How to Treat Dual Doshic Types with Ayurveda and Yoga

Dual doshic types can complicate Ayurvedic treatment. We provide a few simple rules for dealing with these that can make treatment more effective.

 

Ayurveda has a brilliant yet simple division of human beings into three primary constitutional types of Vata, Pitta and Kapha that reflect our mind-body type and functions.

Vata types are dominated by the air element primarily, are thin or light in build, nervous, sensitive, quick in movement, and changeable, tending to suffer from cold, dryness and wind.

Pitta types are dominated by the fire element primarily, have a medium build, good muscles, are assertive, aggressive, determined and suffer from heat and inflammation.

Kapha types are dominated by the water element primarily, have a heavy build, carry excess weight and water, are emotional, steady, conservative, possessive and suffer from dampness and cold.

Ayurvedic dosha questionnaires aid in this ascertainment. However, some people who study their Ayurvedic constitution may discover that they are dual doshic types. They contain two of the three doshas in relatively equal proportions, so that they cannot simply reduce themselves to one standard doshic type of Vata, Pitta or Kapha, or follow a health regimen aimed at controlling one dosha only.

They can be Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta or Pitta-Kapha in relatively equal proportions.

Yet if we examine the existing literature on Ayurveda we find treatment is mainly described in terms of one dosha only, not two. Are dual dosha types intentionally left out?  The same is true relative to Ayurvedic recommendations for Yoga asanas and Yoga practices. These are usually described in terms of one dosha only.

Actually the situation is much simpler than it appears to be. The basic rule of Ayurvedic treatment is to treat one dosha at a time. Diseases and imbalances generally reflect the one dosha that is in excess (except in severe or long term diseases, which can be complicated by more than one dosha).

So  if you are a dual doshic type, it is usually best to treat the single dosha that is most disturbing you currently or most in danger of becoming excess by the season or your lifestyle.

 


Rules of Treating Dual Doshic Types

 

There are a few rules to follow, which I have outlined below, that can make this easy to do, so that dual doshic types know how to treat themselves.

The first rule of treating dual doshic types is to treat the single dosha that is currently most out of balance in your life. This requires some ability to understand disease potentials and diagnosis.

Note the symptoms or conditions that are most bothering you and see what dosha these fall under. Usually Vata is the first dosha to go out of balance, while Kapha is the slowest to go out of balance, with Pitta in between. You can examine books that speak of the Ayurvedic treatment of common diseases that will highlight such doshic factors behind the condition, like my book Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide.

 


 

Second, if there is no single dosha currently out of balance for you, best is to follow Ayurvedic time cycles mainly through seasons of the year (though this will have climate variations depending upon where you live). These seasonal charges are actually the most practical way of treating dual doshic types.

Vata-Kapha types should follow an anti-Kapha diet and lifestyle from the winter solstice to the summer solstice (Dec. 21 – June 21), and an anti Vata approach from the summer solstice to the winter solstice (June 21 – Dec. 21).

Vata-Pitta types should follow an anti Pitta approach from the vernal equinox to the autumn equinox (March 21 – Sept. 21), and an anti Vata approach from the autumn equinox to the vernal equinox (Sept. 21 to March 21).

Pitta-Kapha types should follow an anti Pitta approach from around May 1 to Nov. 1 and and an anti-Kapha approach from the around Nov. 1 to May 1.

The same rules can be used for Yoga asana practice, emphasizing reducing any seasonal doshic excess that are likely to occur.

What I have given above is mainly for four season climates. You can also note the condition of your climate overall. In cold, dry and windy regions, Vata will be usually most disturbed. In hot regions, Pitta will be usually most disturbed. In wet or damp climates or locations, Kapha will likely be most disturbed.

 


 

A third strategy is to try to decrease the primary quality that the two dual doshic types share.

Vata and Kapha share the main quality of cold——make sure to eat warm food and stay warm on all levels to counter this. Dietarily this is much like following the opposite of the usual anti-Pitta diet, taking mainly sour, salty and pungent foods. Psychologically this is to stay in supportive relationships, cultivating feels of warmth and wellbeing.

Vata and Pitta share the main quality of lightness.—–make sure to be grounded and steady to counter this. Dietarily this is to follow the opposite of the usual anti-Kapha diet, taking sweet, sour and salty foods.
Psychologically this is to stay close to nature and the Earth and to have proper rest and relaxation.

Pitta and Kapha share the main quality of dampness or oiliness.—–make sure to stay dry to counter this. Dietarily this is to follow a diet opposite the Vata-reducing diet, which is taking pungent, bitter and astringent foods.
Psychologically this is to stay detached, uninvolved and non-possessive.

 


 

A fourth consideration is in terms of the state of your Agni or digestive fire. You must first strengthen your Agni. If you have a weak or disturbed Agni you will have a notable tongue coating and digestive problems. To strengthen the Agni many herbs and spices can be helpful.

Vata-Kapha: most spices are good including hot spices like chilis, black pepper, ginger, mustard, cardamom, cinnamon, as you wish.

Vata-Pitta: only mild spices can be used like coriander, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, nothing too hot.

