What if I’m TWO doshas?!

I get this question all the time, “I’m two doshas! How do I know which one to follow?”

(If you’re like, “Wait! What’s a dosha?” – Here is some help)

First, don’t panic! It’s aalll good. Many of us are more than one dosha and sometimes we are two doshas in equal parts. I’ll use myself as an example. I am an equal split of pitta/vata. I have a vata mind; creative, scattered, multi-tasking, inventive. I have a pitta body; medium build, straight slightly oily hair, sharp tongue. I have vata digestion: bloatey, tending toward constipation. I have the typical pitta “I want it my way” desire for control. They play together to make me who I am. Because I know a lot about the doshas, I can pick out where they live in my body and balance them that way. For example because of my weak/variable digestion, I know that I have to follow mainly vata guidelines for food.

So what does one do when they are a combo of both doshas but the tools that balance them are sorta opposites? There are a few things you can do, but first you REALLY understand what each dosha needs to stay balanced.

In a tiny nutshell
vatas need: grounding, moisture/oil, heaviness, heat, and stability
pittas need: soothing, cooling, a bit more dryness, sweetness, and serenity
kaphas need: movement, heat, dryness, invigoration, and spices

Great so what do you do when you are a pitta/vata and one is telling you to stay warm and the other is telling you to stay cool? Or what to do when you are a kapha/pitta and you are supposed to eat hot spices to jumpstart digestion, but hot spices aggravate pitta? THIS is where Ayurveda gets a little complicated and becomes a WHOLE science. This is where the combination of YOU comes in (and probably a good practitioner ;).

There are several ways to manage two doshas but for you to keep it simple, stay in balance with the seasons. Please see the seasonal chart for a happy visual aid. Seasons are the larger nature and we are smaller, so we are governed by them. If you are a pitta/kapha and it is summer, monitor and balance your pitta by having cooling, astringent foods like veggies. Don’t exercise in the hot sun or drink too much booze (heating). But also, mind your kapha by not having “sugars” as your sweet foods (kapha increasing), rather choose fresh fruits to balance both doshas.

I hope I am not making your head spin. Really it will all make sense once you start to know yourself. I know that salads (vata increasing) make be bloatey (vata problem) during fall and winter (vata season). I also know that I might get heartburn (pitta problem) during summer (pitta season) if I have a glass of red wine with spicy food (both pitta increasing).

So my suggestion is, read up about vata, pitta and kapha. If you have questions, ask them and I will do my best to answer. Once you know the three, you will begin to see where each one shows up in your body-mind and you can make food, exercise and lifestyle decisions accordingly. It will take time as your discoveries unravel, so don’t be anxious, just start to notice your patterns. You will begin to notice how certain foods affect you and maybe how stress affects you at different times.

Take this as the start of getting to know yourself. Hooray for two doshas! It’s fun to watch them play together and flip each other over as the seasons go by. Use this new knowledge to your advantage so you can keep yourself healthy. xo!

Questions!?!???! ;)

30 Responses to What if I’m TWO doshas?!

  1. aj says:

    hey monica, first of all thanks so much for this article.

    it has helped me formulate my own mission statement for the kind of workout that i should be doing. i am a classic Kapha(body) and Vata (mind) so using keywords given by you, my workout mantra now is

    “No matter what type exercise i do, it should be an invigorating (kapha) grounding (vata) movement (kapha) that creates heat (sweat)”

    it gives me so much clarity and focus and better yet it feels correct to me.

    thanks so much.

  2. Tom says:

    Hi Monica,

    On every dosha quiz, I come out strongly pitta. However, I’m about 40 pounds overweight, which I know is a kapha imbalance. So do I follow pitta because it’s my dosha or do I follow kapha because it’s my imbalance?
    Thank you!

    • Monica says:

      SUPER great question, Tom and WELL DONE on discovering your natural balance (pitta) and your imbalance (kapha). It’s not always easy to tell the difference – you got it!

