The fundamental theories of Ayurveda center around the Tridosha concept & Panchamahabutas or Panchatattvas. To understand these concepts we must first understand what Prakriti is.
Prakriti is your body type or constitution. It is determined by the total presence of the 3 doshas in your body - Vata, Pitta & Kapha and has been mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, Chapter 8, Vimaan Sthan. According to the texts of Ayurveda Prakriti is determined at the time of conception when the sperm and ovum are fused. It continues to remain the same throughout ones life and actually determines how one individual is different from another.
The main factors that affect prakriti are:. Nature of sperm, ovum, uterine cavity, diet of the mother, the time of conception & the role of Panchamahabuta.
In Ayurveda in this universe including your own body and mind are made up of the Panchamahabuta - Space(Akash) a feeling of emptiness, Vayu(Air) with movement & activity, Fire(Teja) with power to transform from one shape to another, Water(Jala or Apah) providing the fluidity, softness and moisture to nature and Earth(Pruthvi) which gives the shape, density and solidity to creation.
For any creation to happen, including birth of a child, there must be enough free space in the uterus of the future mother, and the paths for the fertilization of the ovum should also be free from obstacles.There must be movement (the element air) of the sperm to the ovum to make fertilization possible.When the sperm connects with the ovum, the two cells merge into one (element fire) bringing together the codes or information from the male and female together and giving rise to the subsequent division of the new cells. During the division process, the new cells must remain connected as a pair rather than fall apart and this fluidity comes from the water element. Then it takes shape and structure in the form of the embryo and later the human fetus because of the element earth.
Tridosha - combination of the panchamabuta
Vata (space and air): dry, cold, light, and dynamic energy responsible for all motor actions and movements of the body.
Pitta (fire and a bit of water): warm and passive energy responsible for the processes of transformation in the different organs and tissues.
Kapha: (water and earth): moist, cold, and completely passive energy related to density and the formation of the tissues and organs of the body.
Every human being combines these three energies(tridosha) representing the five elements(panchamahabuta). One or two of the three energies could be predominant over the other/s but all three will definitely be present. It determines the differences in the body shape or skin type, the specifics and colour of the eyes and hair, the physiological processes and emotional state, and could even be the root cause for predisposition to particular diseases.
Ayurveda therefore uses this doctrine of panchamahabuta & tridosha fundamebtally to explain all aspects of good health and the reason for diseases.
To know your prakriti or predominance of Tridoshas you can click here.