The doshas are the three bio-energies of the body that determine and shape our basic constitution. The Ayurvedic system analyzes the human body on the basis of the existence of these elements, and knowledge of the elements is essential to understand the interrelation of the mind, body, and spirit in the language of the Doshas. The Vata-Kapha or Kapha-Vata dominance simply means that both Kapha and Vata doshas are very active and express themselves equally in an individual.
Understanding how Vata & Kapha work Individually in our bodies
Vata Dosha, commonly translated into “that which moves things”, is driven by the Air and Ether (space) elements. Its force in nature is the Wind. If you have a dominance of Vata dosha, movement and change are characteristics of your nature. Vata dosha is characterized as being cold, light, dry, moving, quick, clear, and subtle. In the body, it governs the nervous network, the transportation of fluids, blood, lymph, hormones, and foods to the digestive tract. It controls every single movement of the body, from blinking to breathing, everything. In the mind, it governs brainpower and aids in the transmission of information. Read in detail about Vata dosha here.
Kapha Dosha, translated as “that which binds”, is composed of the water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for mucus, water retention, and accumulation of fat in the body.
It provides structure, stability, rigidity and is responsible for lubrication in the body. Although it is found in the entire body, the main location, also known as the seat of the dosha for Kapha is in the region around the chest. Read more about Kapha Dosha here.
Physical Characteristics of a Vata-Kapha Dominant
Body Frame & Weight
With both of the powerful doshas in action, Vata-Kapha individuals have a comparatively well-proportioned body frame. With lean and tall musculature you have a moderate muscle build-up. Your weight tends to fluctuate and your tendency to workout may depend upon your mood and yet you mostly avoid sipping the gym as a good sweat sesh makes you very happy.
Skin, Eyes & Hair
With a round to long oval face, you may suffer from excess sebum production, oiliness, or dryness more frequently due to oily to dry skin type. Other than that, your complexion is tejaswi ( bright ) and attractive. Your eyes may be medium to large, almond-shaped with a soft, sharp, captivating gaze. Your hair may be moderately thick, dry in texture, or silky with frequent hair fall and greasiness if not taken proper care of.
Warm, cooked meals are what your body desires. Your digestion is unpredictable and your appetite can be overcritical. But the creative Vata energy always keeps you on your toes experimenting with various different dishes. Your tendency to overeat leads to a slow sluggish metabolism. We suggest sticking with fresh warm homecooked and see a difference.
You can also find out ways of improving your metabolic fire or ‘Agni’ here.
Sleep & Stamina
With powerful Kapha and Vata energies, you have to strike balance to control the curious wandering mind with steady Kapha energy. Both the doshas perfectly balance each other in every other task to maintain an equilibrium and avoid imbalance.
As far as sleep is concerned, you may experience moderate sleep. Sleep may come to you with ease and you naturally tend to sleep moderately for about 5 hours. Oversleeping may seep in lethargy while less sleep invites crankiness.
Both the doshas equally contribute to all your physical as well as emotional traits so up and downs in the mentioned characteristics may be observed depending upon the percentage of dosha dominance.
Emotional Characteristic of a Vata-Kapha Types
Both, the Vata and Kapha energies in action strive to maintain a mental equilibrium in order to avoid burnout. The grounding Kapha nature always balances the active Vata energy.
Vata-Kapha types are determined but may find it difficult to complete the task given to you on time. You strive to achieve perfection but know when to stop and appreciate the process as well as the progress.
People with dominant Vata-Kapha doshas also tend to be intelligent and curious with a thoughtful and calm mind. They have this urge to learn everything at once and that what makes you unique from the rest.
When out of balance you tend to be lethargic, unmotivated or you tend to work hard on yourself without realizing the damage that it creates. You’re inclined towards extreme tiredness and fatigue or staying curled up in bed for the whole day in case of an emotional outburst.
Tips for Vata-Kapha dominants
The first and very important lifesaver tip is to maintain a daily routine. A daily routine helps you to maintain a balance in everyday life, which helps you to actively avoid chaos and bring in much-needed stability.
Read about the Ayurvedic daily routine- The Dinacharya here.
What we eat determines who we are, so maintaining a well-balanced diet is absolutely necessary to stay balanced. Include more sweet, bitter taste with spicy in moderation, and try including more fresh fruits, veggies, and legumes in your diet. Spices make life better and easier so make sure you’re having some digestive spices like ginger or cumin in your meals. Make it spicy but keep it in moderation.
Recommended Vata Kapha foods include:
- Fruits and vegetables: avocado, peppers, sweet potato, spinach, cooked carrots, caramelized onion, zucchini, mangos, oranges, dates, grapefruit, guava, peaches, artichoke, cauliflower, apples, pears, cranberries, etc.
- Dairy and fats/oils: ghee, yogurt, soft cheeses, boiled whole milk, sour cream, olive oil, sesame oil, etc.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: nut butter, soaked or salted nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, black beans, lentils, blacked-eyed peas etc.
- Grains: rice, quinoa, whole wheat, oats, etc.
- Sweeteners: maple syrup, honey (in moderation), etc.
- Beverages: room temperature water, sweet and sour fruit juices, tulsi tea, vanilla tea, coffee (in moderation), etc
Remember, moderation is always the key. Eat everything, but in moderation.
Sleep and Movement
Sleep is very necessary for your body to function optimally. Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep. Working out doesn’t have to be tiring. Go for a jog in the park, dance, or indulge in a yoga flow. Do whatever your body likes but don’t skip movement. Exercise daily up to half of your body’s capacity to obtain maximum results.
Other than that, don’t forget to take frequent breaks, stop and appreciate everything around you and take some time out from your schedule to meditate and bring in balance.
Get oiled up
The Ayurvedic practice of Abhyanga, or self-oil massage, is recommended in everyday routine. It is a very calming, nourishing, and stabilizing practice. It is preferable to massage oneself in the morning before bathing. Massaging the body helps people with dominant Vata Dosha to feel calm, especially when using herbal oils. If massaging the whole body is not feasible, at least oil the feet, hands, and ears before bed to ground oneself.
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