Understanding Kapha dosha
Over the last two days, we have now looked at creative Vata and intellectual Pitta’s. Now it’s time to complete our journey through the doshas with compassionate Kapha!
Caring and compassionate – introducing Kapha dosha
Kapha can be translated as “that which sticks”. This dosha is associated primarily with earth (prthivi) and water (jala). In nature, the principles of Kapha are observed in the earth itself, in rock formations, and mountains. Kapha holds the structure of the body together and is responsible for stamina and lubrication. Kapha helps heal wounds, promote growth, moisturises the skin, lubricates the joints and mucosa, and is associated with all liquid secretions. In society, Kapha-dominant people tend to be the caregivers, gardeners, and teachers.
The primary seat of Kapha is the stomach (some texts also suggest the chest). The five subtypes of Kapha are:
- Avalambhaka Kapha – chest, heart, and lungs.
- Kledaka Kapha – stomach (also includes the lubrication of the stomach, intestines, and mucus membrane).
- Bodhaka Kapha – gums and tongue.
- Shleshaka Kapha – joints (lubrication as synovial fluid).
- Tarpaka Kapha – head (cerebrospinal fluid and white matter of the brain).
Characteristics of Kapha
If your predominant dosha is Kapha, you are likely to have many of the following characteristics:
- Large body frame.
- Gain weight easily.
- Pale, oily skin.
- Thick, wavy, dark hair.
- Round face.
- Large, moist eyes.
- Slow speech.
- Good stamina.
- Sweat moderately.
- Sleep deeply.
- Excellent long-term memory.
- Slow to anger (but also clam down slowly too!).
Kapha in balance
When a Kapha is in balance, they are lovely to be around. They are kind, content, grounded, compassionate, loving, cuddly, faithful, and supportive.
Kapha out of balance
When Kapha becomes imbalanced, a person may experience:
- Over dependency.
- Obsessive traits (resistance to change)
- Heart problems.
- Back pain.
- Joint issues.
- Sinus problems.
- Congestion and mucus.
- Emotional eating.
Things that may increase Kapha
- Emotional eating.
- Cold, damp weather.
- Not doing exercise.
- Being indoors for too long.
- Being a couch potato!
- Avoiding mental stimulation.
- Sleeping too much at night or napping during the day.
- Sweet food.
Top tips for Kapha
If you are predominantly Kapha, here are a few tips which might help you stay in balance.
- Eat a Kapha-pacifying diet (more on that another time, but basically food with slight, dry, warm, spicy, bitter, and astringent qualities)
- Avoid dairy.
- Don’t eat between meals, have your biggest meal at lunchtime, and don’t eat after 7pm.
- Rise early and do vigorous exercise.
- Have fresh ground, organic coffee (Kapha is the only dosha that should have coffee!)
- Walk after eating.
- Have oil massages (such as Ayurvedic massage with stimulating mustard oil [or use only light oils like sunflower; dry massage can also be beneficial]).
- Do vigorous exercise like strong yoga sequences (sun sequence, for example), running, rock climbing, and high-intensity dancing.
- Mix things up a bit – try something new!
Remember, nothing in this blog should take the place of advice given to you by your healthcare practitioner, so always be safe!
I hope you enjoyed this series of blogs – have spotted your predominant dosha? Have fun exploring!