Vata Kapha Dosha


The Three Dosha & Our Prakruti or Ayurvedic Constitution

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing dual-dosha prakruti, or the unique makeup of the three dosha of vata, pitta and kapha. The majority of people are dual-doshic, roughly 75% of people, so chances are you are dual-doshic as well. This can create confusion because there are two different sets of recommendations for each dosha, so it can be difficult to reconcile these often conflicting treatment protocols. We have already discussed the dual-doshic types of Vata Pitta dosha and Pitta Kapha dosha. Today we will discuss Vata Kapha dosha.

Vata Kapha Dosha

When someone is told by an Ayurvedic professional that they are a Vata Kapha dosha, they are telling you that you have an equal or almost equal predominance of Vata and of Kapha dosha. Each one of us has all three dosha in our bodies, it is just our unique combination that differentiates us. In fact, every person is completely different and no treatment protocol would ever be the same for any two people.

Oftentimes when we are a dual-doshic person, we will have a primary dosha and a secondary dosha. It is important to take notice of how it is written; is it vata/kapha or kapha/vata. If it is written as vata/kapha or vata kapha, then your primary dosha is vata and your secondary dosha is kapha and vis versa with kapha/vata or kapha vata, your primary dosha is kapha and your secondary dosha is vata.

When we have a primary and a close secondary dosha, the treatment protocols will generally focus on the primary dosha while not recommending anything that would be too harsh or aggravating for the secondary dosha. A person’s vikruti or their current imbalances will also impact the Ayurvedic guidelines a person should follow. It is always best to schedule an Ayurvedic Consultation with an Ayurvedic professional before beginning any Ayurvedic treatments. This way you have the most holistic and comprehensive approach.

There are others that feel that dual-doshic types are complicated to treat since any efforts to balance one dosha could aggravate another. Because of this some people feel that it is best to try and raise the third dosha or the one that is too low, so a vata/kapha or a kapha/vata individual should try to increase pitta or the fire element.

Vata Kapha Dosha Characteristics

Vata Kapha people share characteristics of both dosha. Both vata dosha and kapha dosha share the quality of cold, so warming and heating protocols will be balancing for vata kapha dosha. Because of this cold quality, vata kapha dosha has an intolerance for cold and prefers warm climates. Vata kapha dosha is not as sensitive to cold as vata dosha alone, because kapha dosha’s insulation and balanced nature. Vata kapha people are often tall. The thin and bony body type of a vata person mixes with the solid and well-built body type of a kapha to create mixture of the two, not unlike the medium, athletic build of a pitta type.

Vata has the quality of mobility so vata people are quick and efficient when working. Kapha has the quality of stability so kapha people are determined and steady when working. This combination make a vata kapha dosha person an excellent business person and able to complete complicated projects.

Oftentimes a vata pitta person will alternate between vata and kapha mental characteristics so their manas prakruti or mind constitutional type and manas vikruti or imbalances in the mind will change from vata to kapha and vis versa. A vata person is often overzealous and tends to overdo things, while a kapha person is calm and relaxed. This cause cause a vata kapha person to neglect the pitta quality of discernment and discretion. When kapha is stressed it can often lead to withdrawn behavior and depression while a vata person often experiences anxiety, fear, and nervousness when in stressful situations. Because of these combined qualities a vata kapha person will often experience hurt deeply and struggle with overcoming upsetting situations.

Vata digestion is called vishama agni or irregular digestion while kapha digestion is called manda agni or slow digestion. Because of this a vata kapha person will usually have manda agni or slow agni. When digestion is out of balance, both vata and kapha dosha have a predilection towards constipation so a vata kapha dosha person must be extra vigilante against constipation. Vata and kapha are not pacified by any of the same tastes, in fact, they tastes that are pacifying to vata are aggravating to kapha and vis versa. This is the most confusing dietary recommendations, which are too numerous to cover in this post. However, vata kapha dosha needs warmth more than anything, so warming or hot tastes are best like sour, salty and pungent rather than cooling or cold tastes like sweet, bitter and astringent. Also the sweet taste is most aggravating to kapha dosha and the bitter and astringent tastes are most aggravating to vata dosha. We will discuss in a later post about the vata kapha dosha diet, but stay tuned for next weeks post where we talk about the tri-doshic type of vata pitta kapha dosha.