The founding fathers of Ayurveda clearly realised that mind influences the physiology and pathology of the physical body. Therefore, Ayurveda is defined as a philosophy and science of life and longevity.
It classifies our basic traits with 3 different Gunas : Sattva gun, Rajas gun and Tamas gun. Each Guna gives certain characteristic qualities to the person, based on which an individual can be classified as belonging to that particular Guna type.
Charaka and Sushruta recognize seven types or categories into which people can be classified, depending on the dominance of the Gunas in their body.
- People with dominant Sattva Guna.
- People with dominant Rajas Guna.
- People with dominant Tamas Guna.
- People with dominant Sattva–Rajas Guna combination.
- People with dominant Sattva–Tamas Guna combination.
- People with dominant Rajas–Tamas Guna combination.
- People with balanced Gunas or with Sattva–Rajas–Tamas Guna combination
According to Ayurveda, each person is born with a life force that comprises the five elements or building blocks of nature: Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jal), Fire (Tej), Air (Vayu) and Space (Akash). We possess a unique balance of these five elements in varying degrees. This combination of elements is known as a Dosha. There are three fundamental doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and good health is considered to be a perfect state of balance between these three doshas.
- Vata is constituted by Space (Akash) and Air (Vayu), which is the energy of movement;
- Pitta is constituted by Water (Jal) and Fire (Tej) which is the principle of digestion and metabolism;
- Kapha is constituted by Earth (Prithvi) and Water (Jal) the dosha of structure and lubrication.
The corelation between 3 Guna (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) and 3 Dosha (Vaat, Pitta, Kapha) is an amazing revelation of Ayurveda. It places emphasis on the physical and psychological aspects as outcome of Triguna.
- Vata Dosha is a combination of Sattva and Rajas Gunas but is referred to as being predominantly Rajasic—as Rajas Guna dominates or is stronger than the Sattva Guna.
- Pitta Dosha is said to be more Sattvic in nature, though it has an element of Rajas and Tamas in it.
Kapha Dosha is said to be more Tamasic in nature though it has an element of Sattva in it (but no Rajas).