AYURVEDA - Discover your Dosha

Ayurveda is not only a system of treating illness but is a complete guide to living a vibrant, healthy life, helping you to reach your potential. Ayurveda looks at the whole person - mind, body and spirit. Using food as medicine and considering your lifestyle, daily and seasonal routines to find your true point of balance. In essence Ayurveda is simple, effective and absolutely essential to the chaotic world we live in.
— Joann Buchan

According to Ayurveda we have our own unique constitution which is a mix of 3 Doshas  - Vata (Air + Space), Pitta (Fire + Water) and Kapha (Earth + Water). Each dosha has a unique blends of physical and psychological characteristics, we often have one dosha that is dominant. When your Doshas are balanced you can live to 100 years. Our unique ratio is called our PRAKRITI known as our natural state when everything is balanced. Once we know our unique constitution this guides us to a lifestyle that will allow you to live a healthy life.  

We are born with our constitution and this doesn't not change, you may naturally be creative, think quickly, have tall thin body frame, tend to have dry skin and feel cold like Vata, but when we go out of balance you may experience bloating, eczema, lose appetite, have upset tummy or feel anxious. These are all signs that our body is out of balance, we’re not supporting our natural constitution.

THE FIVE ELEMENTS - Air, Space, Fire, Earth, Water

Understanding the five elements and the tridosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) is they key to understanding who you are and the correct foods to eat and lifestyle to live. Everything is made up the five elements and are present in our body, for example;

  • Space - in the mouth, nose, intestinal tract, abdomen, thorax, capillaries

  • Air - larger moments of the muscles, the beating of the heart, expansion and contraction of the lungs, movement of stomach wall and intestines

  • Fire - the source of fire in the world is the sun, the fire in the body is the digestive systme, your metabolism, fire is also in the eyes receiving light, body temperature, vision. 

  • Water - digestive juices, salivary glands, mucous membranes, water body is made up of x water, 

  • Earth - solid structures such as bones, cartilage, nails, muscles, tendon, skins and hair. 

PLEASE NOTE: Your unique constitution can only be accurately worked out by an Ayurvedic Practitioner or Dr. Jo is a member of the AAPUK and qualified under Dr Deepika Rodrigo from the Ayurveda Institute UK.




Vata is the principle of movement, the air and space within the body and the subtle energy that governs biological movement. Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart and all expansion and contraction. Vata also governs such sensations, feelings and emotions as nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors and spasms. The large intestine, pelvic, bones, skin, ears and thighs are the seats of vata. If the body develops an excess of vata, it will accumulate in these areas.

Vata people are generally slim and light, with dry skin often feeling cold particularly in hands and feet. Their appetite can be irregular, sometimes feeling hungry, sometimes not, often without a routine. Vata types can often feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, especially during later afternoon.

Imagine a bird, light, moving, active, grazing on nuts and seeds eating little and often.

BALANCED VATA - Vata can be energetic but calm and clear, embrace change, have balanced digestion, good circulation and an even body temperature.

UNBALANCED VATA - Vata can be easily tired or fatigued, forgetful, anxious, overwhelmed and lack focus. They can have difficulty falling asleep, suffer constipation and poor circulation feeling cold all the time.
If you recognise your constitution as Vata and can relate to the unbalanced Vata, three things you can start doing now to help regain balance are;



Pitta is translated as fire, the bodily heat-energy, which manifests as metabolism is not visible like a naked flame. Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the
lustre of the eyes; and also intelligence and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes and
skin are the seats of pitta. Pitta is formed from the elements fire and water.

Pitta people are generally medium build, weight tends to be steady. Their skin may be fair, reddish with moles or freckles, temperature can be warm. Their appetite is very strong often feeling ‘hangry’ when it's time to eat.. Pitta types can often overwork, be impatient, get frustrated, angry or jealous.

BALANCED PITTA - Pitta can be decisive, organised, cooperative, confident, courageous, and friendly.

UNBALANCED PITTA - Pitta disorders can be as migraines, eczema and dermatitis, infertility, urine infections, infections in the body, acidity, mouth ulcers, inflammatory disorders and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout.



Kapha cements the elements of the body, providing the material for physical structure. Kapha lubricates the joints, provides moisture to the skin, helps heal wounds, fills the spaces in the body, and gives biological strength vigour and stability. Kapha also support's memory retention, gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity. Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, and stomach, also joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and liquid secretions of the body such as mucous. Psychologically, kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and long standing envy; it is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness and love.

Kapha people are generally have well developed bodies and more likely to put on weight. Their skin is thick soft and oily, they are less likely to get wrinkles. Hair can be thick, dark, soft and wavy. Kapha tend to love their food, they can overeat and be emotional eaters. Kapha people talk and move slowly. Kapha are also very loving, caring, forgiving and generally happy and peaceful.

BALANCED KAPHA - Kapha can be calming, patient, kind, generous, loving, calm

UNBALANCED KAPHA - Kapha can suffer from depression, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, lack of energy, recurrent chest infections; bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs, colds, they can be stubborn, hold a grudge, feel stuck.

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Joann Buchan is a member of the AAPUK

AAPUK is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of Ayurveda for the benefit of the whole human community through public education and other mediums and is dedicated to the support and representation of Ayurvedic Professionals in the UK and abroad.

The organisation represents Ayurvedic professionals – doctors, practitioners, therapists and students – both as beneficiaries and torchbearers of Ayurveda in the West. It aims to be a community led organisation benefitting from the expertise of medical authorities and universities in the field from both sides of the world.

Ayurveda is increasingly recognised as the oldest and most intelligent system of healing known to man. AAPUK is aimed at protecting and promoting its most authentic expression in the modern world.