Pitta-Kapha: aromatic spices are good but not hot spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, turmeric.

These are but a few suggestions, with the seasonal adjustments being most important. But dual doshic types can easily balance the two differing forces involved in their nature on both physical and mental levels.

 

Dr. David Frawley

Latest Articles
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Beyond Mind, Memory and Karma

Memory is the dominant function of the mind and forms the basis of our identity in life. Yet if we can detach from the mind and let go of the memory based ego we can remember our immortal consciousness, our true Self that is not bound by time or space,

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Ojas: The Power of Immunity in Yoga and Ayurveda

Ojas is the ultimate resort of strength, patience and endurance for body and mind. Ojas is cultivated in Ayurveda for disease prevention, deep healing, rejuvenation and longevity. Ojas is cultivated in Yoga for inner strength, determination and vitality, steadiness and focus of mind and a more powerful prana for higher

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Exploring the Inner Cosmology of Consciousness

  The inner cosmos has its own structure as does the outer cosmos. Each reflects the other. In fact, one could say that the inner cosmos creates the outer cosmos.   The cosmos is not something that exists outside of us extending into vast regions of space beyond our comprehension.

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Technology and Consciousness: The Need to Awaken our Inner Being

Can we develop the inner Consciousness to master our powerful new information technology? Or will it come to rule over us through its artificial intelligence?   Humanity has undergone a series of continual, relentless, and powerful technological developments over the last two centuries. Each generation has had to live in

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Management

Economics & Emotions: Artha and Swartha

It easy to say that decisions are best made when we are not acting out of our emotions. Yet emotions play a crucial decision-making role by influencing our minds, however objective we may try to be. At a collective level, emotions play an important role in shaping the destinies of

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Yogic Pratyahara and Psychological Immunity

Pratyahara Yoga   What is the main Yoga practice we can do for developing our psychological immunity, emotional calm, and inner equipoise in these difficult times? First, we must note that the principles and practices of Yoga overall are about mastery over the mind, so they all aid in psychological

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Svastha: Wellbeing in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the Vedic science of life for all living beings, defines health and wellbeing in terms of Svastha. Svastha means abiding (stha) in one’s own Self (Sva). Yet to understand it, we must recognize that this Vedic abiding in our own nature reflects the Vedic view of the universe, which

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Management

Wealth, Money, and Vedic Knowledge

One of the common myths about Vedic knowledge is that it requires an austere lifestyle, where people divest themselves of all pleasures and embrace the life of a hermit. Some believe it regards wealth as evil and shuns it with all its might. While Vedic knowledge recommends the right usage

Read More »
Hindu Deities

The Goddess Kali and the Spiritual Heart

Ma Kali and the Yoga of Knowledge Ma Kali is the primary Goddess of Yoga, the background Yoga Shakti, the power of Yoga or Kriya Shakti. Hers is the force that takes our energy within, which causes us to seek the eternal and lose interest in the outer affairs of

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Shravana: The Vedic Yoga of Listening

There is an inner state of listening, called Shravana in Vedanta, where the mind is silent, receptive and non-reactive, allowing it to access a higher level of communication and learning. This meditative of listening called Shravana holds an inner space in which the real meaning of anything said can be

Read More »
Articles on Tantra

Shiva and Shakti Yogas

Yoga means unification, which is first the unity of all the dualities and contraries that constitute the energies of life. Yoga philosophy teaches us to understand and transcend duality, but this rests upon harmonizing the dualities within us in a transformative state of balance. Shiva and Shakti as the dual

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Yoga & Ayurveda in an Age of Social and Economic Uncertainty

In these times of economic and social uncertainty, Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners and schools have faced numerous unpredictable challenges, and often a significant decline in their revenues. After the global shutdown following the initial Covid outbreak, many Yoga Studios had to close, and many were not able to reopen again

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Ayurveda and the Mind: Keys to Yoga and Ayurveda Psychology

Ayurveda is inherently a psychological as much as a physical system of medicine. Its scope of practice includes both physical (sharirika) and mental (manasika) diseases. Therefore, we cannot really understand Ayurveda without looking at its view of the mind and consciousness. As Ayurveda holds that diseases arise more from our

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Why the practice of Yoga should begin with Ayurveda

Following Ayurveda along with Yoga  helps us gain complete harmony and balance in body and mind so that we can discover our true Self that is one with all. Most people today practice Yoga, particularly asana and pranayama, for health benefits as the primary factor, extending at times to mantra,

Read More »

Dr Frawley's Latest Course>>

The Vedic Secrets of the Nakshatras

In this special four-hour video course, Dr David Frawley examine the Nakshatras starting from their ancient Vedic roots, exploring their qualities, energies, spiritual powers and deities, including much material not available in existing texts. It will also correlate the meanings of the Nakshatras with the constellations and fixed stars.

Learn Ayurveda with Dr David Frawley

Learn the greater wisdom of Ayurveda with internationally acclaimed scholar on the subject - Dr David Frawley (Acharya Vamadeva Shastri). Get a special limited time discount - sale ends shortly.