Both Sides of Me: Managing a Dual Ayurvedic Constitution

It's summer and hot, yet if you're vata-pitta dual constitution, can you live on salads? If you're pitta-kapha, can you enjoy some ice-cream?

Generally, if you have a dual constitution, you can follow the appropriate seasonal guidelines. So if you are vata-pitta or pitta-kapha, you can follow a pitta regime during summer. As soon as fall arrives, vata-pitta will need to switch to a vata routine, while the onset of flu season will bring kapha considerations for pitta-kapha. And for vata-kapha, emphasize warm foods and drinks, following a vata-soothing regime in summer and fall and a kapha soothing one in winter and spring.

A good dose of common sense will help you find the middle ground to keep your two doshas in balance. For example, following a summer routine for vata-pitta still doesn't mean you can live on salad. Ripe sweet fruits such as mangoes will benefit both vata and pitta, as will mildly seasoned foods. Favor the sweet taste, which is good for both vata and pitta rather than the astringent taste, as in salad, which calms pitta but disturbs vata. And of course, if you are flying or travelling during pitta season, take extra care of vata with some coconut oil massages. Vata and pitta have lightness in common, so some heavier cooling drinks such as lassi will be great. Pitta-kapha can emphasize the bitter and astringent tastes, consuming plenty of greens. And since pitta and kapha have oiliness in common, maybe that ice cream isn't such a good idea after all. Not only is it too cold and cloudy for kapha, it is also a high-fat product. In the middle of a hot summer day, a lower fat alternative such as rice dream is likely to cause fewer problems in the long run. You can also use kapha-soothing spices such as ginger and black pepper to balance things out if pitta lures you into over-indulgence in sweets a swell as herbal combinations with a good amount of bitter or astringent tastes such as mahasudarshan or triphala.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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