      In Ayurveda, we work on the dosha that is IMbalanced. You know you are naturally pitta. You also know that your kapha is high. So because kapha is imbalanced, work on reducing/balancing kapha. Follow kapha diet & lifestyle until you feel more like yourself. Kaphas mainly need to 1) move their bodies, sweat 2) eat lighter fare foods, think Asian-inspired (avoid heavy breads/pastas/cream sauces, etc.,) with a good amount of steamed veggies each day. 3) Reduce or avoid meats, especially red 4) Reduce or avoid sugars/sweeties. This would be your plan for NOW until Kapha goes back down. When you are feeling more of your Pitta self again, you will begin balancing pitta…and you can bring back the grounding/sustaining foods. For now, stay light and follow kapha. You’ll know when you start feeling better. And meantime, ask yourself why the weight gain. Is it stress? diet? not enough moving your body? lack of time for self care? A little bit of all? When did the weight gain start and what changed in your life at that point? While you are correcting, get to the root – look for the roots so you can address those and unravel them. Well done, Tom and keep going!!!

      • Nancy Foreman says:

        Wait! What? Ate you saying that no matter my dosha, if I’m overweight I should eat kapha?

  3. […] we can figure out if/how we are imbalanced today. Make sense? Don’t panic if you are a blend of two. However, if you measure even in all three doshas, take it again because being tri-doshic is super […]

  4. Elizabeth says:

    the seasonal chart does not come up for me – does anyone else have this issue?

  5. Heather says:

    Hi Monica, just found your site today and have been looking around. I took your test, and was wondering – how close do the scores have to be to be considered as having two doshas? Or does it depend on the overall spread (eg, I have v – 14, k – 10, p – 5; does that make me dual because the two are so much higher than the other one?)

    Thanks!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Heather! Welcome to the site! I hope you find the Ayurvedic info here helpful :) Great question. If two dosha scores are almost even, you probably have duel doshas. Your vata at 14 is the leader so you are vata dominant. Secondary dosha is kapha. But! That doesn’t meant you have two even doshas. Example, mine is vata and pitta even scores, so I’m both. Does that shed some light?

  6. natascha says:

    Sorry for the dreadful spelling in my post above, but we have a noisy houseguest at the moment who wakes us up.

  7. natascha says:

    Hi, I have done many surveys. I am a vata predominantly and my partner is a kapha-pitta 50/50 split. I was wondering how do I heal our potential imbalances. My partner seems to have elements of an imbalance of both (weight gain, ridiculously deep sleep and hard to wake from kapha and he has a shorter fuse these days and is far more irritable than normal. He swings between anger and apathy.) For tha past few weeks I seem to have been largely in balace with my vata. I have not been getting bloating or constipation my skin isn’t overly dry and my sleep has been (largely) balancd as has my apetite. I have tension headaches, and minor anxiety when things go wrong but laty I have found myself less able to cope with disagreement and getting angry quickly which is NOT normal for me. What on earth would you reccomend for us? (It’s summer here but it got hot MUCH earlier this year. Thank you, natascha

    • Monica says:

      Hi Natascha!
      This sounds like something larger than I can help solve in the comments here, but here are a couple links that might help. What if I’m two doshas and relationships between doshas. Your partner probably has a shorter fuse due to the heat – so keep him/her cool and sweet! Hope this helps a touch. xo

  8. Mila says:

    I am primarily Vata (slim,bad digestion, constipation). But have chronic migraines, which seem to be due to Pita imbalance. I am confused what food giudence should I use, what spices, life style to follow?

  9. Ashley Chew says:

    So I have just discovered this whole dosha thing & Have been reading The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. I have taken SEVERAL online dosha quizzes. Some say I’m Vata, some say I’m Pitta, some say a combo of both. Is there a test or quiz you recomend that you have found accurate?
    I am assuming I am a combo of both. I would just like an idea of where to start, like which is more predominate, where my problems are…that sort of thing.
    I think I have a worrisome, busy vata mind & I’m cold a lot. I have a pitta temper & similar physical freatures. & I defiantly got a little kapha “laziness” going on.
    What I’d like to fix most is having more energy, being less fatigued. And falling asleep quicker.
    It’s just a lot of info & I need a jumping off point.

  10. Pitta-Kapha, Post Baby says:

    […] Monica! I have two doshas, pitta & kapha. Lately I have been feeling extremely unmotivated and apathetic. I’m having […]

  11. Jules says:

    Hi Monica!
    I have two doshas, pitta & kapha. Lately I have been feeling extremely unmotivated and apathetic. I’m having trouble getting anything done or even feeling like doing anything. How do I achieve more balance?
    I had a baby 10 months ago and often wonder how pregnancy affects your doshas.

