Balancing Principles

The Three Doshas Function Together in Cycles, Giving Rise to All the Rhythms & Patterns in Nature

From the movement of the galaxies to the orbits of planets and the spin of electrons, the revolving patterns of the doshas are EVERYWHERE

The seasons come and go in cycles, days and nights flow in cycles....tides....cells....heart-beats....the stages of our lives...ALL are governed by repeating, sequential cycles of the doshas. The cycles of spring and youth, for example, are dominated by Kapha Dosha; Summer and adulthood by Pitta Dosha; Winter and old age by Vata Dosha. For an explanation of the three doshas, SEE LINK: Five Elements & Three Doshas

The myriad cycles of the doshas generate waves of opposite qualities to keep life in balance

In nature, Winter balances summer; night balances day; rest balances activity. Everything we do and experience in life affects our doshas—even the influences that come from the environment.

  • We can restore balance to a dosha by applying the opposite of the quality that is increasing. If something is too hot (pitta), we can increase cold or cool (vata and kapha); if something is too wet (kapha and sometimes pitta), we can increase dry (vata); if something is too heavy (kapha), we can increase light (vata) or heat (pitta). A balanced state of vata, pitta, and kapha is the key to our well being and good health.

  • Experiencing the field of pure consciousness directly, through daily meditation, helps to balance all the doshas because the unified field is a field of evenness and wholeness, where all the qualities of the doshas (all the opposites) are together in perfect balance. But the deepest imbalances require the help of authentic ayurveda, to remove the excess (imbalanced) doshas that have built up over a long time.

Riding nature's waves with our activities and routines

Ayurveda tells us how we can make use of the dosha cycles to maximize the health-giving power of daily and seasonal routines and activities. For example, early morning is a strong vata time of day because the whole environment is waking up then (alertness is a quality of balanced vata). If we wake up too during this time, we will be clear and light (good vata qualities) which brings us easily out of the kapha heaviness of sleep. And meditation will be more refined and subtle then, due to vata's balanced alertness. But if we sleep late in the morning and wake up during kapha time, the heaviness of sleep (kapha) will combine with the steady, non-moving kapha qualities of the time of day, and we'll feel groggy and dull.

At mid-day, Pitta Dosha is at it's peak, because the sun is high and strong then. This is the best time for the main meal of the day because digestion is strengthened by the sun's good pitta influence at that time. A different type of pitta cycle occurs in the middle of the night, when the body metabolizes and regenerates itself. If we are sound asleep during this time, the body's rejuvenation cycle is profound. However if we stay up too late we'll miss it, as this type of pitta functioning requires a resting, sleeping physiology.

There are three seasonal cycles every year, one for each of the three doshas. Because each season lasts a good while, we have to be more alert at those times to balance the seasonal qualities that will increase over time in our physiology. Depending on our natural dosha makeup, there will always be one or two seasons where we naturally thrive, due to the balancing effect those dominating qualities bring us. Spring is Kapha Season, when the earth is cool, moist, strong, and full of new life. Summer is Pitta Season when the environment heats up and energizes. Winter is Vata Season when the vata qualities of cold, dry, rough and windy increase.


  • 6 am – 10 am & 6 pm – 10 pm are Kapha cycles. Kapha is heavy, solid, stable, and strong. Morning is stable and heavy. Evening is settled, calm, and slow.

  • 10 am – 2 pm & 10 pm to 2 am are Pitta cycles. Pitta is hot and energetic. Mid-day is hot and energetic. Mid-night is a quieter pitta cycle when the body metabolizes (internal rebuilding and cleansing cycles at that time).

  • 2 pm – 6 pm & 2 am – 6 am are Vata Cycles. Vata is light, changing, and moving. Early morning is a transition time in nature, when the world is waking up and everything is light, fresh, and alert. Late afternoon/early evening is another transition time when day changes into night and everything is clear and alert.


  • Kapha Season is during early spring—the weather is wet and cool.

  • Pitta Season is during summer and early fall—the weather is hot and bright.

  • Vata Season is during the late fall and winter—dry, cold, windy weather

During every 24 hour period there are two repeating cycles of all three doshas. And there are three full seasonal cycles each year. Taking advantage of their revolving qualities is very much like catching a good wave that carries us towards a better, healthier life.

When the Doshas Go Out of Balance

Since the natural state of the doshas is balance & health, how do imbalances occur?

Each dosha has its proper place and function in every area of life, both in the universe and in our bodies. If situations arise where there is too much buildup of any dosha, imbalances occur and that overload will spill over into areas where a dosha does not belong, harming its own functions as well as the functioning of other doshas in the process.

  • Vata is called the LEAD dosha in Ayurveda, because it is responsible for movement and change, and is thus the main source of imbalance or instability in all the doshas. The other doshas, especially kapha, are much more stable than vata, so it is vata which leads the way for both good and bad transformations. This is why balancing vata is KEY for everyone, and every situation, in healing. "Even when excesses of pitta or kapha are causing significant problems in the physiology, the transporter (carrier) is always vata. So, if we treat vata and pacify it well, 90% of the needed treatment is accomplished." Dr. Krishna Raju

  • We can think of the three doshas as a team. They work together, but each one has their own distinct jobs and territories to take care of to support the whole team. If any 'team-member' works too hard and takes on too much, or forgets his duties and place, problems result. Primarily, vata is responsible for all movement and change; pitta governs heat and energy; and kapha provides stability and structure—no physical form can exist or function without all three components, working together. If any of these qualities becomes too strong or rises up in the wrong place, the synergy (wholeness) of the team is impaired.

