5 ways to Balance Kapha Dosha
If you are new to Ayurveda and you have no idea what a kapha dosha is, check out my last post here for the introduction on the 3 different energies that comprise all of life. Everyone has all three energy types within them at varying ratios, often with one predominate dosha. Ultimate, holistic health of the mind body and spirit is achieved with balance, and balance will look differently for everyone. Below I will talk about how to balance the kapha dosha. This will be most helpful for individuals who are predominately kapha, or seem to be having an excess of stagnation, slugishness, depression, brain fog or weight gain. If you’re not sure of your dosha ratio but are interested in finding out there are tons of free online dosha quizes you can take. Check out my favorite free online dosha quiz here.
Kapha ( water + earth)
Physical qualities: bigger in build and weight, with a tendency to hold onto weight or water in the body. Kapha types tend to have poor circulation, sluggish digestions with large appetites but poor metabolisms. Physical energy tends to be consistent with good stamina. They are vulnerable to sluggishness, cold and damp weather.
Psychological qualities: more prone to strong, consistent, steadfast emotions. Kaphas tend to be more easy going, content, loyal, and to develop deep connections with others. When off balance, kaphas can tend towards sluggishness, low motivation, laziness, or depression.
Signs of Kapha Imbalance: Sluggishness, weight gain, slow metabolism, slow digestion, excess mucus or phlem, sadness and/or depression, low motivation, lethargy, greed, overeating or emotional eating, craving sweet or fatty foods.
Basically, kapha energy is the mellow, slow, wise, sustaining energy. It helps us to follow through with projects we’ve started. Kaphas are often slow to commit but once they do, they follow through with their commitments. Kaphas also tend to accumulate and hold onto. They are good at saving money but can also have a hard time letting go of things that no longer serve them such as clutter or excess body weight. Kaphas tend to have a calm, loving, compassionate demeanor. Think slow and steady. Kaphas also often embody stillness, routine, and consistency. Unfortunately, excess kapha often results in excessively low energy, depression, sadness, and/or lethargy and sluggishness. Over sleeping, over eating, and no motivation are all signs of kapha imbalance.
In Ayurveda it is said that whatever imbalance we have within us, we will crave that imbalance. Thus, kaphas, when off balance tend to crave stagnation, laziness, routine, or low energy activities. Kaphas, though the least likely to want high energy exercise, actually need rigorous movement the most. Movement, novelty, and high energy activities help to burn off the cold wet properties of kapha. Kaphas are the most likely to overeat or crave rich foods, but usually need a light veggie filled diet. Kaphas crave comfort, but need to change things up so they get the stimulation they need. Kaphas also, often need to learn how to let go of things, identities, and relationships when they’ve run their course. Trying new things, structuring movement and stimulation, and practicing the art of letting go are all very good things for kapha.
How to Balance Kapha
Eat a light, clean diet. Reduce overly sweet, processed, heavy or fatty foods. Try to eat clean and light. Kaphas have the slowest digestion so try to avoid excess cold or raw foods as these can be harder to digest. Think lots of lightly cooked veggies and warming foods to balance out the cold heavy properties of kapha.
Seek movement. Get your body moving, seek rigorous exercise or a rigorous type of yoga. Excess kapha is often associated with low energy so try to practice high energy activities to raise and shift your own internal energies.
Seek novelty. Kaphas can get in a rut. Try new things, new restaurants, traveling to new destinations or reading new books. Make a point to push yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while.
Clear away clutter. Clear away clutter from your home, but also emotional clutter. Make a regular practice out of letting go. Start with belongings in your home and once you get more comfortable with letting go of things, begin to let go of guilt, resentment, shame, and unhealthy relationships.
Self massage with a warming oil. Sesame oil is a great one, as it tends to be more warming to the body, thus balancing out the cold properties of kapha. Self-massage can also be a great way to get the lymphatic system working which may help carry away toxins accumulated by excess kapha.
This is only a brief intro to the kapha dosha. There’s so much more to learn simply by reading online resources or books.