How I Balance a Dual Vata-Pitta Constitution – Practical Ayurveda

How I Balance My Dual Vata-Pitta Constitution - Ayurveda Tips

Dealing with a dual nature isn’t easy, especially when they are two very different (almost opposite) constitutions: Vata and Pitta. A few years ago, when I was still in the grips of diets and fearful of certain foods, I discovered Ayurveda and read tons of books looking for answers. It helped me learn how to read my body and its symptoms, how to adjust my food to different seasons, climates and even moods or energy levels, and gave me a much deeper understanding of my nature.

The truth is I haven’t talked about Ayurveda for a very long time here, so let’s do it again!

The Three Constitutions (Doshas)

In Ayurveda, there are three different constitutions (called doshas): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Some people have only one dominating dosha, others are a mixture of two, and the very lucky ones are so called “tridoshic” people who have all three doshas balanced perfectly.

Most people fall under the dual dosha umbrella, like me.

Vata is air-ether, it’s cold, light, rough, windy, dry, always moving, irregular, and changing often. It’s kind of like a cold and windy winter’s day.

Pitta is fire, it’s hot, pungent, light, sharp, acidic, and intense. It’s like a hot summer’s day.

Kapha is water-earth, it’s oily, slow, soft, steady, heavy, and cold. It’s like a very cold and damp day in early spring.

If you’d like to learn more about the different constitutions and how to work out which one is yours, I highly recommend these most helpful books about Ayurveda.

How I Balance My Dual Vata/Pitta Constitution

The aim of managing a Vata/Pitta constitution is soothing and nurturing Vata without overheating Pitta. It’s easier to do in the winter but is quite a challenge during a hot summer (plus I live in a hot climate).

So here’s what I do to keep both doshas happy at all times throughout the year:

  1. The season is very important. During a hot summer, I pay more attention to my Pitta side and I allow myself more cooling foods, such as raw foods, salads, ice cream, watermelon. etc. But as soon as the weather gets colder again (where I live it would be from the end of November), I ditch salads for warm soups and cooked vegetables. I eat more animal protein to keep myself warm. During the summer, I hardly want any meat at all (it’s heating) and if I do, it will only be chicken or some light fish or seafood. In cold weather, I naturally start craving red meat and oily fish like salmon for more nourishment.
  2. I take it easy during the hot months and do my best not to exercise or hike too much. If I do exercise, it will be either yoga, Pilates, or weight training, but I make sure I take lots of rest between sessions and I exercise in the morning while the air is still fresh. I avoid overheating and sweating. In colder months, my workouts are generally more intense because I don’t overheat as easily.
  3. During the hot months I try not to go out in the middle of the day, during the hottest hours. Siesta has been invented for a good reason because living in a hot climate, all you want to do in the afternoon is eat and rest at home. I go for a walk in the morning before it gets hot, and my husband and I also love our moonlight walks before bed. Not only do we sleep like babies afterwards but they are very cooling and calming as well.
  4. In the colder months, I make sure I cover myself well if it’s windy and cold outside. Wind is very unsettling for my Vata nature but if I cover my neck, ears, and lower back from it, I find that I don’t suffer from it as much.
  5. I mostly eat cooked vegetables. Even during the summer, if I eat too many salads in a row, I feel my Vata getting aggravated. As long as I stick to cooked vegetables and other foods that aren’t overly heating (safe for Pitta), my Pitta doesn’t get too fiery even in the summer.
  6. Vata is more important than Pitta, it’s like the master constitution, and a Vata imbalance can lead to other imbalances, so I personally always pay more attention to Vata, and by doing it, my Pitta calms down, too. 80 diseases are attributed to Vata in Ayurveda and only 40 to Pitta, so I never forget who’s king here.
  7. Routines and regular sleep and meal schedules are very important for both Vata and Pitta, so that’s what I always focus on (it’s a huge struggle but I keep trying). Routines de-stress and calm both doshas. Regardless of what I do with my diet, if my lifestyle is a mess, my body pays for it every single time.
  8. Both Vata and Pitta are pacified by the sweet taste – that’s what I mostly focus on. Sweet taste in Ayurveda isn’t sweets as we know them. It’s anything from milk, carrots, and grains to chicken and sweet fruit. Sweet taste brings me back to balance almost instantly. That explains why the Paleo diet did so much damage to my health. I was eating too much meat, but the worst thing is that I wasn’t getting enough of the most balancing and healing taste for my body and mind – the sweet taste.
  9. Shatavari is an Ayurvedic herb that balances both Pitta and Vata, so it’s perfect for me (this is the one I use). I talked about it in my How I Healed My Thyroid video, and I still love this herb. I’ve recently started taking it again and every time I do, I feel more relaxed, my skin is more nourished, I don’t feel hot, I’m happier, and I simply feel more attractive and feminine.
  10. I hate anything sour and have always been like this. No wonder why because the sour taste is very heating and bad for Pitta. I get mouth ulcers almost instantly if I put too much lemon juice in my salad or if I eat sourdough bread that is too sour. I don’t completely avoid sour taste because it’s important to eat all the tastes, but I add the sour taste in very small amounts with other foods. Such as a tiny bit of lemon juice or a little bit of yogurt (I always mix it with some coconut sugar or palm syrup because it’s too sour for me otherwise). I only eat very ripe fruit and avoid any that are sour. By doing this, I get zero mouth sores and my teeth feel very happy, too.
  11. Astringent taste is cooling for Pitta but very bad for Vata. Astringent taste is mainly all kinds of legumes (or unripe bananas – I hate those!). I love beans or chickpeas during the summer, but I naturally don’t feel like eating them much during the colder months (apart from red lentils – they are warming, and I love adding them to my pumpkin soup).
  12. Honey and white sugar are heating, so I avoid them. If I eat honey, my throat burns as if I’d drunk very hot tea. I prefer to use coconut sugar or palm syrup because they are soothing but don’t overheat me.
  13. Spicy food is also very heating, and so is raw onion or garlic, so I avoid those, especially during the warmer months. I prefer fragrant aromatic herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, rosemary, etc. rather than pungent super hot spices, such as chilli or too much black pepper.
  14. The luteal phase (the two weeks between the ovulation and the start of the next period) is Pitta time according to Ayurveda, so I pay more attention to cooling foods during that time. That’s when I’m much more likely to get loose stools, rashes, or a sour stomach, but pacifying Pitta really helps. Excess Pita can lead to heavy periods as well, so it’s important to control it.

This sums up my list! As you can see, it’s all very intuitive, my body naturally craves for certain things and foods during different times of the year, but studying Ayurveda definitely helped me understand my body’s signals better. It feels great knowing why my body wants certain things at certain times.

Ayurveda isn’t a diet or a set of rules. It’s simply the knowledge that allows you to be healthier while being very kind to your body and having lots of flexibility to eat and do whatever you like. If you do something that puts you out of balance, Ayurveda teaches you how to regain the balance. I love it!

Do you have a dual dosha as well? Or a single one? Perhaps you are one of the lucky “tridoshic” ones? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading/watching!

Simply yours,
Vita xx

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I only recommend things that I absolutely love myself and feel certain that you would love them, too. If you shop using my links, you will help keep this blog running. Thank you so much!

Speak Your Mind