The balance of your doshas can fluctuate throughout life due to your diet, environment, habits, and life experiences. Imbalances can lead to illness – to live your optimal life, you need to maintain your innate dosha balance.
Ayurvedic medicine works by teaching you how to maintain your dosha balance.
In this article, we will look specifically at people who have a Vata Pitta dosha constitution, exploring at the following:
- What is Ayurvedic Constitution?
- What is Vata Pitta Constitution
- 5 Tips for Balancing your Vata Pitta Doshas
What is Ayurvedic Constitution?
In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “knowledge of life”, and it is a form of holistic medicine that dates back more than 3,000 years. Ayurveda teaches that health and wellbeing depend on the delicate balance of the doshas, or humors, in the body.
In Ayurveda, the three doshas that make up a person are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Everyone is composed of all three doshas, but in different quantities. People are described as dominant in one dosha, but also sometimes dominant in two, or in rare cases an even combination of the three.
Your ideal dosha balance is set at birth and influences your physical characteristics and physiological temperament.
Ayurveda teaches that our bodies are composed of three doshas:
- Vata – The wind dosha, connected with the elements of air and ether – dry, light, cold, and rough.
- Pitta – The fire dosha, connected with the element of fire – hot, sharp, oily, and penetrating.
- Kapha – The water dosha, connected with the elements of water and earth – cold, wet, heavy, dull, sticky, and hard.
Your unique combination of these doshas is part of what makes you who you are. You are likely to be dominant in one or two of the doshas.
While everyone is individual and has a unique dosha balance, it is possible to make some generalizations about people with the same dominant doshas. They often share physical characteristics, preferences, tendencies, emotions, and vulnerabilities.Ayurvedic medicine works to maintain optimal health and wellbeing by maintaining the innate balance of your doshas that you were born with, and therefore your most natural and healthy state.
When your doshas are too far away from your innate balance, you can become unwell both physically and emotionally. Symptoms often start with the digestive system.
Ayurvedic prescriptions to rebalance doshas include diet, exercise, and wellness practices designed to naturally strengthen or weaken certain doshas.
What is a Vata Pitta Constitution?
An individual who has a Vata Pitta constitution is dominant in both the Vata and Pitta doshas in more or less equal measure, with a weaker Vata dosha.
Sometimes if you are slightly more dominant in one dosha, it will be listed first in the pairing, so it can mean something slightly different to be Vata-Pitta versus Pitta-Vata.
The main 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 main characteristics of Pitta are mild unctuousness, warmth, penetrating effects, liquidity, acidity, fluid-like movement, pungent taste, and foul smell. It is the only warming dosha, with the other two tending towards coolness.
People who are Pitta dominant tend to be intelligent and quick-witted, competitive, fast-moving, and often impulsive.
But what does it look like when these contrasting doshas share dominance in a Vata Pitta individual?
As a Vata Pitta, you probably have a slender frame with lean muscle, and some might describe you as wiry. You probably have relatively long and angular facial features with smaller eyes. It is likely that you have combination skin and unpredictable hair.
You are intelligent and quick on your feet and tend to come up with both creative ideas and scathing comments on the fly. You are adventurous and quite impulsive, but have a good sense of self and reality, except where your most fiery passions are concerned.
You are high energy and like to be involved in everything, so you do have a tendency to overexert and overcommit yourself.
You have a strong digestive system and a fast metabolism, but you can be prone to constipation when you break your dietary routine with new foods or by skipping meals.
You are high energy and naturally competitive, and you are at your happiest when you have lots of physical activity in your life. This means that you can have a tendency to overdo it. While you recover quickly, you do need to make time for appropriate recovery.
This problem is compounded by the fact that you tend to be a light sleeper and struggle to get a full seven to eight hours each night. Even when you go to bed late you tend to wake up early and get moving. But missing sleep over time can do damage to your health.
Tips for Balancing Your Vata Pitta Doshas
In some ways, Vata and Pitta are similar and complementary doshas. They are both light doshas that lend themselves to mobility and spreading. This often works well but can lead to too much of a good thing.
Care has to be taken where the doshas don’t mix so well. For example, Vata is hot while Pitta is cold, and Vata is dry and rough while Pitta is oily. Maintaining the contrast between these opposing elements is more challenging.
For example, when Vata Pitta is active and eating well, the Pitta tends to dominate for regular digestion. But when the Vata becomes too dominant, it can lead to constipation, which can be very uncomfortable for Vata Pitta, who tends to be slender and light.
