Vata embodies the energy of movement and is therefore often associated with wind (and the air element). Vata is linked to creativity and flexibility; it governs all movement—the flow of the breath, excretion, pulsation of the heart, all muscle contractions—and communication throughout the mind and the nervous system. Mental and emotional aspects are rapidity, sensitivity, creativity, enthusiasm, vitality, energy, generosity, joy.
When Vata is imbalanced or in excess tends to cause fear, anxiety, exhaustion. It can lead to both physical and energetic depletion, disrupt proper communication, and cause all sorts of abnormal movements in the body, such as tics, tremors, and muscle spasms, constipation, abdominal cramps, internal external dryness.
In order to stay balanced Vata should maintain regularity – particularly of sleep and meals, favouring warm nourishing foods, relaxing exercises, and warm oil massage.
Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism. Mental and emotional aspects are being acute, exact, dynamic, decisive, ambitious, focused, brave.
When out of balance, pitta causes reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism. Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders, which can affect organs and tissues throughout the body.
In order to stay balanced Pitta should have sufficient rest and be fed when hungry. Eat moderately cool and warm food, shield against hot, multitasking and stressful environments.
Kapha represents structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things, and is therefore associated primarily with the earth and water elements. Kapha also embodies the watery energies of love and compassion. This dosha hydrates all cells and systems, lubricates the joints, moisturizes the skin, maintains immunity, and protects the tissues. Mental and emotional aspects: slow but exact, calm, strong, patient, compassionate, humble, happy, satisfied, trustable.
When out of balance, Kapha triggers emotions of attachment, greed, and possessiveness and can also create, lethargy and resistance to change. Physically, Kapha tends to invite stagnation and congestion with mucus accumulation, in organs and tissues throughout the body—including the mind.
In order to stay balanced Kapha should engage in stimulating physical exercise, avoid excess sleep, eat light and warm and open to new and invigorating experiences.