For easier understanding on the human plane, they are further classified as vata or the principle of movement, pitta or the principle of heat and kapha or the principle of cold - these are the three Doshas, in short. They are called Doshas because they are prone to vitiation/imbalance.
They are nothing but the representation of the five elements at a functional level. Earth and Water combine to form Kapha, Fire and Water combine to form Pitta and Air and Space combine to form Vata.
Though Vata, Pitta and kapha are present all over the body, they are more concentrated below the navel, between the navel and the heart and above the heart respectively.Vata, Pitta and Kapha are prominent respectively during the last, middle and beginning phases of life, day, night and digestion.
The balance of the Doshas is the state of health and their imbalance is the state of disease. There is no disease that occurs without the involvement of the Doshas.
These Doshas are understood by their properties.
- The properties of Vata are – dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile.
- The properties of Pitta are – slight unctuousness, sharp, hot, light, foul smell, flowing and liquid.
- The properties of kapha are – unctuous, cold, heavy, dull, smooth, stable.