What do the results mean?
Any score higher than zero indicates an increase of that particular dosha (vata, pitta or kapha).
The greater the increase, the greater the imbalance for that dosha. For example, a vata increase of 30 indicates a more significant imbalance than an increase of 10. The same is true for pitta and kapha.
It is common to have more than one dosha that is high. If two doshas are elevated within 10 points of each other, you will usually want to decrease both elevated doshas at the same time, before attending to the third dosha.Bringing two doshas back to balance is trickier than if only one dosha is increased. In these cases it may be useful to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Signs & Symptoms Associated With Increased Vata:
- Nervousness, anxiety, panic, fear
- Twitches, tics, tremors, spasms
- Dry or chapped skin
- Constipation, gas, bloating, dry, hard stools
- Low body weight
- Dislike of cold and wind
- Difficulty tolerating loud noises
- Light, interrupted sleep
- Spacey, scattered feeling
- Excess thinking or worrying
Signs & Symptoms Associated With Increased Kapha:
- Excess mucous
- Thick, white tongue coat
- Slow, sticky, sluggish bowel movements
- Increased body weight
- Difficulty rising in the morning
- Feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic or heavy
- Easily attached or possessive
- Overly sentimental
- Complacent or stubborn
- Tendency for "emotional overeating"
General Recommendations For Balancing Vata and Kapha Simultaneously
Ayurveda provides many simple, practical tools to help you regain your natural state of balance. Ayurvedic treatment strategies often include adjustments to your diet, appropriate lifestyle habits, and supportive herbal regimens.
In general, you will be following a kapha-pacifying diet (without aggravating vata), a particularly vata-pacifying lifestyle, and you can choose appropriate herbs or remedies according to your particular manifestations of imbalance. Keep in mind also, that:Vata is deeply calmed by:
- Slowing down
- Lightening Foods and Activities
Weaving these themes throughout your routine can help reduce both vata and kapha. Although it is often the case that vata-reducing activities aggravate kapha and vice versa, it is possible to balance both by including kapha-reducing motivating, inspirational activities at a mellow pace, within the context of a consistent daily routine. Notice that warmth is pacifying to both vata and kapha. So, staying warm, eating warm foods, drinking warm drinks, and â€“ whenever possible â€“ choosing warming remedies and herbal formulas will generally be very beneficial for you.
Kapha Pacifying Diet
The idea here is to decrease kapha without aggravating vata. It is often useful to focus on a kapha reducing diet and a vata reducing lifestyle. Foods that are naturally warming, cooked, and moderately spiced are the best choices for you. Warm, easily digested dishes, like one-pot meals, soups, and stews with lots of vegetables, made according to the principles given below, are generally balancing for both vata and kapha.Enjoy:
- Foods that naturally taste moderately pungent, bitter or astringent.
- Warming foods - â€“ either with a warm energetic (like onions and garlic), a warm temperature, or both.
- Warming spices - like chili, ginger, cinnamon and cumin, black pepper, or a little cayenne pepper.
- Whole, freshly cooked foods.
- Light, dry and warm foods.
- Only room temperature, warm, or hot drinks.
- Most beans - mung dahl, well-cooked tofu or tempeh, and warm soy milk are all ok.
- Lots of veggies.
- A minimal amount of high-quality oils - corn, canola, sesame, sunflower oil or ghee in your daily diet.
- Routine times for your meals.
- Taking a deep breath after swallowing your last bite and heading off for your next activity.
- Eating your meal in a peaceful environment.
- Foods that are sweet, sour and/or salty.
- Cooling foods - either with a cooling energetic (like watermelon or milk), a cool temperature, or both.
- Heavy and oily foods (e.g. cheese, pudding, nuts, cake).
- Highly processed foods (e.g. canned or frozen foods, "TV" dinners or pastries).
- Cold or carbonated drinks.
- Overeating or eating heavy meals.
- Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within a half hour of any other food.
- Red meat.