  • In nature, we can see this occurring when the sun's heat (pitta) is too strong, harming the moistness (kapha value) of the earth and leaving the soil too dry (excess of vata). The buildup of impurities in the atmosphere in the case of global warming, or in our bodies as well, is the ultimate cause of imbalance in the doshas. Too much pitta in the stomach, for example, is a dosha overload that will harm digestion (excess acidity) but the culprit is mainly impurities built up from wrong food or wrong eating habits that create an overload of undigested food (ama) in the system. It is important to note that the impurities themselves (toxins, pollution) also come from the excessive buildup of vitiated, imbalanced doshas. Fortunately, the body, and our planet, have powerful restorative capabilities. And this ability is what ayurveda puts to good use so effectively for healing.

The Principle of Opposites

Apply the "PRINCIPLE OF OPPOSITES" to bring the doshas back into balance

Removal of impurities is a powerful "opposite" for both the planet and our bodies for restoring balance, be it cleaning up pollution in the environment (excess heaviness) or removing toxins from the body (the heavy, stickiness of ama). Although these both seem to be qualities of excessive kapha (heavy, sticky like glue), toxins can also build up through excess of vata, like noxious gasses or excessive change, or through excess of pitta from acrid chemicals, trapped heat or inflammation, etc.

The Principle of Opposites also shows us how we can balance activity (vata) by taking rest (kapha). In contrast, we can use the opposite influence (more activity) to keep kapha from becoming too steady and still (dull). A warm, moist, unctuous diet will increase the opposite qualities of pitta and kapha to reduce an aggravated vata situation (dry skin and joints). And if pitta is too strong we can favor the sweeter, cooler tastes in our diet and reduce hot/spicy & sour foods.

Like Increases Like

"LIKE INCREASES LIKE" is an important extension of the Principle of Opposites

It can help us understand how imbalances develop in our lives, as well as how to avoid or reverse them. Some examples to make this point clear:

  • If we don't get enough rest and are under stress, or work too much and don't take regular meals (all vata qualities), Vata Dosha becomes too strong and imbalances result (too much change for the mind and body to handle). We can balance the situation by doing the opposite things: increase rest, avoid stress, reduce our work-load, eat on time and don't go hungry...all of which increase kapha.

  • In contrast, too much sleep (increasing kapha), not much exercise (reducing vata and pitta) or focus (reducing pitta), and a heavy (kapha increasing) diet brings on too much Kapha Dosha, so dullness and kapha health problems will result. Again, we can do the opposite to reduce or pacify kapha in our lives and keep it balanced.

  • Since Pitta Dosha is energetic and focused, and especially if we are already very pitta, we can avoid aggressive (pitta-sharp) situations and pushing ourselves too hard (pitta-heat and ambition) by relaxing more out in nature (kapha) and taking breaks (kapha) and breathing in fresh air (vata) to keep our pitta even.

In panchakarma, the Principle of Opposites and Like Increases Like are applied in highly concentrated form through the different treatment modalities. Ayurveda also gives us powerful tools for promoting balance and health through diet, routine and more, using these principles.

Proper Dosha Balance is Different for Everyone

Each person & stage of life has a different natural dosha balance

  • Childhood, for example, is dominated by Kapha Dosha: children, particularly babies, are soft and sweet and chubby (all kapha qualities). Kids need plenty of fresh air (vata) and exercise (vata and pitta), and not too many sweets (kapha). And youth is the ideal time for education (pitta focus, kapha retention, and vata stimulation)—all of which are good for Kapha Dosha.

  • In applying the formula (opposites balance) it is also important to consider the inherent dosha makeup of our own physiology, which varies from person to person and at different times of life, as this plays an important role in determining what foods and activities are good for us.

  • If we think we are a "vata" or "vata-pitta" body type, for example, and only address (balance) those doshas with our diet and activities, we may miss the need to balance kapha dosha for an important problem and could end up aggravating that unintentionally.

  • It is much safer, and more accurate, to become more self-referral (in tune with ourselves) and learn to feel what the body needs for how to eat and live, along with following the guidelines for staying balanced that the vaidyas have laid out for us.

The Raju Family vaidyas do not recommend overdoing body-typing (lifelong prakriti) because diagnosing imbalances (vrikriti) is a very complex skill and can only be done properly through advanced pulse diagnosis.

Balance Your Doshas through "Self Referral" Activities

How to become more self-referral?

  • Follow the Ayurveda Ideal Daily Routine ~ Dinacharya

  • Do abhyanga every day ~ Self Abhyanga

  • Meditate daily:

  • Practice self pulse technique often: Self-Pulse Technique

  • Take rasayanas daily, as recommended by the vaidyas, to cleanse and restore the cellular memory/inner smriti: Herbal Preparations

  • Learn and practice daily Raju Self-Marma Therapy to clear and balance the energy centers in the mind and body: Self Marma Therapy

  • Do a good panchakarma annually if possible, or at least from time to time. Cleansing the body thoroughly with proper PK removes the toxins that prevent us from being in good tune with ourselves and our body's needs: Panchakarma

  • Consult with the vaidyas every 6 - 12 months to clarify what Ayurveda can do for you and your well-being ~ contact ~ Schedule an Appointment