The Subdivisions of Vata - Pitta - Kapha

3 Doshas

We've seen that the Three Doshas are the abstract building blocks from which manifest creation arises. Vata represents movement. Pitta represents metabolism and transformation. Kapha represents structure. In executing their functions in the physiology, each of these has five divisions. They are known as the Subdoshas because they can be felt in the radial pulse just below the surface level.

Subdoshas of Vata
Division Functions Common Signs of Disturbance
Prana Respiratory & nervous systems Anxiety, insomnia, monkey mind, asthma
Udana Upward force Acid reflux, stuttering
Samana Movement of Agni Impaired digestion
Apana Downward force Constipation, menstrual or genito-urinary problems
Vyana Circulation of blood and nerve impulses Raynaud's, hypertension, arrhythmia, tremor, panic

Subdoshas of Pitta
Division Functions Common Signs of Disturbance
Pachaka Initial digestion of food Hyperacidity; weak digestion with Ama
Ranjaka Conversion of Rasa to Rakta Liver disorders, anemia
Sadhaka Digestion of experience & fulfillment of desires Heartbreak, anger, heart disease
Alochaka Inner and outer vision Eye problems
Bharajaka Skin health Rashes

Subdoshas of Kapha
Division Functions Common Signs of Disturbance
Kledaka Stomach lubrication Indigestion
Avalambaka Supports heart and low back Heart, lung or spine disorders
Bodhaka Lubrication of mouth and throat Hoarse voice
Tarpaka Lubrication of brain & spinal cord Brain fog, headache, sinus congestion, greed
Shlesaka Lubrication of joints Arthritis, edema

Disturbance of the Subdoshas occurs when surface imbalance penetrates deeper into the physiology and begins to localize. Further progression into the tissues (Dhatus) will set the stage for disease. Here as elsewhere, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Ayurvedic guidelines for a health-promoting daily routine, healthful eating habits, life supporting behaviors, and seasonal detoxification can make a big difference. It also helps to deal with the specific factors that may have caused the imbalance.