14.5 Balancing Mixed Constitutions
People of mixed constitution can be treated by combining the qualities of the two predominant humors and then using the remaining one to lower the two elevated ones. For example, a vata-kapha therapies to bring harmony, while the pitta-kapha person will use vata-type therapies for balance, although this approach must be done with care as vata is unstable.
Keep in mind that it is always the positive qualities of every humor that are used to balance other humors. Strong heat therapies-pitta-can be therapeutic to both kapha and vata constitution, but they should only be administered by a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. So too for any extreme therapies that you may be tempted to use. This is especially important for a person with a mixed constitution. The mixed type often achieves slower results and may want to go faster than is possible for their nature, especially when kapha is one of the main humor.
Diet for mixed types can be chosen according to season and the strongest digestive problem. This means that if you have constitution problem you would treat yourself with an anti-vata diet (vata-kapha or vata-pitta). If vata is not one of you two mixed (kapha-pitta), then you would problem, thus a pro-pitta (or anti-kapha) diet would benefit you. These are general guidelines; if you have doubt, then it is advised that you consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.
What I do in my practice is to suggest one regimen for a diet and one for life-style. For example, a vata-kapha person may be overweight, but this person has a quick mind that move all over the place, making it difficult to follow a diet or plan to lose weight. In this case I suggest that the person follow an anti-vata (what lowers vata) life-style and an anti-kapha diet. One benefits the body, the other benefits the mind and body. In practical application, I find this method to be simple and effective. Experience show that life-style has an overall balance effect, whereas diet has a more immediate relationship to the body. If the tongue vata cracks on it, especially deep ones, then an anti-vata life-style must be followed, regardless of the natal constitution, as it indicates a chronic imbalance of vata.