Demystify: Kapha Dosha

Kapha is here to protect. It is responsible for the structure of the body – it is what holds everything together with muscle, sinew and connective tissue.

People with predominant kapha dosha tend to hold more weight (literally, they have build more on their body). They are patient, grounded, relaxed and nuturing. They sleep long and deep – so deep that waking up is a challenge!

In nature, you could think of kapha as the slow but mighty elephant. Don’t let their speed and size fool you – kapha have wonderful insight.

Kapha is steady, slow, gross (strongly manifested), cold and watery. These qualities relate to the entire constitution – personality, tendencies, physical traits.

When in Balance

We want to keep kapha in balance so that we can maintain a strong build and excellent stamina. We want to encourage the structure of the body, that provides such a safe home, to be durable and significant.

When kapha is balanced an individual will be calm, patient and caring. They will be physically resilient and their sleep and digestion will be excellent. Kapha’s love comfort, routine and moving through the world with ease. They are the ones to pull the other doshas back to earth, grounding them again. Kapha will offer support and give their time easily. They are the ones to bring you back to yourself in times of stress or anxiety.

Falling out of Balance

But all this earthy groundedness can become a rut when kapha falls out of balance. When we talk about an imbalanced kapha dosha we are talking about having too much of its qualities. Too much heavy, too much slow, too much earth and too much water.

An out of balance kapha dosha can experience complete lack of motivation, zero spontaneity, reluctance to change their schedule and depression. This can manifest as water retention, weight gain and excess mucous.

A Balanced Lifestyle

The first ayurvedic stop is always lifestyle and routine. And honey, kaphas need a STRICT routine. 

  • Rise early, at the same time, every day – this will take practice!
  • Seek stimulation – find things that excite you and take you out of your routine. Spontaneity is great for kapha!
  • Skip the body oils and dry brush the body every morning instead – this is amazing to wake up the lymphatic (drainage) system.
  • Kapha is the only dosha advised to exercise vigorously!
  • Get yourself a neti pot and use daily to decrease congestion.
  • Stay warm and dry – dampness is very irritating to kapha.
  • Clear your space – avoid unnecessary clutter.

A Balanced Diet

Moving onto diet. As we’ve mentioned kaphas are cold and heavy and wet. An imbalanced kapha has an excess of those qualities. Opposites balance.

  • Eat lightly – a kitcheri or other gentle cleanse is not a bad idea for kapha.
  • Avoid dairy – kapha has enough mucous already.
  • Eat at the same time daily – this allows the digestive fire to work more efficiently.
  • Opt for pungent, astringent and bitter foods like kale, cranberry, citrus, hot peppers and cardamom.
  • All spices except salt are helpful for kapha.
  • Avoid cold drinks which will only dampen the already weak digestion.
  • Reduce heavy grains like oats, rice and wheat.

We contain a percentage of each dosha. A pitta or vata person can experience a kapha imbalance, especially coming into the cold, damp spring months. Keep your kapha happy, baby.

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