Table of Contents
What is Kapha Dosha?
Kapha dosha is the Ayurvedic mind-body type that is associated with earth and water. It’s slow and steady in nature and embodies structure and stability in the mind and body. Slow to anger and easy-going. While Kaphas may be slow to get going, they are reliable and dedicated.
At their healthiest, Kaphas possess excellent immunity, a sturdy figure, the ability to sleep soundly, and commonly thick, voluptuous hair, large eyes, and radiant skin Those who are Kapha-predominant may have larger-frame bodies and heavier builds.
Kapha is predominantly present in the lymph and in the blood as plasma. Plasma contains more than 90 percent water. A primary site of Kapha is the lungs and respiratory tract.
In this post I will describe the comprehensive features on Kapha Dosha, it’s Subtypes, the balanced and imbalanced state. So first of all let’s examine Are you Kapha mind-body type?
Physical Characteristics of Kapha Dosha
- Gains weight easily and lose weight with great difficulty.
- Short or tall and sturdy.
- “Thick” describes many bodily features (e.g hair, neck, fingers, lips).
- Have plentiful strength and stamina.
- Digestion is weak and Often feel heavy after eating
- Bowel movements are highly regular.
- The skin is smooth and oily and tends to be pale.
- Sleep deeply and soundly.
- Catch colds quite frequently.
- Prefers hot weather over cold or damp weather.
Emotional Characteristics of Kapha Dosha
- Have a big heart and prefer to focus on the good in the world.
- Calm in nature and not easily angered.
- Prefer a slow, relaxed lifestyle.
- Don’t learn as quickly as others, but long-term memory is excellent.
- Become sentimental quite easily; Often think about the past.
- Methodical in actions.
- Highly protective of myself and my family.
- Negative emotions build up rather than addressing them.
- Usually, let others take the lead.
- Natural listeners and frequently help others with their problems.
Hence, now you must be sure that you have Kapha mind-body type constitution. Now let’s examine Is your Kapha in balance?
Balanced Kapha Dosha
|Serene and Compassionate||A strong immune system|
|Mental Resolve, Jovial||Physically strong|
|Rational Thinker||Smooth and oily skin|
|Uses personal resources wisely||Thick, oily hair|
|Patient and Affectionate||Strong well formed nails|
|Forgiving, Generous||Slow and Steady|
|Loyal and People Pleaser||Slow pulse rate|
|Nurturing / Compassionate||Sound sleep|
|Good Listeners||High body weight|
|Strong Memory||Regular bowel movement|
Imbalanced Kapha Dosha
|Feeling of Heaviness||Itching|
|Inertia, stagnation||Loss of strength, hypertension|
|A tendency to sleep for long||Coughing, Congestion|
|A tendency toward obesity||Slow or suppressed metabolism.|
|Boredom, and Laziness||Withdrawal, or loss of consciousness, Diabetes|
|Mental Dullness||Breathing Problems|
|Greedy, materialistic tendencies (buy! buy! buy!)||Obesity, difficulty rising in the morning|
|Emotional overeating||Asthma, and Respiratory Issues|
|Possessiveness||Accumulation of Mucus (ENT)|
|Feeling of Sadness||Nausea, Lethargy|
The Five Sub Doshas of Kapha
Kapha governs all structure and lubrication in the mind and body. It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all the seven tissues—nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow, and reproductive tissues.
Kapha is the dosha that helps fiery Pitta and whirlwind Vata to slow down. Within Kapha dosha, there are five distinct sub doshas that are responsible for moderating transformation in various parts of the physiology.
They are as follows:
Tarpaka Kapha: Governs moisture for the nose, mouth, eyes, and brain. When out of balance, Tarpaka Kapha can lead to sinus congestion and a poor sense of smell. A Tarpaka Kapha disorder can create various physical
disorders such as stroke paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, or brain tumors.
Tarpaka Kapha is predominantly present in the white matter of the brain. It is thick, sticky, slimy, and soft. Tarpaka nourishes the brain cellsTarpaka Kapha brings energy Rasa Dhatu (plasma) by way of the sweet and salty tastes, creating a feeling of happiness.
Bhodaka Kapha: Governs the sense of taste, which is essential for good digestion. If out of balance, Bhodaka Kapha can manifest as a poor sense of taste or food cravings due to lack of fulfillment.
Kledaka Kapha: Governs the moisture of the stomach lining for good digestion. If out of balance, Kledaka Kapha can lead to impaired digestion or poor absorption.
Avalambaka Kapha: Protects the heart, strong muscles, and healthy lungs. When out of balance, Avalambaka Kapha can cause lethargy, respiratory problems, or lower back pain.
Shleshaka Kapha: Governs lubrication of the joints, soft and supple skin. If out of balance Shleshaka Kapha can lead to weight gain, oily skin, and loose, or painful joints.
What Causes Kapha Imbalance
- Consuming Kapha aggravating foods (dairy, fatty and oily food, cold drinks, frozen and salty food, sweets, very sweet and sour fruits)
- Overeating, eating heavy meals.
- Spending too much time in cold and damp climates.
- Lack of physical activity/ sleeping during the day.
Diseases caused by Kapha Dosha
Common ailments in a Kapha body type will tend to be related to water origins like:
- Drowsiness, brain fog
- Cough, Cold and Flu
- Sinus Congestion and Headaches,
- Bronchial Congestion
- Sluggishness, depression
- Water Retention and fullness in the stomach
- Nausea, Diabetes
- Excess urination and Swellings
How to Balance Kapha Dosha with Diet
Food should be fresh, well-cooked, tasty, pleasing, and satisfying. Take your meals regularly, at the proper time – morning, noon, and evening. Eat the proper amounts of food at each meal, avoid over- or undereating.
