Dosha can be translated to mean disturbance, fault, or corruption. They are expressions of and derived from the Five Great Elements (space, wind, fire, water, earth). They form the Tri-Dosha of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Dosha are not Characteristics or Body-Types as often thought.
Everyone is born with Dosha, however each combination is uniquely different and depending on the degree of disturbance it could affect each individual either positively or negatively.
Dosha are energies that carry out the body’s physiological and psychological functions, for example Vata controls all that moves, Pitta manages transformation, and Kapha provides the structure of the physical body. We (and all that is matter) consist of the five elements and hence the three Dosha.
Although we are talking here of three Dosha there are actually as many Dosha as there are people in the world! This is because every combination will be distinctive and unique. Two people with a predominant Pitta Dosha for example, will still be distinctively different from each other. The method to determine this degree of difference is through Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis (Nadi Parikshai).
No matter what combination of Dosha we have, if we understand the body and mind as an instrument of karma and therefore accept and recognise that it has a purpose in allowing us to fulfill our dharma, then whatever we experience will naturally be accepted and directed positively.