- Foods or drinks that contain refined sugar or corn syrup.
- Deep fried foods.
- Alcohol, except for an occasional glass of dry red or white wine.
Vata Pacifying Lifestyle
- Life as you would imagine a master would: with calm awareness and a gentle pace.
- A consistent daily routine with regular times for eating, sleeping, working, etc.
- A daily 10-20 min. self-massage with 1/4 c. warm sunflower oil or pitta massage oil.
- Click here for more information on abhyanga (Ayuvedic self massage), including the best oils for each dosha, contraindications, and benefits. Women who are menstruating or pregnant should not do abhyanga unless directed by a health care practitioner.
- A gentle exercise routine that includes a calm, restorative, stretch-focused form of yoga such as vata-pacifying yoga, Tai qi (tai chi), qi gong (chi gong), walking, swimming (but don't get chilled) about five times per week.
- Note: morning and evening are the best times to exercise (6-10am/pm); avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day (approx. 10am-2pm).
- Keeping warm, no matter what the weather.
- Sweet, soothing music, smells, scenes and company.
Vata and Kapha Pacifying Herbal Remedies
Both single herbs and general Ayurvedic herbal formulas can be very useful tools to help balance the doshas. Below are some formulations that are especially useful for the most common vata and kapha imbalances. Unless noted, all of these formulations are balancing for both vata and kapha, so you can choose according to your most pressing concerns. If you are unsure how to decrease both doshas at the same time or do not have a full understanding of which remedies are best for you, it would be good to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner who can customize formulas to suit your unique situation. Herbs for Vata
- For a broad spectrum vata pacifying herbal formula, consider Healthy Vata
- To support mental calmness and well-being, consider Tranquil Mind (excessive use, may aggravate kapha)
- To balance vata in the joints, nerves and muscles, consider Joint Support
- For dry or chapped skin, consider Vata Massage Oil
- To support healthy elimination, consider Triphala
- To support healthy weight gain, consider Ashwagandha
- For dislike of cold and wind, consider Healthy Vata
- For difficulty tolerating loud noises, consider Healthy Vata
- To support a sound, restful sleep, consider I Sleep Soundly
- To support stability and grounded awareness, consider Mental Clarity
- To support healthy, comfortable digestion consider Vata Digest
- For a broad spectrum kapha pacifying herbal formula, consider Healthy Kapha
- To support the healthy elimination of excess mucous, consider Lung Formula
- If you have a thick, white coating on your tongue, consider Triphalato support natural detoxification and consider Kapha Digest to enkindle digestion
- To support healthy elimination, consider Triphala
- To promote optimal weight management, consider Trim Support
- For difficulty rising in the morning, consider Healthy Kapha
- For feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic or heavy consider Mental Clarity or Healthy Kapha
- To encourage letting go of attachments, consider Triphala and Healthy Kapha
- To support emotional composure, mental flexibility and motivation, consider Mental Clarity
- To support healthy eating habits and weight management, consider Trim Support and Triphala
Learning to Attune to Your Current Condition
While your constitution remains stable throughout your life, your current condition oscillates constantly, in response to shifting environments, events, times of day, and changes in weather. It is helpful to develop a practice of noticing variations in our current state of balance from one day to the next, through the seasons, and over the years. When we commit to observing ourselves in this way, we become more adept at recognizing and responding to the changing needs of our bodies and enjoy a quicker, easier return to balance.In addition, we recommend returning to this test periodically. For example:
- When the seasons are changing
- If you implement changes in your diet, lifestyle, or herbal regimen it would be helpful to revisit this test after about a month, to see how your efforts have affected your condition, and to reassess whether to stay the course or change your remedies
- Whenever you experience a major life change, such as
- a new pregnancy
- becoming a new parent (or nursing mother)
- physical or emotional trauma
- grief or loss
- moving to a new job, school, or home
- If you ever simply feel the need for some specific support with your current condition.
For more information about vata, click here.
For more information about kapha, click here.