There are three constitutional types in Ayurveda, called doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. These are elemental forces that are at work in nature, in our bodies, and in our minds. The five elements are Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The combination of these elements will give us our unique body constitution which will have wonderful positive attributes when in balance, and not so attractive results when in excess or out of balance.
He names of these Doshas are: Vata compose or Space and Air, Pitta which is fire and a little bit of water and kapha that is formed or water and earth.
Each of us is born with a specific combination of the doshas as our baseline constitution, called our Prakruti. Understanding our Prakruti we can also make sense of the things that are ideal for us and the ones that will bring us an imbalance.
Our present day Dosha, will always represent an imbalance, an excess of one or more of these elements in the body. This is called our Vikriti or Vikruti.
The Vikriti is what Ayurvedic medicine is always treating. Through a combination of Herbs, massages/therapies, Yoga, breathing and changes to our Diet and Lifestyle one can balance the elemental forces that are too high, this will then help the body to go back into its own ideal balance.
The Prakruti never changes, it’s set at birth and it’s our ideal balance. However, the elements that are predominant at birth can also create a tendency to increase on our daily lives.
For example, a person that has a vata-pitta Prakriuti can suffer form an excess of either space and air or fire that will manifest on their Vikriti. If the vikruti generally tends towards vata, it will means that the person can easily become spacey, depleted and tend towards anxiety, dry skin and sensitive digestion.
However, when the vata is balanced the same person will be creative, energetic and flexible.
If an individual has a predominately pitta prakruti, they will get a tendency of having an excess of this fire element on their bodies. The person will be fiery, some times can be short tempered, jealous and can suffer from itchy eyes and tension headache. This will happen when the fire element is in excess on the Vikriti. However balanced pittas are focused, precise and have strong digestion.
Kapha predominate people have strong body builds and good endurance. When kapha builds up in the system, the result is lethargy, heaviness, and a stubborn, greedy attitude. People with a balanced Kapha will often have smooth, cool and sometimes oily skin. Kaphas are loving, loyal, patient and have a steady temperament and regular digestion. They also tend to be good sleepers – but if kapha is in excess they tend to over sleep.