Everything is made up of the elements, animate and inanimate however only living things have doshas.
Each of the elements combine to form a dosha or humour.
These doshas govern our psychological and biological functions.
The three doshas are:
Vata= Air* and Space / Akaash and Vayu
Pitta= Fire* and Water / Agni and Jala
Kapha= Water* and Earth / Jala and Prithvi
*The dominant element
Each dosha like the elements has a particular function within the body. From the function of the elements we can decipher the function the doshas.
The sanskrit words for each dosha are hard to directly translate into english. So it’s important to understand Vata does not directly translate to a combination of air and space. Rather it is the force that allows air and space to interact within the body to perform appropriate functions.
Could be translated into what governs bodily air. Vata is responsible for movement in the body. For example it is responsible for breathing, blinking, expansion and contraction.
For movement to take place there must be space for the movement to take place.
A good example of Vata within the body is gas.
Could be translated into what governs bodily fire. Pitta is responsible for heat and digestion within the body. For example it is responsible for metabolism, body temperature, intelligence and understanding.
For fire to exist internally within the body it must be contained by water.
A good example of pitta within the body is stomach acid.
Could be translated as what governs bodily water. Kapha is responsible for structure and resistance. For example it is responsible for joint lubrication, strength and immunity.
If you literally mix water and earth together you get clay, something stable and cohesive.
A good example of kapha within the body is mucus.