Understanding Kapha-Vata Dosha
While kapha dosha comprises of the elements of water and earth, vata dosha comprises of the elements of space and air. The kapha-vata combination therefore exhibits qualities of coldness, heaviness, rigidity, and dullness, as well as dryness, lightness, and mobility. These qualities give kapha-vata individuals a creative bend that is still calm and flexible. When your doshas are balanced, you are likely to have a pleasant disposition and nurturing temperament.
Risk Factors that Cause Imbalance
The risk factors for a kapha-vata constitution can vary during the year because of seasonal influences on doshas. Kapha dosha tends to be aggravated during the months of spring and late winter, resulting in imbalances. Both kapha and vata can be aggravated by the consumption of cooling or cold foods and beverages. Kapha aggravation is also associated with irregular sleep hours, inadequate rest, and inappropriate food choices. Self-indulgence and sedentary lifestyle choices can also put you at risk of kapha aggravation.
Vata dosha tends to be aggravated during the latter portion of autumn and the winter months, resulting in imbalances. Following erratic schedules, with irregular sleep hours, inadequate rest, and inappropriate food choices can exacerbate the problem, increasing vata levels.
Signs of Imbalance
When dealing with a dual dosha constitution it is important to recognize the specific dosha that is aggravated. Keeping this in mind, the warning signs of imbalance can be divided into 2 categories:
- Rapid weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Frequent respiratory problems including sinusitis, common cold, and flu
- Chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis
- Feelings of fatigue and sleepiness despite sleeping longer hours
- Frequent bouts of indigestion and bloating
- Stiffness of the joints during the mornings
- Loss of focus and increased feelings of boredom and lethargy
- Overwhelmed by feelings of greed and possessiveness
- Increased dryness of both hair and skin
- Poor circulation and cold extremities
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Frequent bouts of indigestion including bloating and constipation
- Increased stiffness of the joints and lower back pain
- Difficulty falling asleep or impaired sleep
- Increased anxiety and restlessness
- Forgetfulness and a lack of focus
- Loss of energy and lower endurance
- Increased menstrual cramping vaginal dryness
Balancing a Kapha-Vata Constitution
No matter your dosha type, Ayurveda offers detailed recommendations on the ideal daily routine, diet, and yoga activities to preserve an optimal balance of doshas. As a kapha-vata type individual here’s an overview of the lifestyle changes needed to promote a healthy dosha balance for better health and wellbeing.
Kapha-Vata Balancing Daily Routine
Dinacharya or daily routine is an important concept in Ayurveda and you need to follow a routine that is best suited for your dosha type. The ideal kapha balancing daily routine would see you start your day by around 5 – 6:00 am. It would be best to wake up earlier during the late winter and spring months, while you can awake later during late autumn and winter. Your day should start with elimination of bodily wastes. This is followed by a cleansing routine, abhyanga, meditation, and so on before you proceed with your working day. For a more detailed account of your recommended daily routine with morning, mid-day, and evening schedules check out our Kapha-Vata Balancing Daily Routine page.
Shirodhara treatment – Ayurvedic oil massage
Kapha-Vata Balancing Diet
Every food and beverage contains unique properties that influence the way they interact with the three doshas. While Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a wholesome diet that includes every food group, it lays down clear guidelines for the specific foods to support your unique constitution.
A glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with grapefruit slices
As a kapha-vata type, it is advisable that you opt for heating foods, served either hot or warm. The intake of cold foods and beverages can aggravate both kapha and vata, which is why their intake is best restricted. Heating and warm foods on the other hand will help calm your dominant doshas and stimulate agni, improving digestion and lowering the risk of respiratory congestion.
In Ayurveda, foods are also classified into categories on the basis of tastes, as specific tastes have unique influences on each of the doshas. While sour and sweet tasting foods aggravate kapha, they have the exact opposite effect on vata. On the other hand, foods with a bitter or pungent taste pacify kapha and aggravate vata. For a more detailed account of the dietary recommendations for your unique doshic makeup, visit our Kapha-Vata Balancing Diet page.
Kapha-Vata Balancing Yoga
As is the case with diet and eating habits, your yoga routine also needs to encourage those qualities that are in contrast to your dosha. As both kapha and vata share the quality of coldness, your asanas should have a heating influence. In case of kapha aggravation, you should up the intensity of your routine to provide an energizing influence. On the other hand a vata aggravation would require asanas that have a stabilizing or grounding influence.
Group yoga lesson – practicing the Vrksasana pose
As a kapha-vata type, your asana routines should include headstands, standing poses, and other movements that emphasize balance. During the months of (kapha season) increase the intensity of your workout to counter any aggravation of kapha levels. You can take it slow and focus on stability instead during the months of (vata season) to avoid vata aggravation. Some of the best poses for a kapha-vata routine include the Tadasana, Vrksasana, Trikonasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Utkatasana, and so on. For a more detailed account of the yoga asanas, sequences, and other recommendations for your unique doshic makeup, visit our Kapha-Vata Balancing Yoga page.
Kapha-Vata Balancing Herbs
Ayurvedic herbs are commonly used to treat a variety of health conditions. But, these herbs also have an important role to play in the maintenance of health through their dosha balancing effects. Ayurvedic herbal products are in fact the most effective solution to countering imbalances in doshas, as and when they arise. Ayurvedic herbs are carefully classified on the basis of their therapeutic properties, tastes, and other qualities that have a direct influence on the three doshas.
The most effective herbs for balancing doshas in kapha-vata individuals include Bael, Fenugreek, Palasha, Karanja, and Clove, among others. For more detailed information on Ayurvedic herb recommendations for your dosha type, visit our Kapha-Vata Balancing Herbs page.
- Cavanagh, Danny, and Carol Willis. Essential Ayurveda: A Practical Guide to Healthy Living. Ayurveda UK, 2004.
Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Three Rivers Press, 1999.
- Frawley, David, et al. Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice. New Age Books, 2003.
- Khare, C P. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. 1st ed., Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2004.
The information on this page has been contributed by Dr. Pratik Bhoite, M.D. (Ayu), M.S. (Couns.&Psy.) and is intended for the sole use of Allayurveda. Information contained within this article may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of Allayurveda.