    Thank you!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Jules,
      I’m sorry to hear that you are not feeling up to par! Are you getting enough sleep 8+ hours a night? And are you drinking enough water? Pregnancy does all kinds of things, but it’s highly vata aggravating (probably why you are not feeling like yourself) because of all the motion (down & out) that goes into childbirth, the space that is left over, and the movement of all the organs back to their original locations. Follow a vata-balancing diet , get as much sleep as you can, and drink a ton of water. Oh, make sure to get in some daily exercise, even if it’s 20 minutes of powerwalking babe in the stroller :) xo!

  12. jo says:

    Hello
    I have fibromyalgia. I tired of being tired and in pain. I took the dosha test which said I was a kapha/pitta
    soooo…now what
    I don’t have access to a bunch of different foods. I love fruits and vegetables but seem to gain when I eat fruit. I do like salad. I quit drinking soda and reg coffee. I like tea and decaf coffee. I don’t drink or smoke. I exercise mon-fri an hour each morning. yet I still like crud. any advice

  13. Megan says:

    HI! I guess I’m a little unclear–(I’m 50/50 Pitta/Vata) and I have Vata constipation issues so I thought I was supposed to eat for the Vata dosha all of the time. So is the advice is to eat how you are feeling (v, p, k)? If I feel sluggish, eat like a Kapha, or if I feel aggitated, eat like a Pitta– right or wrong?

    • Monica says:

      Hey Megan!
      Yes 50/50 pitta/vata is totally common. You always work on the dosha that is out of whack first. You are correct in thinking since you have constipation, work on that and eat like a vata. That’s an indication that vata is too high – another clue: vata rules the colon. So vata imbalance will start there. The advice is not necessarily to eat how you feel, rather, eat to fix the problem. NOW! If you have no problems, then eat how you feel…because your body will clue you in on what you need. Does that help at all or did I confuse you further? xo!

  14. Megan says:

    Hi Monica! I am equal parts Vata and Pitta and new to ayurveda. I’ve been doing sooo much research and making notes, etc. but I found myself wondering… if I am Vata/Pitta will I have Kapha imbalances from time to time or do I just worry with Vata/Pita ? THANKS and HAPPY MONDAY!

    • Monica says:

      Hey Megan!! You always worry about the dosha that is imbalanced. Fix that imbalance first, so in your case Kapha. And then once you are back to feeling like yourself, manage your daily/life according to your vata/pitta. Does that help?

  15. Erika says:

    Hello Monica,
    I have just starting doing a 5 elements at my acupuncture clinic, and started reading more about it, taking mutiple tests to try and figure out my dosha. I have been trying everything, since in the last few years been struggling with my moods, and 2 years ago diagnosed with endometriosis. I have tried different food varieties and changing my diet. After reding up and then finding your website this seems to make the most sense to me. I also feel that I am very out of balance. I seem to be Vata, with a score of 18 V, 13 K, and 6 P. I have alot of issues around sleeping, constipation, and digestion. But I have also been having issues around moodiness, being impatient, being ULTA sensitive, and aggravated. Alo, I seem to sweat alot more then I use to, but am always running cold. Basically I am sooo confussed. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. I am sorry for the long message, this is all new to me, like new with in the last few days.
    Thank you for listening!!!!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Erika!
      Well the good news is, it sounds like you are on the right track with self-discovery! You are understanding that you are naturally high in vata with pitta not too far behind. From what you wrote here, it seems like vata is aggravated, so you will want to follow vata-balancing guidelines and start there. Choose only like 2 things to work on at first so that they become a habit and then add more. Overall you will want to eat vata-balancing foods, drink lots of water (no ice!), and incorporate healthy fats like ghee (ghee is so good for vata and pitta!). Take a peek at the guidelines and listen to the vata radio show too – I think you will find some good information in there and can start working on it right away.
      Big hugs!!
      Monica

  16. Molly says:

    Hi MonicaB,

    First: this site is awesome!

    Also, I’ve taken a number of dosha tests, and they all come out differently, which I know often depends on the environment. In yours I came out v-12, p-16, K-13. All pretty close, but definitely the most accurate. You said in one comment that having all three doshas is rare, and I wondered if you could say more about that, since I dominate pitta, but not by much, and I want to honor the vata and kapha also!
    Thanks!

    • Monica says:

      Hiya Molly! Overall your pitta is strongest :) So you are a pitta with secondary doshas vata/kapha. Overall, you will follow pitta diet & lifestyle but also pay close attention to balancing your life by the seasons, especially foods. In winter, you can have heavier foods – summer have cooler foods – spring have lighter/spicier foods. The great news is that you are well rounded!

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