Kapha is made up of the two elements water and earth and thus k apha is both structure and lubrication. Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. Kapha is the principle of protection, nourishment, and stability. Water is the main constituent of Kapha, and this bodily water is responsible physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body.
Pitta is made up of the two elements fire and water and can be compared to gasoline – it is not hot to the touch, but it can be the source of flame. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for life processes to occur. (For example, too much fire and too little water will result in the evaporation of the water. The opposite will result in the fire being put out.) Pitta is the principle of transformation represented in our digestion of ideas, sensory experiences, emotions, and food.
Vata is made up of the two elements space and air and can be identified as the Wind element. Vata is the principle of movement and change. The amount of space affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. If unrestricted, air can gain momentum and become too forceful, such as a hurricane.
People with a predominance of Vata in their nature tend to be thin, light, quick in thoughts and actions and always on-the-go.
Dosha is a Sanskrit word that translates as “mind-body constitution” or “mind-body personality.” According to ayurveda – the 5,000-year-old “science of life” – there are five master elements that make up everything within our bodies and everything outside of our bodies: space, air, fire, water, and earth.