Each dosha is characterized by a collection of qualities that support its particular energetic:
DoshaQualitiesVataDry, Light, Cold, Rough, Subtle, Mobile, ClearPittaHot, Sharp, Light, Liquid, Spreading, OilyKaphaHeavy, Slow, Cool, Oily, Smooth, Dense, Soft, Stable, Gross, Cloudy (Sticky)
These qualities make balancing the doshas very intuitive because, according to Ayurveda, like increases like and opposites balance. When any one of the doshas is aggravated, we can generally promote a return to balance by reducing the influence of that dosha’s qualities, while favoring their opposites. And if we know which specific qualities are aggravated, we can focus on pacifying those qualities in particular, while favoring foods, herbs, and experiences that amplify their opposing energies. The following table shows the ten pairs of opposites most commonly referenced in Ayurveda.