doshas asanas that will help balance out the Vata dosha and help you relax and breathe.

Let us now look at the yoga poses you should do to balance out the Kapha dosha.

Yoga Poses To Balance Kapha Doshas in Ayurveda

Among the three yoga doshas, Kapha dosha is the most grounded and associated with the element Earth. An imbalance of this dosha makes you sluggish and lazy. Therefore, yoga experts have come up with three yoga asanas to help you correct this imbalance.

1. Vriksasana (Tree Pose)

Tree Pose

  • Stand on the yoga mat with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Shift your weight onto the right foot.
  • Place your foot firmly on the yoga mat. Stabilize that leg like the trunk of a tree.
  • Slide your left foot up and right below the right knee.
  • Press your left knee back as if you are trying to touch something behind you.
  • Look down on the floor at least four feet in your front. Inhale and bring your arms straight overhead.
  • Hold this pose with long, slow and deep breaths.

2. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Cobra Pose

  • Come onto your belly on the yoga mat. Keep your palms down under your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs behind with both feet together. Keep the top sticking to the mat.
  • Lift your chest off the mat.
  • You can lift your hands off the ground. Do not move your entire body.
  • Keep your pelvis on the floor.
  • Look upwards and take a deep breath.
  • Hold this position for 2 minutes.

3. Navasana (Boat Pose)

Boat Pose

  • Sit on the yoga mat on your buttocks. Bend your legs.
  • Hold the back of your knees with both hands. Lean back to balance yourself on the sitting bones.
  • Slowly lift your arms out to the sides and in line with your knees.
  • Straighten your spine and lift your chest.
  • Try lifting your toes as high as your eyes without changing your body posture.
  • Take long, slow, and deep breaths.
  • Hold this position for 2 minutes.

Now, that we are done with the second yoga doshas, it is time to know the yoga poses for balancing out the third dosha, Pitta.

Yoga Poses For Balancing Pitta Doshas in Ayurveda

Those with Pitta dosha are naturally lit due to their association with the fire element. The key to controlling the Pitta element is to practice with 75% efforts and working out without any goal in mind. Yoga experts have come up with three yoga asanas to help you balance out the Pitta dosha.

1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Downward Facing Dog

  • Kneel down on the yoga mat on all fours.
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Spread your hands wide and press the thumb and index finger into the mat. Your elbows might jut out a bit outwards.
  • Lift your tailbone and press your glutes up.
  • Extend your sitting bones towards the ceiling and lengthen your hamstrings.
  • Keep your stomach close to thighs, ears in-between your biceps, and heels pressed gently towards the mat.
  • Take a deep, slow and relaxed breath.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute.

2. Viparita Shalabhasana (Superman Pose)

  • Lie down on the yoga mat on your belly.
  • Keep all your four limbs on the floor.
  • Extend your arms and legs as if you are trying to touch the wall in front and behind you.
  • Inhale and lift both your arms and legs off the mat.
  • Try to maintain balance on your pelvis and lower abs.
  • Relax your body in this elevated state for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Child's Pose

  • Kneel down on the yoga mat.
  • Fold forward and rest your belly on the thighs and forehead on the mat.
  • Extend your arms in front, straighten your spine, and rest your palms on the floor.
  • Relax and breathe.
  • Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes.

Also Read: What is Hot Yoga?


The yoga doshas are the subtle energies that play a vital role in deciding your mood and overall nature. However, an imbalance in either of these can impact your mood for the worse. You should include these yoga poses into your daily routine to balance all three doshas. These yoga asanas would ensure you do not suffer unnecessary mood swings or behavior.