Ayurveda is the science of life. It is not a curative health stream like Allopathy but more like a lifestyle. Unlike other diets and lifestyles suggested out there without considering your body type, Ayurveda heavily focuses on suggesting lifestyle based on the dominating elements in your body. In this article we will explore Kapha Dosha in detail.
What is Kapha Dosha?
Ayurveda has three major doshas based on five elements – ether, air, water, earth, fire and ten gunas – dry/oily, light/heavy, mobile/static, rough/smooth, cold/hot, clear/cloudy, hard/soft, liquid/dense, sharp/dull, subtle/gross. When you say that you have a dominant Kapha dosha, the elements of earth and water are dominant and you experience more of heavy, dense, static, dull, gross, smooth, soft, cloudy, and warm or cool gunas.
Role of Kapha
Kapha is responsible for respiratory system, heart, brain, immunity, mucous membranes, cartilage, and synovial fluid.
This translates to the fact that if you are experiencing issues with breathing, weight gain and mucus problems all of these have a single root cause which is an imbalance in Kapha. The difference between other medicinal streams and Ayurveda is that the root cause for multiple diseases can be easily identified with one single dosha.
How does Kapha Dosha vary?
You might be born with a dominant Kapha dosha or experience Kapha based on age ( upto 15 years stage of life ) or season ( Winter is the season of Kapha) or time of the day ( 6 pm – 10 pm & 6 am – 10 am).
Even if it is none of the above, your lifestyle might make you a dominant Kapha dosha person for a few days to a few years.
During the day, Kapha operates between 6-10 am. These are the times for heavy and intense activities, absorption and assimilation, immunity is being built, and the most efficient time to burn fat. If you sleep beyond 6 am, you feel sluggish throughout the day. This time period is the best time to do your physical exercises and some deep reading. Don’t drink coffee or other stimulants during this time as cortisol levels are already high and extra cortisol generated by the coffee pushes the body into survival mode. In the evening 6-10 pm, is the time of melatonin secretion. You should eat light and reduce the blue light activities to enable sleep by 10pm.
Kapha Dosha by birth – Prakruti / Inherent Constitution
When you are born with a dominant Kapha dosha, you have physical traits with “sturdiest structure, with bigger bones and bulkier muscles. These qualities also provide them with thick and lustrous hair, milky skin, big, compassionate eyes, and full lips.
Qualities of Kapha Dosha
Given that Kapha is all about earth and grounding, they appreciate stability over change. Since they are not dominant in fire, they are non-confrontational people who are like peacemakers, interested in everyone around them being happy. While these stable qualities are desirable, they can also create a heaviness because of excessive grounding that leads toward depression, sluggishness, or feeling stuck. As such steadfast beings, kaphas are usually in nurturing and supportive roles in our society. Many with a lot of kapha in their constitution choose to become caregivers, teachers, nurses, or social workers.
How to balance Kapha dosha?
While it may look like you got to balance all the three doshas, you got to balance your constitution you were born with. As someone with Kapha dosha, you need to not let Kapha go out of balance because you are already dominant with this. Let’s say someone with Vata dosha can eat sweet food everyday and feel good about it but you who is already dominant in Kapha will soon see an overflow of mucus with increase in Kapha in the body.
Common techniques used in Ayurveda to balance Kapha dosha
Since Kapha dosha is about elements of earth and water, you need to balance these two.
- Follow tastes based on your constitution. Avoid sweet food as it increases the kapha element in the body
- Follow Kapha guidelines during the time of the day. Involve in intense activities like exercise during 6-10 am or pm. Eat an early dinner before 7pm.
- To increase heat in the body, you can try out heat producing breathing exercises like kapalbhati and bastrika
- Use dry powder for Abhyanga (Self Massage) if your only dominant dosha is Kapha
- Engage in stimulating activities to overcome the inertia of Kapha body
You can follow the above tips even if you are experiencing Kapha imbalance because of a seasonal change.
Note: The above notes have been collated from my research from various Ayurvedic books. If you are facing severe symptoms, reach out to any trusted Ayurvedic doctor.
Happy Balancing Kapha Dosha!