Characteristic of the Kapha-VataDual Dosha Individual
The great elements of Kapha-Vata: Earth, Water, Air, Space
The universal attributes of Kapha-Vata:
- Increased coldness is the prominent attribute shared by both Kapha and Vata. Coldness is underlying in their structure
- Increased heaviness
- Increased dryness
The description of Kapha-Vata individuals below is purposefully exaggerated and extreme, to allow to truly grasp the configuration and tendencies of Kapha-Vata types. Most often, only some of the characteristics are present in a Kapha-Vata person, and only rarely will someone manifest all of the features described.
In Kapha-Vata individuals, the dominant feature is the one shared by the coldness of both Doshas. Other dominant features of this structure are, heaviness which is a unique Kapha attribute, and dryness which is a unique Vata attribute. The qualities of coldness, dryness and heaviness are reflected in the physical and mental structure of the Kapha-Vata individual.
Kapha-Vata individuals can be confusing, since while they show signs of dryness (attributed to air), which they are generally more prone to (e.g. slim legs, on the move, unattached, restless), they also express some oiliness related to their Kapha nature (e.g. beer belly, contentedness, sturdiness, attachment). The missing heat and sharpness of the Fire element in these individuals makes them heavy. Staying focused is very important for their sense of balance; they can certainly confuse any good diagnostician and maybe even be somewhat confused themselves.
Kapha-Vata individuals are usually relatively tall. They will always prefer heat over coldness, wear warm soft andcozy clothes and often suffer in an air-conditioned environment, even in summer, the season they are most fond of.Their need for warmth is physical as well as mental.Kapha-Vataindividuals need heat at all levels, from the environment, from friends and from food. Cold increases both Vata and Kapha and causes constriction and stiffness.The cold causes Vata to tighten and block the flow and natural movement that characterizes this Dosha. Laughter, joy and humor, although they do not come naturally to them, help them free themselves from the seriousness that characterizes them. Interpersonal closeness and warm connections allow them to let go of their inherent rigidity. A glass of wine can make a big difference in loosening them up. As indicated above, these individuals should invite warmth into their lives: a warm environment, warm clothing in autumn and winter,warm food and emotional and mental warmth – to express their warm feelings in words and actions, stay in touch with family, friends, socialize and talk more freely in a relaxed and fun atmosphere, especially when their Kapha takes over and causes them to close up,or when Vata’s dryness increases and disconnects them from the environment. Drinking small amounts of alcohol, especially red wine, helps them relax, let go, be cheerful, talk and be more easy going. Kapha-Vata individuals are warm family people on account of their Kapha part, and as they are lacking Pitta, which is more work and career oriented, they will quite likely be happy living without working, if that was an option.
Kapha-Vata individuals are composed of opposite qualities that create contrast. Kapha (Earth and Water) brings them stability, physical and mental strength, grounding, as well as qualities of heaviness, slowness and laziness. The Vata (Air and Space) brings exactly the opposite qualities of enthusiasm, initiative, the ability to start a new movement, but also discomfort, frenzy, lack of grounding and a sense of fear and anxiety from life itself. They are usually very enthusiastic about what they do and they move easily between periods when they are light, airy and open, to periods of heaviness, slowness, laziness and seclusion. Kapha and Vata are essentially different from one another, and the absence of Pitta in these types makes it difficult for them to maintain a balance. Because of the profound contrast that characterizes them, they must be very careful not to jump to hasty conclusions.
Kapha-Vata types like to exercise and need exercise to feel more mentally relaxed. When they refrain from regular physical activity, their strength and mental integrity are impaired. They may have a hard time starting a workout, but when they start some kind of physical activity, they are overwhelmed with great pleasure. When Kapha-Vata individuals are physically active they can be excellent athletes. This type needs mainly building muscle workouts and only light aerobic training.If their bodies are rigid they should also work on their flexibility. When they sink into heaviness and inaction they may gain weight.
If their Vata is not increased, their sleep is good and they may even sleep more than needed. When their Vata is increased, their sleep tends to be on the lighter side and they can be prone to insomnia, their nervous system can become sensitive and strong stimuli such as noise, light, disturbing thoughts or an unsuitable mattress will interfere with their sleep.
