Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system based on Hindu scripture. It is a holistic approach to health based on the idea that every person’s unique energy is determined by an individual combination of three doshas, or humors, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Optimal health can be achieved – and many physical, physiological, and emotional challenges healed – by ensuring that your doshas remain in proper balance. Ayurvedic medicine prescribes diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits to balance the doshas.
This article looks specifically at people with a Kapha Vata constitution, so individuals for whom these two doshas, Kapha Vata share dominance.
The page will look at some of the main characteristics that Kapha Vatas share, advice for determining when your Kapha Vata dosha is out of balance, and tips for rebalancing your Kapha Vata dosha.
Read on to learn:
- What is Ayurvedic Constitution?
- What is Vata Kapha Constitution?
- Tips for Balancing your Kapha Vata Dosha
What is Ayurvedic Constitution?
Ayurveda teaches that our bodies are made up of three fundamental forces or humors called doshas. These doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata is the wind dosha connected with the elements of air and ether. It is dry, light, cold, rough, and has subtle characteristics.
Pitta is the fire dosha and has hot, sharp, oily, and penetrating qualities.
Kapha is the water dosha and is linked with both the elements of water and earth. It is cold, wet, heavy, dull, sticky, and hard.Each person is born with a unique combination and balance of these three doshas. But one or two doshas tend to be dominant in each individual.
People with the same dominant doshas tend to share characteristics in terms of their physiology, physical appearance, preferences, tendencies, emotions, and vulnerabilities.
Ayurvedic medicine teaches that each of us is born with the optimal balance of doshas for us as an individual.
Many things in life, such as our environment, lifestyle, and diet, can alter the balance of our doshas. If the balance strays too far from what is natural, you can end up feeling physically and emotionally unwell.
Ayurveda prescribes diet, exercise, and well-being that can help restore balance based on your dominant dosha: Kapha Vata. Discover more about Ayurveda here.
What is a Kapha Vata Constitution?
A person who has a Kapha Vata constitution is dominant in both Kapha and Vata doshas in more or less equal measure, with a less dominant Pitta dosha.
Every individual’s exact dosha balance is different and unique, but it is possible to generalize about people who share a Kapha Vata dominant constitution.
The key characteristics of Vata are dryness, coolness, lightness, subtlety, mobility, clarity, and roughness. This results in individuals who tend to think and act quickly and are highly creative, but can also be prone to overthinking, anxiety, and impulsive behavior.
The key characteristics of Kapha are cold, heavy, steadiness, softness, and stability. They tend to be stable and grounded people who are thoughtful decision-makers, but they can also be slow and lethargic.
But what does it look like when these two different doshas share dominance in a Kapha Vata individual?
If you are a Kapha Vata, physically, you tend to have a medium-sized bone structure and frame with lean musculature. You can also be tall thanks to your Vata dosha, but you have a sensitive metabolic system, so your weight can fluctuate.
You will have a mixture of round and longer angular features. The rest of your features tend to be quite balanced with a moderate skin tone, moderately thick and curly hair, and so on.
Both Vata and Kapha are cold doshas, so you tend to feel cool to the touch, especially your hands and feet, and you can be quite sensitive to cold.
You tend to prefer hot sunshine and a warmer climate. This coolness extends to your emotions as well. You probably have a cool head, but also a tendency to keep people at arm’s length, which can leave you feeling isolated.
You tend to be creative and visionary thanks to the airy Vata dosha and grounded and steady thanks to the Kapha element. This means that you are one of those rare people who not only come up with great ideas but has the discipline and dedication to follow through with them.
Other elements of your opposing personality do not balance quite so well. You are loving, sensitive, and tolerant of others, but also tend to approach your passions with impulsivity and uncontrolled zeal. This sometimes makes you fickle and flighty.
You like to push yourself to your limits and have fluctuating high and low energy. Consequently, you can inadvertently burn out and then struggle to find the peace required to rest and recover.
While you enjoy experimenting with foods and following your cravings for the nutrients you need, you have a sensitive digestive system and struggle with sluggish bowel movements and constipation.
6 top Tips for Balancing Your Kapha Vata Dosha
The doshas work well together when they are in the fine balance determined for the individual at birth. But when one dosha increases or decreases, undermining the natural balance, a person can feel generally out of sorts or become ill.
As a Kapha Vata, you may find that you have energy to burn thanks to their Vata dosha, but then struggle to replenish your energy due to the lethargy associated with Kapha. This can lead to periods of extremely low energy that can be hard to break out of.
Similarly, digestion can become stagnant when the dryness of Vata overwhelms the oily nature of Kapha. This can leave your digestive system physically blocked, and can also block your natural creativity. In contrast, when Kapha becomes dominant, you can be prone to weight gain.
You need to have the self-awareness to understand what is going on with you and what dosha imbalance is likely to be the cause of feeling unbalanced. You can then take steps to correct the issue by increasing or decreasing the potency of one of your doshas.
When it comes to rebalancing your doshas, the main principle to remember is that like increases like, and that opposite elements can decrease a dosha.
