I've been studying Ayurveda for the past 3 years and I know that I will be studying it for the rest of my life.
From Banyan Botanicals:
Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India. It is said to be 2000 to 5000 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. The wise seers and sages of the time, intuitively understanding the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit long before the advents of modern medicine, explained the basic principles of Ayurveda.
What is all this talk of Dosha? You have probably heard the word Dosha in respect to your health or personal constitution and have no idea what anyone is talking about. I suggest you see an Ayurvedic practitioner for a real clinical intake and lay off of all the self-diagnosis. And better yet- head up to Kripalu for a retreat and go see Doctor Rosie up there. She is an amazing doctor and resource.
Prakriti is your basic constitution. It is determined at the moment of conception and relates to your genetically inherited physical and emotional qualities. Prakriti specifically relates to those qualities, characteristics and tendencies that are stable. For instance, while you may experience temporary changes, like gaining or losing ten pounds, feeling nervous or irritable, developing a cold or flu, etc., in the natural course of life you will never gain or lose five inches on your height or experience a change of eye color.
Prakriti is enlivened and described by three main doshas or forces: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are loosely translated as Air, Fire and Earth, respectively. Each of us has all three doshas in our constitution, in unique proportions