We don’t necessarily need to know all the subtle qualities of each Dosha in order to stay in balance. However, having this knowledge can help us when we need to address specific conditions. It also helps us to understand more about how nature works, and how it expresses through our doshas. Each dosha has subtle aspects that express in unique ways to perform various functions.
These are the subtle qualities of Vata: – Prana. Prana is seated in the brain. It is the primary aspect of Vata from which the other four are derived. The word prana loosely translated from Sanskrit means to “breathe forth.” Prana governs swallowing and inhalation, and regulates the senses, mental process, heart and consciousness. – Upward Moving. Udana is seated in the throat and is active in the chest. It governs speech and exhalation. It helps us to expand our consciousness and to relax. – Equalizing. Samana is seated in the small intestine. It governs digestion, assimilation, and biochemical processes. – Pervasive. Vyana is seated in the heart region. It governs circulation and movement. – Downward moving. Apana is seated in the colon. It governs elimination, menstruation, childbirth, and expulsion of reproductive fluids.
These are the subtle qualities of Pitta: – Digestive Fire. Agni is the primary aspect of pitta from which the other four are derived. It is seated in the small intestine. A strong digestion is necessary for the body to transform food into fuel. – Knowledge. Seated in the brain and heart, knowledge concerns our powers of discernment and our ability to plan and to reach goals. – Radiance. Seated in the skin, radiance influences the complexion and governs the processing of heat. – Visual Perception. Seated in the eyes, perception governs the reception of light and sight. – Coloring. Seated in the liver, coloring influences the blood, stomach, spleen and small intestine. It governs the coloring of bile, blood and body waste.
These are the subtle qualities of Kapha: – Calming. Seated in the brain and the heart region, this aspect of kapha helps us with emotional stability. It also improves our memory. – Lubrication. This is the fluid in the joints of the bones. – Moistening. This is the secretion of mucus in the stomach and elsewhere. – Perception. Seated in the mouth and tongue, this shows up as saliva that helps us taste food. It also helps with the first stage of digestion. – Support. Seated in the lungs and heart. The basis of phlegm and other actions of kapha corresponds to the watery essence (plasma) distributed by the actions of the heart and lungs.