Below are 6 top tips for balancing Kapha Vata dosha.
1. Adjust your diet to your mood
One of the fastest and most effective ways to balance your dosha is through diet, changing your balance from the inside through digestion. Ayurveda identifies specific flavors and tastes that can increase or decrease the different doshas.
Kapha and Vata are opposites when it comes to taste, so you can increase one and decrease the other simultaneously.
To increase Kapha and decrease Vata, focus on sweet, sour, and salty tastes. To increase Vata and decrease Kapha, focus on pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Warm foods decrease both, while cool foods increase both.
If you are feeling overstimulated or anxious, your Vata is likely high and your Kapha low. A big bowl of sweet ice cream can help restore the balance. If you are feeling lethargic and need an energy boost, some dry rice cakes or crackers with an astringent flavor could be what you need.
2. Prepare for the changing seasons
We are all influenced by the changing of the seasons and different doshas thrive in different seasons. The change in temperature and moisture levels throughout the year can influence how we feel.
Kapha dosha tends to grow in strength at the end of winter and in spring. This is because Kapha is accumulated and stored in the winter and then is released and flows as temperatures start to warm in the spring.
The fiery Pitta dosha dominates in the summer when both Kapha and Vata decrease. Vata increases in the early autumn and becomes dominant from the end of autumn to early winter.
While cool-blooded Kapha Vata like to warm up in the sun, it can lead to fluctuating energy levels as both Kapha and Vata are diminished in the summer.
Make sure you always have access to a shaded and breezy place to cool off in the summer. If you have ever wanted to try an ice bath, it could help renew your energy.
In the colder months, when both Kapha and Vata can increase in potency, make sure your bed is a cozy and warm place to help rebalance your doshas overnight.
3. Balance exercise with rest days
Vata is an active energy. It makes you feel energetic and even fidgety. This means that some days you will wake up craving a high-intensity workout.
But you probably aren’t good at recognizing your limits and often push yourself too hard. This can result in injury or just feeling burnt out for days afterward.
Kapha has a lethargic energy, which is why some days even tackling routine tasks can feel like a burden. While Kapha energy is good for recovery since it can break down and absorb what you need to nourish yourself, it also means that sometimes it can take a while to recharge your batteries.
As a Kapha Vata, when your Vata and your Kapha are in opposition, you can feel like you are on a high and low-energy roller coaster and it can be difficult to predict how you will feel and perform on any given day.
When in balance, proper recovery helps you perform better in high-intensity exercise when needed.
Let yourself engage in high-intensity activity, but limit the time of each session. Ayurveda recommends working out at 50% intensity, so you don’t want to push too far beyond this.
Schedule at least 3-4 rest days per week. These do not have to be non-active days but focus on restorative yoga and low-intensity activities such as walking.
4. Eat three square meals a day
The dryness of Vata dosha can make digestion challenging. Constipation and irregular movements are common issues, and your stomach can be sensitive to new or unusual foods.
The oiliness of Kapha can help balance this, but its heaviness also means that you tend to gain and hold excess weight when you indulge. You should choose what you eat based on your current digestion.
But in addition to what you eat, consider when you eat. Kapha Vata tend to do best when they have three square meals a day, and when your lunchtime meal is your main meal and your evening meal is lighter.
Eating on a regular schedule also helps your Kapha Vata digestion maintain a regular schedule, so it will limit bouts of constipation. Sticking to three meals a day with minimal snacking in between can also help you to avoid the grazing that can lead to Kapha weight gain.
5. Go to bed early
The airiness of Vata means that you tend to do best when you go to bed early, before 10 pm, and rise early, before 6 am. The early morning hours are often your most productive and creative.
Kapha energy benefits from a lot of sleep, so you will feel your best when you are getting 7-9 hours of good sleep each night.
Committing to this will also help reduce your natural Kapha desire to nap during the day, especially in the early afternoon. Naps should be avoided since rather than making you feel refreshed, Kaphas are likely to feel more sluggish.
6. Learn Abhyanga body massage
Abhyanga is a warm oil massage that can be done as self-massage or by an Ayurvedic massage therapist. The massage is traditionally done with sesame oil, but dosha-specific oils can be used.
While the practice is beneficial for all doshas, it is particularly useful for a Vata dosha imbalance.
The oil is massaged into the joints, chest, and abdomen using a circular motion, and in an up-and-down motion along the arms and legs. The massage removes toxins, moisturizes the skin, and improves circulation, all of which support the proper balance of the doshas.
Abhyanga can form part of a pre-sleep ritual since it helps calm the Vata dosha and allows for better, deeper sleep.
Finding a Healthy Balance for Kapha Vata
Optimal health often depends on finding and maintaining a delicate balance in life. But that balance does not look the same for everyone. What balance looks like for you can depend greatly on the composition, relationship, and strength of your doshas.
Ayurveda is a personalized and holistic medicine that looks to understand the unique dosha composition of the individual and prescribes actions that can help maintain the balance of the doshas.
If you are a Kapha Vata, try the tips above and this guide to see if they help you feel more balanced, energetic, and comfortable in your own skin.