Balancing Multiple Doshas

Balancing Multiple Doshas
Balancing Multiple Doshas

I recently posted about Ayurveda and the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). You can read the blog here.


At this point, you may not know yet what your dosha is. Do you want to find out? Just respond to this easy test  – remember there is no right or wrong:

Dosha test
Dosha test developed by Ann Wagoner.


Suppose you’re looking to achieve and maintain the proper balance of your unique combination of doshas. In that case, you first need to understand the qualities of the three doshas and how they vary with the cycles of Nature (please read my previous Ayurveda blog or search for more information on the internet).


That said, keep in mind the basic concept: like increases like, and balance is achieved by bringing opposing qualities to bear. For example, if you are feeling airy, fearful, or anxious ( all Vata symptoms), you should favor grounding foods in your diet, such as cooked root vegetables.


In the initial stage of imbalance, our immediate desire usually pushes us in the right direction to restore balance. However, when imbalance progresses, we can crave the things that make us feel worse.


Any dosha that gets out of balance can disturb the functions of the other doshas. Because Kapha is inherently stable, it is uncommon to find it the source of trouble. When Kapha does get out of balance on its own, it will typically present as disturbed digestion and increase ama in the body (toxins).


Vata, for example, causes four times as many diseases as Kapha and twice as many as Pitta. Alcohol, caffeine, and late bedtime are common contributory factors.


Beyond that, if you have signs of imbalance in more than one dosha, you’ll likely find it helpful to have a consultation to sort out what is primary.


Understand Common Causes of Imbalance


The following table, from highlights the most common factors that contribute to imbalance:


Factors of Imbalance to the Doshas
Factors of Imbalance to the Doshas


Keys to Dosha Balance


Here then are the most critical considerations for balancing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha:


How to Balance Vata


Vata represents movement. When out of balance, Vata causes problems in mind and body related to irregular movement such as variable appetite, constipation, insomnia, poor circulation, etc.


Many individuals with a Vata-influenced constitution love variety, but they need the framework of a regular routine to remain stable and grounded while pursuing and enjoying that variety.


  1. Get to bed before 10 PM
  2. Maintain a regular daily routine
  3. Follow a Vata-pacifying diet:
  • Favor warm beverages
  • Food should be warm, freshly prepared, and unctuous
  • Use large amounts of warming oils such as sesame oil, ghee, butter, olive oil.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and chocolate
  • Avoid raw or gas-forming vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.)
  • Have some boiled milk with cardamom, cinnamon, and ashwagandha before bed

4. Practice daily meditation for a few minutes.


Other Beneficial Practices


  • Pranayama breathing practice
  • Exercise in moderation and not to the point of exhaustion: walking in Nature and yoga are good choices
  • Abhyanga self-massage with cured sesame oil
  • Nasya with cured sesame oil


How to Balance Pitta


Pitta represents metabolism and transformation. When out of balance, Pitta causes problems related to excessive heat and acidity in mind and body, such as acid indigestion, anger, fever, and rashes.


Those with a Pitta-influenced constitution tend to be dynamic, ambitious, and competitive. In seeking to transform their environment, they tend to overdo it. Thus, Pitta often needs moderation.


  1. Cultivate moderation in all things and don’t take yourself too seriously
  2. Get to bed before 10 PM.
  3. Be careful not to over-work or strain the eyes with a computer or TV, especially in the evening.
  4. Take time for play, particularly with children.
  5. Enjoy exercise, but avoid getting over-heated or too embroiled in competitive sports. Swimming, skiing, walking in Nature by bodies of water, cycling, yoga, etc., are good choices.
  6. Protect yourself from the mid-day sun
  7. Follow a Pitta-pacifying diet:
  • Take time to eat a hearty lunch.
  • Favor cool, but not ice-cold, beverages.
  • Food should be freshly prepared and moderately unctuous.
  • Favor ghee in the cooking, along with cooling spices like fennel, coriander, cardamom, and turmeric. Coconut oil and olive oil are also good.
  • Avoid chili peppers, vinegar, salt, alcohol, tobacco, caffeinated beverages, and chocolate.
  • Before bed, have some milk previously boiled with a bit of ghee, saffron, cardamom, and sugar, once cooled to a comfortable temperature.

8. Practice mediation.


Other Beneficial Practices


  • Pranayama breathing practice
  • Abhyanga self-massage with coconut oil on the head and cured sesame oil on the body
  • Nasya with ghee or cured sesame oil


How to Balance Kapha


Kapha represents structure. By Nature, Kapha is stable, slow, and resistant to change. That is both a blessing and a curse. When out of balance, Kapha causes problems in the mind and body related to accumulation and stagnation, such as obesity, slow digestion, respiratory congestion, lethargy, and depression.


Kapha needs mental stimulation and physical activity to stay in balance.


  1. Get up and get active: take a brisk walk soon after sunrise, preferably in a beautiful, natural setting.
  2. If you have a sedentary job, walk briskly at least 10 minutes every few hours or get a standup desk, perhaps with a treadmill.
  3. Awaken by 6 AM without an alarm
  4. Exercise regularly and vigorously.
  5. Seek out challenges for your intellect
  • Minimize heavy foods
  • Take 1 tsp. raw honey in a half cup of warm water to start your day
  • Favor warm beverages
  • Food should be warm, freshly prepared, and not too unctuous.
  • Enjoy spices, especially fresh ginger.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and other sweets.
  • Don’t eat breakfast if you aren’t starving.
  • Have a light dinner, preferably before 7 PM
  • Start a habit of taking a liquid fast one day a week.

6. Practice meditation


Other Beneficial Practices


  • Pranayama breathing practice
  • Abhyanga self-massage without oil using raw silk or wool gloves
  • Nasya with cured sesame oil




As discussed above, the following table summarizes the keys to achieving balance by dosha.


balancing the doshas
balancing the doshas
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