Kapha: Governing Strength + Stability
Personality – The Supporter You are 100% one-of-a-kind.
Your appetite, the way you digest, your reaction to stress, the way you sleep, what you think, the emotions you experience and the way you look is completely unique. So it makes perfect sense that physical and mental constitution plays a central role in your overall wellbeing.
In Ayurveda, we believe that your constitution is governed by three life energies that circulate throughout your whole self and influence your bodily functions, emotions, and mindset, they are called doshas (psychobiological energies) – Vata (governs movement), Pitta (governs digestion and metabolism) and Kapha (provides stability and structure).
While we need all 3 doshas to survive, most of us have either one dominant dosha or a dominant combination of two doshas. And what we eat, how we live, and even how we think can determine the balance or imbalance of our doshas. When balanced, doshas cause no symptoms or disease – however when there is an imbalance (i.e. a dosha is in excess relative to our constitution), it can give rise to dis-ease. Understanding your unique makeup will empower you to not only feel your best, but to know the foods, herbs, and self-care practices that will help address any imbalances in your body.
Let’s explore the characteristics of the Kapha dosha, so that you can learn how it plays a role in your health.
Kapha governs all structure and lubrication in the body—everything from the mucus membranes protecting your vital tissues and organs to essentials fluids in your reproductive system, the synovial fluids protecting your joints to the cerebrospinal fluid protecting your brain and spinal cord. Kapha gives us stability through the formation of muscle, skin, fat, bone, hair, skin and nails.
Those with a predominance of Kapha have a broad frame with a heavier build. They tend to have larger facial features and smooth, oily skin and thick luxurious hair. Here are some Kapha celebrities! Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Liv Tyler, Nigella Lawson, Serna Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, Alec Baldwin, Val Kilmer
Kapha types have a low to moderate appetite and sluggish digestion and metabolism. They are usually not hungry upon waking up. They tend to have 1 bowel movement a day. They are heavy sleepers and have trouble waking up in the morning. Their speech pattern is slow and deliberate. Because the presence of water in their constitution, they may present with clammy hands and prefer dry climates. Symptoms of Kapha dosha imbalance (i.e. in excess) include nausea, weight gain, swelling, water retention, diabetes, fatigue, and congestion (mucusy respiratory conditions).
Kapha types are patient, sweet, gentle, calm, loving, and loyal. They are good listeners and very accepting of others. They are amazing supporters. They have an inherent ability to enjoy life and are comfortable with routine. When Kapha dosha is imbalanced (i.e. in excess), one can become lazy, stubborn, greedy, possessive, complacent, lethargic and depressed.
The animal world Kapha archetypes according to the ancient Ayurveda texts are the elephant and the turtle!
Keys to Balance Kapha
Ayurvedic healing rests on this simple yet profound principle – “Opposites decrease each other” or as Hippocrates so poetically put it “Opposites are the cure for opposites.” When Kapha is imbalanced, the main qualities in excess (or imbalanced) are heavy, cold, dense, and moist. Therefore, we balance Kapha by incorporating light and dry foods with pungent spices, dry-brushing the body to increase circulation, and performing an energetic and stimulating yoga practice incorporating Sun Salutations and powerful standing postures. Lastly, cultivating non-attachment is an important way to balance Kapha in the mind – volunteering and giving away things are ways to achieve this.
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With Gratitude : Amanda