You should feel hungry by the next meal, but not ravenous. Snack a bit between meals as long as it does not dampen the feeling of hunger by your next meal.
|Diet||Dry, warm food and warm drinks; pungent, bitter, and astringent taste.||Large quantities of food, especially at night; avoid cold, heavy food; minimize sweet, sour, and salty tastes.|
|Grains and Pulses||Old grains (minimum one year), barley, millet, corn, buckwheat, rye, oats, wheat, rice (good quality, like Basmati rice)||New grains, especially wheat and rice|
Also Tofu (soybeans), black gram.
|Dairy||Lassi (yoghurt and water drink — preferably made thin), buttermilk, low-fat milk; small amount of ghee||Cheese, and whole milk|
|Sweeteners||Honey, and old jaggery||Sugar cane products (except old jaggery)|
|Oils||Ghee (for cooking), mustard, sunflower, corn, olive (all, especially ghee, in small amounts)|
|Fruits||Pomegranate, cranberries, raisins, peach, rose apple, guava, cashew fruit, grapes, figs, and sweet apple||Avocado, banana, sour pineapple, sour orange, melons, mango, coconut, apricot, and dates.|
|Vegetables||Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, carrot, cabbage, beetroot broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas, pepper, sprouts, white pumpkin, green papaya, tomato, tender eggplant, and radish||Sweet potato, cucumber, and potato.|
NOTE: Guidelines provided in this table are general. Specific adjustments for individual requirements may need to be made, e.g., food allergies, the strength of Agni, the season of the year, and degree of dosha predominance or aggravation.
Before making any changes to your diet, it is recommended that you check with your physician. This ayurvedic dietary guide is educational and is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.
How to Balance Kapha with Yoga
Kapha dosha being predominant in both the Water and Earth elements manifests as slow, steady, and solid. Kapha types have strong constitutions, although if imbalanced they have a tendency to become sluggish, stagnant, and unmotivated.
Therefore the best Kapha exercises will involve a faster-paced regimen that will help to get the blood pumping and the body moving!
- Best time for exercise: Between 6-10 in the morning (best) or 6-9 in the evening; avoid late-night exercise if it causes sleep issues
- Support: Medium to high-intensity exercise, high reps, fast pace, and a variety of exercises.
- Avoid Slow pace, long breaks, low intensity, monotonous regimen, and excessive water drinking.
Try these routines to balance KAPHA
Therapeutic Yoga for Kapha: Get fired up and energized with upper body toning and heart-lung capacity-building practices in this therapeutic sequence designed to balance the earth energy of Kapha
Lighten your Flow: Kapha Reducing Yoga: Move through specific poses to reduce lymphatic stagnation, water retention, slow thinking, and adipose (fat) tissue in the body. The perfect flow to help you feel light, clear, and bright.
Poses that build heat and open the chest and stomach are ideal Kapha. The aerobic nature of Surya Namaskar also helps with weight loss and obesity, which can occur with excess Kapha.
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), which flows through multiple poses, including Tadasana, Upward and Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Chaturanga or Cobra, Lunge, Warrior I, Chair)
- Goddess (Utkata Konasana)
- Ustrasana (Camel)
- Utkatasana (Fierce Pose or Chair)
- Parivrtta Utkatasana (Twisted Chair)
- Vasisthasana (Side Plank)
- Sirsasana (Headstand)
- Arm Balances (Handstand, Crow)
How To Balance Kapha with Oil Massage
Abhyanga with warm oil is best for Kapha. While sesame, corn, and mustard oils are all helpful because they are warming, herbal oils are a better choice for Kapha, as they add more Kapha pacifying properties to the oil.
Kapha Massage Oil is a good choice for general use. And untoasted sesame oil has a very strong natural scent. Less oil is needed for Kapha abhyanga than for Vāta or Pitta.
Benefits of Abhyanga for Kapha Dosha
- Improved circulation of the blood and lymphatic systems.
- Improved digestive system.
- Alleviation of joint and muscle pain.
- More motivation to engage in strenuous physical activity.
- Better regulated moods.
- Decreased symptoms of PMS.
- An increase in the desire to eat more healthy foods.
- Weight loss may become more manageable if that is your goal.
- More enthusiasm to engage with life and with others
How to Balance Kapha with Meditation
Kapha is aligned with earth and water and hence tends more towards introspection. If your Kapha element becomes too dominant you may find that you become deeply stuck in a circle, lacking the will to move forward or to change things that really do need changing in your life.
Just as Kaphas are prone to carry the excess weight so do they also carry unnecessarily heavy thoughts, leading to depression and dullness. In meditation a Kapha is likely to fall asleep or to lose their focus, so that thoughts become idle, drifting around in a fairly useless way.
Kaphas will benefit from the daily practice of a form of meditation that also stimulates the body. Such practice will bring a renewed sense of purpose and vigour to a Kapha, as well as encouraging healthy circulation of both blood and energy, through the circulatory and the meridian systems
Of all the Doshas, Kapha will benefit most from some form of moving meditation the best form of moving meditation is Tai Chi or Qigong. Not only do these movements benefit your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and internal organs, they also bring a deep state of inner calm that is wonderfully invigorating to the mind.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.
If you have any serious acute or chronic health concerns, please consult a trained health professionalwho can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.