The quality they lack most is heat (a quality that uniquely characterizes the Pitta Dosha),which is why the most vulnerable points of Kapha-Vata individuals are the digestive and respiratory systems. They may suffer from slow digestion and a tendency for constipation or gas, respiratory asthma, allergies, phlegm, dry and hard to expectorate mucus, nervous system dysfunction, neuralgia and neuropathy. Their skin is cold to the touch, especially cold hands and feet. They perspire little and do not have a strong body odor. They will usually be attracted to hot foods and various stimulants such as coffee, cigarettes or alcohol.These stimulants are very harmful for them in the long run and deplete the body’s powers. Their appetite may be moderate and sometimes weak but also irregular and can range from whole days of eating little to days of eating too much. They may find mental and emotional support in food.Their libido may be very low and menstruation in women can be hard and painful, all on account of excessive coldness. They rarely experience a headache, which is a Pitta type excess condition, unless it is inflicted by sinus congestion.
Kapha-Vata individuals who have a stronger Earth element have a heavier build with a solid and muscular structure, although normally not overweight. When Kapha is more dominant,they are mentally stable and physically strong, slow of movement although they have the ability for agility when necessary. They have the power of perseverance, stability, discretion, high containment and a strong memory.Their grounding quality makes them very effective, with capacity forleadership of the quiet style. They have strong faith and the ability to feel love and compassion. They have a pleasant voice, soft round notes, “good eyes” and the ability to reassure those around them.When Kapha is increased, they may have a tendency to accumulate money and items, and can become greedy for objects or people, tend for lethargy, pessimism or lack of enthusiasm.
Vata-Kapha individuals who have a stronger Air element are relatively thin, have dry skin, slightly protruding bones, joints and blood vessels, clicking sounds in the joints,and a sensitive nervous system. They also have aversion to loud noise, an original and nonconforming thinking capacity, the ability to transform and flow without attaching to events, goods or people.When these individuals are balanced, and because Vata and their connection to the Air element is more dominant in their structure, they are capable of transformation and moving around; changing apartments, jobs, careers, spouses. There is a part of them that constantly wants to be in motion. They are interested in many fields, creative, artistic, inquisitive, easily enthusiastic, communicative and knowledgeable, quick to grasp, quick to understand, quick thinkers, spontaneous with a flexible mind. They have a well-developed imagination and they like to daydream. They tend to shower love, but sometimes it stems from fear, a key characteristic of Vata individuals, especially when they are out of balance. Because they are about the ethereal sphere of existence, when their Kapha is not dominant and burdensome, they have a clear vision of reality, an ability to develop ideas, a strong tendency to engage in spirituality and sometimes experience clairvoyance. When Vata is more dominant, these types will be sensitive, sociable and creative people. They need a sense of security, a sense of home, rest and relaxation, where they can let go of the excessive movement which is typical of their dry structure. When Vata is increased and out of balance, they suffer from insecurity, excessive thoughts, difficulty in concentrating, confusion, tendency for disorder and short memory.
Balancing Kapha and Vata
Vata-Kapha types should strive for some routine in their daily life (which can be contrary to their dynamic nature), and they are advised to maintain a nourishing, warm and oily diet, but they must pay attention not to nourish and lubricate themselves too much, so Kapha will stay balanced. Kapha is particularly dominant in winter and spring, so it is therefore favorable for them to maintain an anti-Kapha diet in those seasons. Vata is more dominant in the fall, so a slightly more moist and oily Vata balancing diet is needed during this time. Kapha and Vata types should follow a warm diet throughout the year, as both Kapha and Vata are cold and require heat, they should eat hot flavors: spicy, sour and salty.
Kapha-Vata types will work out well with a Pitta partner.
General Guidelines for Reducing Kapha-Vata:
- Maintain a regular daily routine, regular meal schedules, regular rest and sleep hours, regular physical activity and regular work hours
- Eat three nourishing oily main meals a day, but only when you feel truly hungry. Eat snacks between meals but only as needed and when you are truly hungry and not as an automatic behavior. Avoid holding back your appetite and be sure to eat when actual hunger arises. Eat up to 90% for satiety. Paying attention to your intake will help you to know when to stop eating
- Oil yourself – internally and externally. Be sure to eat oily nutritious and grounding food. Massage your body frequently with warm sesame oil. If there is no time for a full body massage, apply the sesame oil to your feet and hands before bedtime
- Avoid cold food, repetitive sandwich meals, or salad dishes. Prefer warm and nutritious meals
- Be sure to sleep 8 hours a night, going to sleep early (22:00-23:00). At least once a week go to bed really early, at 21:00
- Be sure to exercise every other day, even if only a short activity
- Avoid long siestas, especially after eating lunch. If necessary, rest for 10-15 minutes with your eyes closed and half upright
- If your Kapha is high, avoid eating dairy products and heavy, fatty foods
- Keep yourself warm when the weather cools down
Dosha – a basic function or quality in reality. Vata Dosha function is movement and the principle of Air. Pitta Dosha function is transformation and the principle of Fire. Kapha Doshafunction is formation and the principle of Earth.