What in the cosmos are doshas?
Understanding the Elements Within Us
Narrow your eyes to read the fine print on one of our Botanical Bath Tea Lunar Blends, and you may encounter a few unfamiliar terms. Vata? Pitta? Kapha? What are these strange little mouthfuls and why do they matter in your life?
Well, as you’ll see, these three simple words are used in Ayurveda to describe the different energies that make up our physical and emotional world. They exist within and around you, and their interplay impacts you in every moment of every day. The beauty of this cosmic dance is that you can leverage these energies to work for you, to bring about more alignment and balance in your life.
The wisdom of Ayurveda teaches us that the entire universe is made up of the interaction of the five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements are paired into three basic types of energy called doshas that are present in our minds, bodies and the world around us. They’re even present in the phases of the moon. Since we do not have words in English to describe these energies, we use the Sanskrit words vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha to describe them.
Vata dosha is made up of the ether and air elements. It embodies the energy of movement, and it is cold, light in weight, shifting, airy and rising. Manifested within you, vata is responsible for creativity, communication, breath, heartbeat and release. When it is in balance, you are likely to feel more inspired, spontaneous, clear and free to move. When vata is too elevated, however, you may experience anxiety, fear, restlessness, gas or joint pain. In the external world, vata is present during the season of winter and in cold, dry foods. The New Moon is thought to have similar qualities as the vata dosha.
Pitta dosha is the fire element. It embodies the energy of transformation, and is hot and sharp. Pitta is responsible for metabolism, joy, courage, willpower and mental agility. When it is in balance, you are likely to feel activated, driven, analytical and able to process anything that comes your way. When pitta is too elevated, you may experience anger, judgmental attitudes, rashes, inflammation or heartburn. The Full Moon is thought to have similar qualities as the pitta dosha.
Kapha dosha is a combination of the water and earth elements. It embodies the energy of creation, building and maintaining. It is responsible for love, patience, stability and juiciness. When it is in balance, you are likely to feel grounded, supported and resilient. When kapha is too elevated, you may experience lethargy, greed, attachment, sinus congestion or cloudiness. The Waxing Moon is thought to have the qualities of building kapha, while the Waning Moon is thought to have the qualities of releasing kapha.
The energies of the vata, pitta and kapha doshas are essential to your existence, and each offers its own unique and beautiful qualities to ensure the smooth functioning of the whole beauty that is you. You can discover your unique ratio of the doshas within you by taking this dosha quiz by Cultivate Balance. Understanding how the doshas work together within you — and working to keep them balanced through ritual bathing — invites deeper wellness into your whole being.
Discover how to support the balance of your doshas with Moon Bath’s Botanical Bath Tea.