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What Are Ayurveda Doshas? Vata, Kapha, Pitta Explained by Dr. Patel

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By Sofia Health Staff on February, 21 2024
What Are Ayurveda Doshas? Vata, Kapha, Pitta Explained by Dr. Patel

In this episode of Sofia Unfiltered, Riley and Dr. Michelle speak with Dr. Sheila Patel. Dr. Sheila is the Chief Medical Officer for Chopra and a board-certified family physician. She’s also one of Deepak Chopra's lead educators in meditation, ayurvedic lifestyle, yoga, and coaching. 

Who is Dr. Sheila Patel? 

Dr. Sheila Patel, a seasoned family medicine physician with a background in conventional and integrative medicine, shared her journey into the medical field and her evolution toward holistic approaches. Initially drawn to medicine by a desire to alleviate suffering, Dr. Patel pursued family medicine, valuing the deep connections with patients and the opportunity to address the root causes of illness. Over time, she integrated traditional healing systems like Ayurveda into her practice, recognizing their potential to complement Western medicine in preventing disease and promoting well-being. Despite initial skepticism from some, Dr. Patel's experiences and successes underscore the effectiveness of integrating diverse healing modalities, ultimately expanding her toolbox and enhancing her ability to heal and support patients.


What is Ayurveda?

It is a holistic approach to health and well-being rooted in the interconnectedness of nature and the human body. Ayurveda, translating to "the science of life," encompasses various practices to maintain balance and harmony within the body. Central to Ayurveda is the understanding of individual mind-body types, known as doshas, which reflect a person's inherent constitution and tendencies.


What’s your Dosha?

Dr. Sheila Patel thoroughly explains each Dosha, separating them into characteristics, physical attributes, and imbalance signs.

Vata Dosha:

  • Characteristics: Reflects qualities of air and space, such as lightness, mobility, and creativity.
  • Physical Attributes: Typically slender build, cold extremities, and a tendency towards dry skin and hair.
  • Mental Attributes: Quick-thinking, imaginative, but susceptible to anxiety and nervousness.
  • Imbalance Signs: Digestive issues like constipation, joint pain, dryness in the body, and overactive thoughts leading to worry.

Pitta Dosha:

  • Characteristics: Influenced by fire and water, displaying qualities of heat, intensity, and transformation.
  • Physical Attributes: Medium build, strong digestion, and tendency towards warm skin and sharp features.
  • Mental Attributes: Goal-oriented, and driven, but prone to irritability and impatience when out of balance.
  • Imbalance Signs: Inflammation, acidity, skin rashes, anger issues, and overheating sensations.

Kapha Dosha:

  • Characteristics: Governed by water and earth elements, embodying qualities of stability, grounding, and endurance.
  • Physical Attributes: Strong, sturdy build, with a tendency towards oily skin, thick hair, and congestion.
  • Mental Attributes: Calm, steady, and loyal, but may struggle with lethargy, attachment, and resistance to change.
  • Imbalance Signs: Weight gain, sluggish digestion, water retention, depression, and feelings of heaviness.
If you still aren’t sure which is your Dosha, visit Chopra’s Dosha Quiz.

Sofia Health connects you to traditional, integrative, nutritional, holistic, and spiritual healing professionals to help you personalize your fitness journey.

How To Determine Dosha Imbalance

Dr. Sheila Patel explains how Ayurveda is an observational science describing natural patterns and correlations between human behavior, physiology, and nature. Michelle shares her personal experience with Ayurveda, highlighting how identifying imbalances and applying specific lifestyle changes can lead to significant improvements in health and well-being.

They further discuss how modern factors like genetics and lifestyle choices can influence dosha imbalances, emphasizing the importance of personalized approaches to restore balance. The conversation touches on practical recommendations for managing imbalances, such as adjusting daily routines, dietary choices, and stress management techniques tailored to individual dosha profiles. Through analogies and real-life examples, the speakers illustrate how Ayurveda offers a holistic framework for understanding and addressing health concerns, empowering individuals to take proactive steps toward achieving balance and vitality.


More from Sofia Health

Check out the full episode of the Sofia Unfiltered podcast, "Ayurveda: An Introduction to the Doshas with Dr. Sheila Patel (Pt. 1)", available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Podcast by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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