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Dosha / Sub-dosha

The doshas


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.

Vata sub-dosha

Prana Vata - Governs inhalation, perception through the senses and governs the mind. Located in the brain, head, throat, heart and respiratory organs.

Udana Vata - Governs speech, self expression, effort, enthusiasm, strength and vitality. Located in the naval, lungs and throat.

Samana Vata - Governs peristaltic movement of the digestive system. Located in the stomach and small intestines.

Vyana Vata - Governs circulation, heart rhythm, locomotion. Centred in the heart and permeates through the whole body.

Apana Vata - Governs all downward impulses (urination, elimination, menstruation, sexual discharges etc.) Located between the naval and the anus.

Pitta sub-dosha

Pachaka Pitta - Governs digestion of food which is broken down into nutrients and waste. Located in the lower stomach and small intestine.

Ranjaka Pitta - Governs formation of red blood cells. Gives colour to blood and stools. Located in the liver, gallbladder and spleen.

Sadhaka Pitta - Governs emotions such as contentment, memory, intelligence and digestion of thoughts. Located in the heart.

Alochaka Pitta - Governs visual perception. Located in the eyes.

Bharajaka Pitta - Governs lustre and complexion, temperature and pigmentation of the skin. Located in the skin.

Kapha sub-dosha

Kledaka Kapha - Governs moistening and liquefying of the food in the initial stages of digestion. Located in the upper part of the stomach.

Avalambhaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of the heart and lungs. Provides strength to the back, chest and heart. Located in the chest, heart and lungs.

Bodhaka Kapha - Governs perception of taste, lubricating and moistening of food. Located in the tongue, mouth and throat

Tarpaka Kapha - Governs calmness, happiness and stability. Nourishment of sense and motor organs. Located in the head, sinuses and cerebrospinal fluid.

Shleshaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of all joints. Located in the joints.


Thank you so much for getting my health back on track. As a result of my consultations (with Dr Ajit) and the 7 day treatment, I feel a different person not only physically but mentally more healthy with a greater awareness of my body.

Julian Willcody (Maretai Beach, NZ) Panchakarma Treatment

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