Breaking Down the Doshas: Kapha
by: Jessica Jayne
Ayurvedic knowledge says that everything in the Universe is made up of the three doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The three doshas are the energetic forces that are derived from the five elements and their individual properties, and govern all human physical and mental processes.
Though each living being has an individual dosha makeup; everything and everyone is made up of all three doshas. The purpose of Ayurveda is to harmonize all doshas by counteracting the dominant dosha types and coming into balance within all three.
Kapha is governed by the Earth and Water elements.
When someone is predominantly Kapha Dosha, they embody a grounded and supportive nature. They tend to have a strong build, thick, luscious hair– and are naturally calm and centered in their essence. Kapha Dosha governs all structure in the body; from the bones and tissues all the way down to the individual cells that bind everything together. Kapha supports the entire body’s foundation and its main function is protection.
Some of the characteristics associated with Kapha Dosha are heavy, slow, damp, cold, solid, structured, and soft. Kapha season is associated with the coldest part of winter into early Spring, when the weather is cold, everything is moving slowly, and there is a lot of moisture in the environment.
An in balance Kapha is inherently content, loving, and has a soft and approachable nature. Just like the Earth element; they are strong within their physical bodies and have a strong sense of self. They tend to be loyal, patient, and incredibly supportive friends and lovers.
When Kapha Dosha is in excess, the body begins to hold onto fluids much easier; causing physical weight gain and blockage of fluids within the body. They can easily become overweight and suffer from asthma, allergies, and depression.
When Kapha is in overload, one can become very resistant to change, get stuck in their regular routines, be stubborn, and lose interest in things that once brought them excitement or joy. They begin to embody a sense of ‘stuckness’; becoming attached to jobs, relationships, and things that are no longer serving a purpose long after it was necessary.
How to Balance Kapha Dosha
When Kapha Dosha is in excess; we work to counteract the qualities that Kapha invokes. Considering Kapha energy is heavy, slow, solid, damp, and cold; we want to work with stimulation, warmth, dryness, and movement.
If you begin to experience out of balance Kapha symptoms, some things to consider would be to get out of your comfort zone and do something you are not used to doing within your daily routine, move your body, and stay in warmer (yet dryer) climates. Cleaning your physical space and moving the energy around, to rid your outer experience of ‘stuckness’, can help with the inner experience of stuckness. Take a look at your regular routine and see if there is anything you can switch up, and try not to be resistant to change.
Dancing, cycling, running, and Vinyasa yoga are all good movement practices for Kapha dominant dosha. Invoking energy and stimulation is what the slow, yin-like energy of the Kapha needs- and doing so in a way that isn’t as ‘routine-like’ is helpful as well.
Nutritional Guidelines for Kapha Dosha
• Avoid dairy, as this can increase Kapha Dosha and inflammation in the body.
• Eat lots of beans and vegetables.
• Try drinking ginger tea with every meal, to help stimulate digestion.
• Reduce intake of wheat, oats, and heavier grains. Stick to buckwheat, corn, and barley.
• If you are a meat-eater, reduce red meat intake.
About the Author
Jessica Jayne is a devoted yoga teacher and freelance writer— known for her open heart, loving vibration, and curious nature. As a writer; she brings a creative, non-formal, expressive approach to spiritual concepts in a way that translates to all walks of life. She writes about many things— but to sum it up in a few short words: her work is about the empowering wisdom of the soul, that undoubtably cannot exist without the beautiful mess of humanity. Her intention as a teacher and writer is to hold a safe space for these practices, and guide others so deeply inside of themselves that they access their inner guru— and remember what lives within their heart. Visit her website at jesslivinglove.com