Dosha / Sub-dosha
Ayurveda recognises three primary energies or Doshas in the body, Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Together they regulate every physiological and psychological characteristic from basic cellular processes to the most complex biological functions.
When these forces are in a state of natural balance the defence mechanism of the body works at peak efficiency. But when this balance is disturbed due to an incompatible diet, lifestyle, lack or excess of exercise or mental stress, then the body's immunity can be affected. This encourages the growth of bacteria and viruses which will cause sickness and disease.
Vata - represents momentum. It is responsible for all the bodily activities and sensations. It controls the movement of blood through the circulatory system, breathing, the delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal & excretion of waste products.
Location – Colon, bladder, thighs, hips, legs & kidneys.
Qualities – Rough, dry, cold, mobile, light, quick, clear, astringent and expansive
Pitta – represents metabolism. It governs digestion and metabolic transformation of nutrients into biologically usable forms. It also imparts the capacity to absorb ideas and impressions and bestows intelligence and an enthusiasm for life.
Location - Small intestines, liver, gallbladder lower part of the stomach, spleen and pancreas
Qualities - Hot, Sharp, Penetrating, Light, Liquid, Sour, Oily and Fleshy
Kapha – provides substance and support. It gives strength and stability, both physically and psychologically. It enhances resistance to disease and promotes the healing process.
Location - Lungs, upper part of the stomach, heart, tongue and oesophagus
Qualities - Cold, Damp, Dense, Heavy, Oily, Slow, Sweet, Stable and Moist
Sub-Doshas are the intelligences of Vata, Pitta and Kapha that functions within our body.
- Governs inhalation, perception through the senses and governs the mind. Located in the brain, head, throat, heart and respiratory organs.
- Governs speech, self expression, effort, enthusiasm, strength and vitality. Located in the naval, lungs and throat.
- Governs peristaltic movement of the digestive system. Located in the stomach and small intestines.
- Governs circulation, heart rhythm, locomotion. Centred in the heart and permeates through the whole body.
- Governs all downward impulses (urination, elimination, menstruation, sexual discharges etc.) Located between the naval and the anus.
- Governs digestion of food which is broken down into nutrients and waste. Located in the lower stomach and small intestine.
- Governs formation of red blood cells. Gives colour to blood and stools. Located in the liver, gallbladder and spleen.
- Governs emotions such as contentment, memory, intelligence and digestion of thoughts. Located in the heart.
- Governs visual perception. Located in the eyes.
- Governs lustre and complexion, temperature and pigmentation of the skin. Located in the skin.
- Governs moistening and liquefying of the food in the initial stages of digestion. Located in the upper part of the stomach.
- Governs lubrication of the heart and lungs. Provides strength to the back, chest and heart. Located in the chest, heart and lungs.
- Governs perception of taste, lubricating and moistening of food. Located in the tongue, mouth and throat
- Governs calmness, happiness and stability. Nourishment of sense and motor organs. Located in the head, sinuses and cerebrospinal fluid.
- Governs lubrication of all joints. Located in the joints.
As with the treatment I received a year ago, I have gained a lot of benefits; physically my joints are wonderfully improved, my sleep is good and I feel lighter as well. However, I have also received great mental benefits. I started the program in a state of grief and distress and now I feel like a different person. I am calm, settled and comfortable. I cannot express my gratitude strongly enough.
Gaynor Hamill (Auckland, NZ)