Kapha-Vata Balancing Daily Routine
Understanding Kapha-Vata Dosha
The three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are the basic biological energies in all of us; these doshas govern all our physical and mental processes. Each dosha is derived from a combination of two of the five elements in our universe (Pancha Mahabhutas) – kapha comprises the earth (prithvi) and water (jal/apas) while vata is composed of the air (vayu) and space (akash) elements. Kapha is often associated with qualities such as heavy, slow, and cold, while vata is associated with dryness, lightness and cold. Since both dosha types are associated with coldness, diet and lifestyle changes are necessary in order to balance this quality.
Dosha Balancing Routine
Many people think that modifying their schedule will rob them of the little free time that they have in their busy work day. However, a daily routine will help to streamline your day and increase your productivity and free time. Don’t try to overhaul your entire life at one go – that can be overwhelming and it is likely that you will abandon your new schedule within days or weeks; instead, make just one or two small changes every week as this will allow you to get accustomed to your new routine.
Kapha vata individuals have the personality traits of both doshas – kapha is characterized with a calm and thoughtful disposition while vata is characterized by restlessness and being in a state of constant motion. Following a regular morning routine will help to shake off any sluggishness and get you ready for your work day.
Woman practicing yoga
- Wake up early: Ideally, you should wake up at approximately six in the morning, just before sunrise. However, if this is not possible due to work commitments and a busy schedule, you can wake up a little later – just make sure that you have a fixed time to wake up.
- Wash your face, mouth, and eyes: Rinse your face with water and then gently wash your eyes. Massage your eyelids using circular motions, then blink seven times and rotate your eyes clockwise and anti-clockwise. Fill your mouth with water and swish it around a few times before spitting it out. Lastly, splash your face with water a couple of times. This routine will help to shake off your drowsiness and become alert.
- Practice oil pulling: Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to improve oral health by balancing oral bacteria, strengthening the gums and loosening plaque from teeth. Oil pulling also helps to extract toxins (ama) from the body so that they can be easily expelled.
- Drink a glass of hot water: Agni balance is important for the kapha pitta dosha type so drink a glass of hot water as soon as you wake up. This will kindle your natural digestive fire as well as help to remove toxins within your body. If you experience sluggishness on a daily basis, you can add a pinch of dried ginger powder to help revive your agni.
- Practice regular bowel evacuation: In the beginning, you may not feel the urge but simply sitting on the toilet can help you have a bowel movement. Regular evacuation is important so that it develops into a daily habit that prevents digestive problems such as constipation which is common in kapha vata individuals.
- Exercise and practice yoga: Regular exercise is necessary for kapha vata people to ensure that the cold quality of their dosha does not become predominant. A daily workout followed by a short yoga session will help to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Kapha vata people excel in the workplace – the lively, fun-loving personality traits of vata are balanced out by the patient, steady, and supportive nature of kaphas. Kapha vata people are excellent team members and the afternoon is an important time of their work day as it is the ideal time for them to engage in meetings and present ideas and proposals.
Retired couple enjoying a post-lunch walk
- Do not drink water with your lunch: Do not drink water or a cold soda with your lunch – this will dilute your stomach acids and impede the digestive process. Instead of water, you can have a glass of buttermilk with your lunch as this will mitigate kapha as well as vata and improve overall digestion.
- Do not work during lunch: Contrary to popular belief, eating lunch at your desk will not increase productivity and could even impede it. Mindful eating will help to reduce problems such as indigestion and bloating and it will also provide you with a brief window to de-stress during your work day.
- Go for a short walk: Kapha vata people tend to get uninterested and lose focus if they stay in one place for too long. A short walk after your lunch will help to break the monotony of your workday and will also help to improve digestion.
An evening routine is important as it helps you transition from your work day to your home life.
Girl moisturizing her skin with herbal oils
- Leave office on time: Schedule your tasks so that you don’t have to stay back after office hours on a daily basis. Working for long hours will ruin your work-life balance and increase your stress levels. This will ultimately lead to imbalances in your doshas and leave you vulnerable to illness and chronic health issues.
- Don’t rush through your evening: Kapha vata people tend to pack too many activities into their evening schedule and then get frantic when they can’t manage everything. Have a regular evening schedule that involves just a few activities so that you can manage all of them with ease.
- Have a light or moderate intensity workout: Kapha vata people have outstanding stamina and can push themselves further than most people. However, regular exercise is essential to balance their doshas and prevent them from becoming lethargic and languid.
- Have a warm shower: Have a warm shower at least thirty minutes after you exercise as this will give your system the time it needs to recover from your workout. Avoid a cold shower as this could suppress your agni. As warm water can strip your skin of its natural oils, make sure you use a lotion or moisturizer to keep your skin soft and supple.
Ideally, you should eat your dinner by seven and sleep by ten o’clock, but that isn’t feasible for most of us so find a timing that you can stick to on a daily basis. Don’t rush through your night routine; instead, allow your day to wind down and come to a close.
A group of friends chatting
- Talk to family or friends before dinner: Communication is very important to kapha vata individuals so spend half an hour talking to your loved ones before your dinner. This will reduce mental and emotional stress and help you relax.
- Have an early dinner: Have your dinner by seven o’clock so that you have at least a couple of hours after that to wind down before you go to sleep. This is especially important for kapha vata people as it improves digestion and reduces the risk of disturbed sleep.
- Have Trikatu after your dinner: Take a trikatu tablet after your dinner as it supports healthy digestion. Trikatu is blend of three Ayurvedic herbs – pippali, ginger, and black pepper. Trikatu is ideal for kapha vata people as it is high in pitta and helps to prevent kapha imbalances.
- Massage your scalp before you go to bed: Massage your scalp with an Ayurvedic hair oil before you go to sleep. Hair oils that contain brahmi or orange essential oil would be ideal as these oils help to calm the mind and support a healthy sleep cycle. Kapha vata people with dosha imbalances often face sleep problems so this simple sleep aid can help you get adequate sleep and improve your mental focus.
How to Recognize Kapha-Vata Imbalance
Due to the dual nature of the kapha vata type, these individuals are likely to suffer from either a kapha or vata imbalance. People with high kapha are more likely to have a sluggish digestive system, which leads to an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness in the stomach and sticky bowel movements, while those with high vata are more likely to suffer from constipation and bloating. A dosha imbalance can also affect an individual’s personality – those with high kapha are more likely to feel listless, lethargic, and dull while those with high vata are likely to feel anxiety and fear, coupled with scattered thoughts and mental stress.
The fast pace of modern life makes it difficult or even impossible to follow the ideal Ayurvedic daily routine (dinacharya). However, making even small changes to your routine will bring you closer to life’s natural rhythms and allows your internal body clock to adjust to the natural rhythms of nature. The important thing to remember when creating your daily routine to balance kapha and vata is that you should start slow and only tweak your schedule once you are certain that you can manage to stick with it.
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- Shi, Shu-Qun, et al. “Circadian Disruption Leads to Insulin Resistance and Obesity.” Current Biology, vol. 23, no. 5, 2013, pp. 372–381., doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.048.
The information on this page has been contributed by Meghna Unhawane, B.Sc. Home Science & Nutrition and is intended for the sole use of Allayurveda. Information contained within this article may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of Allayurveda.