What is the composition of the body according to Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an ancient and holistic science of natural healing which traditionally hails from India. According to the Ayurveda, everything in this universe is made of five elements known as Panchamahabhuta. These five elements are:

  1. Space
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Earth.

These panchamahabhutas (five elements) combine together in a distinct manner to create three main energies of the body known as Dosha (biological humor). All mahabhutas are present in each dosha (biological energies) but one or the other is dominant and the rest of the four are less dominant.

What are Doshas (biological energy)?

 “शरीरं दूषयन्तीति दोषा.”

It means doshas are the energies which when not in balance bring disease or disorder inside the body. They can be kept in balance with proper diet and lifestyle. Doshas are the energies of the body accomplishing all the functions of the body. These doshas named as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha together are known as Tridoshas.

 Tridoshas are composed of a different percentage of panchamahabhutas in them and they react according to it. Vata dosha is composed of Akasha (Sky ) and Vayu (Air) element. Pitta is composed of Agni (Fire) and Ap (Water). Kapha is composed of Ap (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). When in balance they maintain the health of the body. On the contrary, on being an imbalance they create distress in the body.

What is the body type (Prakriti) according to Ayurveda?

Ayurveda opines that unique combination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha forms exclusive body type or constitution which is known as Prakriti. It remains same throughout life. Every individual has all three doshas in the body, but generally one or the two doshas are dominant. For example, Vata-Pitta body type person has dominant vata and pitta but submissive Kapha also in their body.

Why know your body type (Prakriti)?

Recognizing body type can help to determine your physical and mental character. On the top of that, it aids to compose better choices in diet and lifestyle. It can help to understand the imbalance and to bring back the balance of the body by making few changes in your diet and lifestyle.