As a Vata Pitta, you probably feel energetic most of the time as your weaker Kapha dosha isn’t encouraging you to slow down. But this can lead to overexerting yourself, especially if you don’t sleep enough.
When a Vata Pitta burns out, it can be hard for them to regain balance because they do not have natural strategies for resting and rejuvenating.
Knowing your doshas, how they affect you, and what it looks like when you are out of balance can help you identify when you need to make changes to your diet or activities to restore your equilibrium and health.
The main principle to understand when rebalancing doshas is that like increases like, and that opposite elements can decrease a dosha.
Below are five top tips for balancing Vata Pitta doshas.
1. Eat a Pungent Diet
Diet is one of the most effective ways to balance your doshas since they are intimately connected with the digestive system. Ayurveda recommends different tastes and flavors to increase or decrease the different doshas.
To maintain your enhanced Vata Pitta constitution, eat a diet with lots of pungent foods, such as chili, since they enhance both doshas. Choose moist curries for your liquid Pitta and black pepper crackers for your dry Vata.
Both doshas can be decreased by sweet foods, which increase the third Kapha dosha. A bowl of sweet ice cream can boost your cool Kapha when needed.
To balance between your Vata Pitta, when you are feeling dry, stiff in the joints, or constipated, choose sour and salty foods that boost Pitta and decrease Vata. When you have oily skin or acid reflux, each bitter and astringent flavors that boost Vata and decrease Pitta.
2. Plan for the Seasons
The environment that we live in can have a great impact on how we feel. Hot and humid temperatures feed Pitta doshas, while Vata prefers the cooler and drier months. As such, those with Pitta Vata constitution can struggle when it is both cold and wet.
Take advantage of seasonal changes by planning your most creative projects for the colder and drier months when your Vata is naturally heightened.
Plan high-energy and highly productive projects for the summer when your energetic Pitta dosha is invigorated.
Boost your Vata in the hotter months by sitting in front of the fan. Going for a swim or eating an ice cream won’t be as effective because you prefer a dry cool. In the colder months, invigorate your Pitta by sweating it out in a sauna.
3. Manage your Energy Levels
As a Vata Pitta, you love being active. This means getting involved in every sport under the sun.
You tend to have a packed schedule and run from place to place. Vata Pittas tend to skip meals or sacrifice sleep for the sake of getting something done.
While it may not feel natural to you, building routine into your day can be extremely helpful.
Your digestion is best when you have three square meals a day at roughly the same time. Skipping meals not only leads to constipation but, because of your fast metabolism, it can leave you feeling lightheaded and weak.
Remember that you need food to refuel after all your activities.
While you may feel energetic both late at night and early in the morning, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need sleep.
Missing sleep dulls the sharp intelligence that you are so proud of and makes it more difficult to physically recover from activities. Since you know that you will naturally wake up early, try to create rituals that will help you get to bed earlier.
Check out our guide to yoga for better sleep here
4. Manage your Emotions
As a Vata Pitta, your emotions can often run away with you. Intense emotions such as anger, passion, and jealousy tend to be the strongest thanks to your Pitta dosha.
This can be exacerbated by the fact that you are highly sensitive to details, and can read too much into things. You are also highly changeable, which means it can also feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster!
You need to find ways to control, understand, and manage your emotions as a Vata Pitta. A good place to start is with a meditation practice, where you let your emotions come up, but you don’t react to them.
A Vinyasa Yoga flow, which combines breathing, meditation, and movement, can be a good choice since you may feel anxious when you try to sit for too long.
Daily journaling is also an excellent outlet for your emotions and can help you make sense of the constantly changing feelings that you’ve had throughout the day.
You can get some of your more intense feelings out in a healthy way on paper, and identify your triggers to better control your behavior.
5. Learn Abhyanga Body Massage
Abhyanga is a full-body massage done with warm oils. It can be done by an Ayurvedic massage therapist, but you can also learn self massage.
The massage is traditionally done with sesame oil, but dosha-specific oils can be used. The practice is beneficial for all doshas but is especially effective for managing the Vata.
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 can remove toxins, moisturize the skin, and improve circulation, which all support the proper balancing of the doshas.
Ayurveda and Your Health
Ayurveda recognizes that there is a core group of habits and dietary practices that are healthy for all human beings, but not all humans are the same.
We all have our own individual needs within that wider guidance for good living.
Ayurveda teaches that an individual’s balance of doshas can provide a significant amount of information about what is healthy and is likely to nourish someone, versus what is likely to undermine their natural energy and lead to imbalance.
Follow the tips above and this guide to discover healthy living choices for you if you are a Vata Pitta Constitution.