The Kapha Dosha
Kapha Dosha is often considered to be the stable Dosha because of the consistent and grounded elements that create it. A person with this Dosha reflects Earth and Water in all layers of the Panchamaya Kosha System. These layers include the Annamaya Kosha, the “physical or gross body”. The Pranamaya Kosha, “the breath body”. The Manomaya Kosha, the “mental body”, the Vijanamaya Kosha, the “wisdom body”. Lastly, the Anandamaya Kosha, the “bliss body”.
A Kapha generally has a physical body that is solid and sometimes stocky. Each part of the body thrives from excess. They can have thick hair, large sweet eyes, and full lips and facial features. These traits can sometimes make it difficult for a Kapha to change their body weight and balance out their diets.
A full warm heart space leaves a lot room for prana to flow within the Pranamaya Kosha of Kapha Doshas. One may even describe their breath as a traveling source of life-giving energy. Making space for the luxuriousness of blood and lymph to flow to Kapha’s that are expecting.
A Kapha has a personality that is loving and welcoming. They enjoy routine as the steady and grounding nature of their elements are expressed in their habits. Individuals with this Dosha are very concerned about the well-being of the people around them. They tend to be protectors and providers because of their natural compassion for others. A Kapha is loving, loyal and trustworthy and embodies the archetype of “Nurturer”.
Signs and Symptoms of A Kapha Imbalance
Nature has given the Kapha Dosha the natural features of Heavy, Slow, Steady, Solid, Cold, Soft and Oily. Like all Dosha traits, these characteristics manifest themselves in all layers of the body. When an individual with a Kapha-type Dosha is in balance they embody the traits of Steady, Loyal, Consistent, Strong, Supportive and Patient.
When an individual with this Dosha is out of balance, these traits change, and are expressed as Dull, Inert, Needy, Attached, Overweight, Complacent, and Over-Protective. These imbalances can be expressed in the physical body through a variety of symptoms. Some include excessively cold skin, a reduced sense of taste and smell, weight gain, an overwhelming sense of heaviness and blocked sinuses. This type of imbalance can be caused by over-indulging.
These imbalances can also be expressed in the mental bodies. A Kapha with an imbalance may feel possessive, lack an inner drive they used to have, and experience “brain fog”. A Kapha may feel particularity out of sort s during cold months, because their primary season is Spring.
How To Balance a Kapha with Diet
An imbalance in a Kapha’s diet can be caused by over-indulging. The major necessities for Kapha types include light and warmth. Because of this, they should choose foods that are light, warm dry and spicy. Commonly, an excessive consumption of dairy products can cause digestive dis-ease that manifests as tiredness. They also should avoid mucus-forming foods that may exacerbate any sinus pressure such as dairy (again), fried foods and processed sugars.
If mucus has already formed in any area of a Kapha’s system, bitter greens and astringent vegetables such as asparagus and kale can help cut through it.
A Kapha should try to reduce juicy, sweet vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes and squashes. To help bring their digestive system back to its original strength, a Kapha could drink digestive teas such as ginger, supplemented with cayenne pepper or cinnamon.
How to Balance a Kapha with Lifestyle
For a Kapha, it’s important to be active on a daily basis as Kapha types are prone to sluggishness, depression, and being overweight. Getting out of the house and actively seeking new experiences is also recommended. Trying to be receptive of change, and setting mindful goals can aid in this endeavor.
There are many ways to help balance a Kapha’s energy during times of imbalance. During times of stress, they may consider Abanyanga, the Kriya art of self-massage. A sesame oil is recommended for this Dosha. Sesame oil promotes healing because it contains vitamin E and has antibacterial properties. In addition to external benefits, self massage increases blood circulation to bring back that warm Kapha glow.
How to Balance a Kapha with Yoga
A Kapha out of balance may feel unmotivated, and prefer a slow Yoga practice such as restorative Yoga. To pacify this feeling a Kapha should add invigorating and stimulating Yoga poses to their Asana practice.
Recommended Yoga Poses for Kapha
Plank & Chaturanga Dandasana- These are challenging and stimulating poses that can bring energy back into tired areas of the body.
Sun Salutation A & B- These flowing movements are a wonderful warm up and a great way to get a tired body back into motion.
Spinal Twists- These poses invigorate the lungs and jump start the digestive system
Shoulder Stand- This inversion offers many benefits. First and foremost inversions are known to help clear the mind and reduce brain fog, due to the increase in circulation to the brain.Gentle inversions are excellent ways to reset the mind and body at the end of a Yoga practice.
Overall a warm and dry environment with lots of exercise, limited snacking and a full self-care routine is encouraged for any Kapha type Dosha who is expressing an imbalance in any of their Panchamaya layers.