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The Doshas

The nervous force of the body is a kind of wind, mental force moving in the same way as a breeze. Light and intelligence act through the element of fire, which brings illumination. The element of water governs matter, especially at the biological level, providing stability and nourishing the body’s tissues.
Our biological existence is linked with the three Doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three forces bring beauty in our lives, determine our growth and aging, our health and diseases.
Dosha means "fault” or "imperfection”. Our tissues are mainly of Kapha nature (water). The digestive system is mainly Pitta (fire). The nervous system is mainly Vata (air). One of the three Doshas is always predominant in someone, and it becomes the fundamental determination of his or her specific constitution, type of body and mind.

An ancient Yogic text says that air is God, the spirit or pure consciousness, the shapeless force and the presence impregnating everything. Fire is the embodied soul, hidden within the body, as the hidden fire in the wood. Spiritual life is about awakening the light of fire, the intelligence of the soul in our heart, and elevating it out of its corporeal boundaries to bring it to the unbounded kingdom of the Mind. This way our personal fire unites with air and the cosmic space.

Characteristics of Doshas

Vata: dry, ligth, cold, rough, subtle,mobile.
Pitta: fat, sharp or pentrating, hot, smelly, progressive, liquid.
Kapha: wet, cold, heavy,slow, sticky, static.

Vata literally means wind and it is the main biological force. It stimulates the other two Doshas. Its substance is ether and air. It fills up the spaces within the body (empty organs, joints, bone cavities in the hips and the lumbar vertebrae). It is the vital force or the energy of thoughts circulating inside the space of the mind. Its sense organs are the ears and the skin, and its motor organs are the language and the hands. They are all linked to the senses of hearing and touch, and are linked to the elements of Ether and Air. Vata rules the balance of the senses, emotions and of mental harmony. It favors mental adaptability and understanding. Vata provides the positive aspects of creativity, enthusiasm, quickness, agility, and dynamism, and helps us realize our goals. Its principal locations in the body are the colon, the bladder, the kidneys and the brain. When unbalanced it can be the cause of mental health problems, nervous or digestive problems, weak energy and a general weakness of all the tissues of the body. It is not dissociable from the two other Doshas because it contains small particles of water and a potential fire in electric form. As clouds, Vata generate thunder and fire giving birth to Pitta, and the water particles and rain giving birth to Kapha..

Pitta is the digestive force, or cooking force, which makes thing mature and decay. In the body it is a present as oily or acid secretions responsible for all forms of digestion and transformation, from the cellular level to the functioning of the gastro-intestinal system. We can also find it in the mental and the spiritual, as our aptitude to digest impressions, emotions and concepts that lead us to perceive the truth. Pitta provides with the positive qualities of intelligence, courage and stamina. Its principal position within the body is the small intestine, but it is also found in the liver, the stomach, gallbladder, the spleen, the heart and the uterus, as well as in sweat, sebaceous glands, blood and lymph nodes. Its sense organs are the eyes and its motor organs are the feet, linked to the sense of seeing and the element of fire. It produces a positive energy and heat in the blood. As a disease factor, it appears through toxicity of the blood that causes infections and inflammations. Pitta depends on Vata for its vitality and strength (as fire needs oxygen to burn), on Kapha for its support (as fire needs matter to burn). It holds a certain amount of Vata or nervous force and stabilizes with a proper amount of water (Kapha).

Kapha, or mucus or phlegm, is a cohesive force that links things together. Kapha provides the physical container for Pitta and Vata. Kapha itself as the water and earth element is found in its own environment, such as skin or mucous membranes representing the earth. It is found mainly in the stomach, but also the chest, the throat and the head, in the superior part of the body where mucus is produced in great quantity, and in the lungs, the pancreas and the testicles. On the sides and on the middle part of the body it is found in fat and lymph nodes. Its sense organs are taste and smell, the nose and the tongue, and its motor organs are the genitalia and the excretory system, linked to the elements of water and earth. Kapha makes us feel emotions and feelings, provides us with love and affection, devotion and faith. It keeps us in harmony with ourselves and with others. As a disease factor we can see an excess of plasma transforming into mucus, leading then to obesity, edemas, lung diseases, inflammation of the ganglions and so on.

Kapha depends on Vata for its stimulation and movement. It needs Pitta for the heat. Although the body is mainly composed of water (Kapha), there is a specific form of water containing heat (Pitta) and vital strength (Vata). Cold and stagnant water cannot give life..