Wholeness of the lesson

The state of balance of the three doshas determines the functioning of the mind and body – ideal balance of the doshas is fundamental to ideal health.

  • The three doshas are the fundamental governing programmes of both mind and body
  • The three doshas determine the current situation in the mind/body system, its current mode of functioning, its health and any disease states it may have
  • On the other hand, the doshas also indicate the tendencies of a person: their mental and physical aptitudes, abilities, talents, body-shape and behaviour.

The Three Doshas – regulators of mental and physical factors

Functions of Vata dosha:

  • BODY: Movement, functioning of the nervous system and internal organs
  • MIND: Control of mind and sense organs, clarity, alertness, enthusiasm, liveliness.

Functions of Pitta dosha:

  • BODY: Metabolism, digestion, energy, temperature regulation, transformation
  • MIND: Intelligence, control of emotions.

Functions of Kapha dosha:

  • BODY: Structure, cohesion, fluids, immunity
  • MIND: Mental balance, stability, memory.

Characteristics of the doshas

The three doshas determine the current situation of mind and body, their mode of functioning, health and disease.

(It is best to not use the term `body type`. We should not narrow the unlimited potential of a person by using rigid categories. Every individual is cosmic – everyone is in essence Sama Dosha (balanced doshas). The doctors simply take the pulse, identify the situation in the body right now, and redress the imbalances by giving corrective treatments, herbs and daily routine.)

VATA – space and air

Qualities: cold, rough, light, subtle, minute, quick, moving, dry, leading the other doshas.

Factors aggravating Vata dosha:

  • All kinds of irregularity in life
  • Exertion and fasting
  • Staying awake at night/fatigue
  • Suppression of natural urges
  • Travelling
  • Excessive talking
  • Pungent, bitter, and astringent food
  • Fear, worries, grief.

Signs of aggravated Vata dosha:

  • Roughness, dryness of the skin
  • Dark complexion
  • Restlessness, worries, anxieties
  • Bodily and nervous weakness
  • Sleep disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Constipation, bloating
  • Cramps
  • Weight reduction
  • Reduced strength, paralysis
  • Muscle tension, stiffness, arthrosis
  • Vulnerability to infections.

PITTA – fire and water

Qualities: Hot, warm, sharp, fluid, slightly oily, light, sour, pungent.

Factors aggravating Pitta dosha:

  • Emotional excitation
  • Heat, sun, fire
  • Pungent, sour and salty food
  • Yoghourt, vinegar
  • Alcohol, smoking, tobacco
  • Anger, hatred, jealousy, passion
  • Fasting
  • Linseed (flaxseed), sesame seed.

Signs of aggravated Pitta dosha:

  • Anger, and irritability, emotional instability
  • Pedantry, bossiness, impatience
  • Yellowish, reddish complexion
  • Skin diseases
  • Increased body heat and excessive thirst
  • Sharp digestion, heartburn, peptic ulcers
  • Inflammations
  • Waking up too early in the morning – unable to fall asleep again.

KAPHA – Water and Earth

Qualities: Heavy, cold, cool, soft, unctuous, oily, sweet, stable, steady, slow, sticky, slimy, viscous

Factors aggravating Kapha dosha

  • Sleeping during daytime
  • Nap after meals
  • Lack of exercise
  • Overeating
  • Milk products
  • Heavy, oily, slimy foods
  • Sweet, sour and salty tastes
  • Cold foods
  • Large breakfast
  • Living close to a large lake or to the ocean

Signs of aggravated Kapha dosha:

  • Melancholy, sadness, dullness
  • Tiredness and phlegmatic tendencies
  • Greed, materialism
  • Oily skin
  • Moist, cool skin
  • Abdominal fullness, loss of appetite
  • Sluggishness of the bowels
  • Swellings, accumulated liquid in joints
  • Dull sleep, snoring.

Signs of balanced Doshas

Signs of balanced Vata dosha:

  • Cheerfulness
  • Clear, alert, creative and lively mind
  • Good function of intestines and urinary passages
  • Normal formation of tissues
  • Light sleep (about 7-8 hrs)
  • Good immunity
  • Normal blood pressure.

Signs of balanced Pitta dosha

  • Good humour
  • Blissfulness
  • Balanced intellect
  • Radiating complexion
  • Balanced regulation of body temperature and thirst
  • Good digestive power
  • Strong appetite, soft and flexible body, short and sound sleep (5-6 hrs).


  • Mental stability
  • Loving and tolerant nature
  • Courage
  • Dignity
  • Graceful movements
  • Oily and smooth skin
  • Lower (cooler) body temperature
  • Stable and balanced digestion
  • Strong joints
  • Deep and restorative sleep (needs 8-9 hrs).
  • Strong, well-proportioned body
  • Endurance and vitality.

Main Points


Each dosha has its characteristics, often reflected in the facial complexion and structure and the whole bodily frame.  The specific balance of the doshas also effects behavioural tendencies, and increasing balance creates better health and well-being.


Extensive scientific research has shown that Transcendental Meditation brings balance to all areas of life, including various physiological and psychological parameters.


All three doshas are found in every person – which Doshas predominate is highly individual.  The technique of pulse diagnosis – Maharishi  Nadi Vigyan – allows the physician to detect imbalances between the doshas and within each dosha, and prescribe the means to balance them.


We live in a world of diversity, but as we gain greater balance, inner unity grows.  The repeated experience of inner unbounded awareness brings greater connectedness and unity, and we become more tolerant and respectful towards one another.

Summary of the lecture

By creating balance in the doshas we create balance in all aspects of the mind and body and help establish the basis of perfect health.