Kapha Dosha: Earth & Water
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
It’s important to remember that there are 3 doshas/energies. They are Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Each are unique but they sometimes share similarities, as well. Below you will learn about the Kapha Dosha. As you read about the other two doshas (Pitta and Vata) you will notice that some of the traits overlap and mirror one another. You may even notice that they are sometimes complete opposites!
Kapha in Nature:
Late Winter (when it’s still cold but the snow is becoming heavy and icy from the dampness and warmth creeping in from Spring)
Cold, rainy weather
Kapha Time of Day:
6-10am: best time to start your day with mental and physical activities
6-10pm: best time to end your day with physical activities and rest
Kapha Time of Life:
From birth until the loss of virginity or the age of 18.
Kapha’s role in the body:
5 Subdoshas of Kapha:
Tarpaka Kapha- found in sinuses and cerebral fluid, responsible for lubricating those areas and our feeling of sound stability in the mind for contentment and more (too much can lead to sinus infections and too little can affect the mind and lead to depression)
Bodhaka Kapha- found in the saliva and digestive tract, responsible to lubricating the digestive system to help the food travel through the body safely while simultaneously working with enzymes to digest the food properly (too much can cause slow digestion and too little can cause indigestion and problems like heartburn or a buildup of gasses)
Avalambaka Kapha- found in the heart and lung, responsible for lubricating the heart and lung tissues so they can function with ease (too much can cause respiratory infection and too little can cause irregularities and fatigue in the heart and lungs)
Kledaka Kapha- found in the mucus lining of the stomach, responsible for lubricating the stomach to prevent the stomach acid from burning a hole in the muscle itself (too much can cause slow digestion and a build up of toxins, while too little can cause ulcers)
Sleshaka Kapha- found in the joints and cartilage, responsible for lubricating the motions of the joint (too much can lead to sluggishness and swelling and too little can result in inflammation of the joints)
Physical Attributes in the Human:
Thick, strong, oily, plentiful, wavy hair.
Thick, smooth, soft, cool, sometimes oily skin.
Thick, strong, study, unbreakable nails.
Large, round, friendly blue or light brown eyes.
Thick, long eyelashes.
Strong, straight, big and white teeth.
Larger bone structure especially in the shoulders, ribs, and hips.
Joints are often thick and well-knit.
Body tends towards stiffness.
It may be easier putting on weight than taking off.
Enjoys eating out of boredom but doesn’t always feel hungry because of slow digestion.
Slow bowel movement… often thick, sticky, or dry due to lack of fiber from a high carb diet and low vegetable diet.
Kapha women have normal cycles and little pain during menstruation.
Slow movers and talkers.
Strong sexual drive.
Heavy sleepers… lovers of extra sleep.
Uncomfortable in cold, damp environments.
Has excessive mucus.
Problems with gluten.
Problems staying motivated, resulting in laziness and poor hygiene.
Problems with respiratory system, colds, congestion, joints, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lifestyle-acquired diseases, depression.
Mental & Emotional Attributes in the Human:
Slow learners at first but once the information is learned, it’s retained forever.
In other words, great memories.
Hoarders both physically of objects and of emotions and people that no longer serve them… This can be viewed as greedy.
Unforgiving… can hold grudges if you’ve wronged them too many times.
Can sometimes be selfish and vain.
Stubborn. Unmovable. When a choice has been made, it remains.
Doesn’t like change.
Dreams typically center around romance, nature and indulgence.
Signs of Excessive Kapha/Imbalance in the Human:
Difficulty waking up in the morning and often taking several naps.
Easily attached to things and people. Staying in harmful relationships.
Lack of volume, excessive oil and heavy hair.
Oily skin with blackheads and blemishes.
White deposits in the nails and eyes.
Thick white coat on tongue.
Excessive salivation. Drooling.
Sweet taste in the mouth.
Excessive mucus resulting in heavy wet coughs that come from the depths of the chest.
Runny nose/boogery nose.
Congestion in sinuses/sinus infection.
Feeling of tightness in the facial cavities, neck, throat, and chest.
Slow digestion and bowel movement.
Heavy, sticky, pale feces.
Loss of strength.
Lack of motivation to stay hygienic… resulting in foul smell.
Excess or cloudy urination… which could also be a sign of diabetes.
Low grade fevers, fungal infections (especially, yeast for women)
Either low libido or the complete opposite.
Excessive hair growth.
Cystic ovaries in women or fibrocystic lumps.
In men: premature ejaculation, heavy testicles and enlarged prostate.
Lymphatic congestion/swollen lymph nodes.
In extreme cases: obesity, hypothyroidism, goiter, mild hypertension, heart disease from high cholesterol and lack of movement resulting in poor circulation, Type 2 Diabetes, hyperglycemia, even anorexia, cystic fibrosis, leukemia, and formation of fatty tumors throughout the body, kyphosis, scoliosis.
These diseases listed above are terrifying and may have scared readers who are or know someone suffering from one. The key here in educating yourself in Ayurveda, or health in general, is knowing that diseases don’t sneak up on you. They show signs of imbalances first. Imbalances aren’t diseases. However, if an imbalance isn’t corrected, it will lead to disease. And sometimes, the diseases are irreversible. So it’s important to catch it before it’s too late. The good news is you can use your knowledge of imbalances listed above to determine if you have an imbalance or not. It’s also extremely beneficial in knowing your constitution (predominant dosha) and family history so you can create a proactive health plan to prevent the onset of genetic and lifestyle acquired diseases. And if you have no clue what to do or where to start, head over to my Health & Happiness article to learn more on a balanced diet and lifestyle! :)
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Diet:
Favor a warm plate that consist of
¼- Whole grains
¼- Lean protein, preferably plant protein like legumes
*Adding heating spices like cayenne have a nice touch and can increase metabolism/digestive fire.*
Lunch should be your biggest meal, breakfast should be half the size, and dinner should be a third the size of your lunch.
Limit yourself to 2 fruits a day.
For snacks, favor seeds or veggies and hummus. Limit yourself to 2 snacks a day. Once between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner.
For dessert indulgences, drink a cup of herbal tea to help the belly to feel full before filling it up with an extremely sweet treat.
Avoid fried and fatty foods, excessive oil, processed/canned/white flour/white sugar foods, cold drinks and snacking/overeating.
Fresh ginger root tea is extremely beneficial for activating the digestive system to not only empty out the colon in the morning but to ignite the digestive fire to increase metabolism.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Exercise:
30 minutes of cardio a day is ideal!
Too much exercise will increase your appetite and you may have trouble stopping yourself from overeating after a workout.
Running, swimming, biking, and a heating yoga practice are all acceptable workouts.
Strength/resistance training is helpful to do 1-2x a week because it keeps muscles strong and bones safe.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Daily Routine:
Wake up with the Sun!
Meditate, stretch, breathe and move the body around.
Always keep a smile on your face.
Laugh when you get the chance.
Read a book instead of watching TV.
Go to bed at 11pm.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Color Therapy:
Favor heating colors like reds and orange.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Sound Therapy:
Favor fun, loud, and music with drums.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Touch Therapy:
Massage yourself daily with or without oil just to move the lymph around in the body.
How to Balance Excess Kapha through Aromatherapy:
Favor warm, inviting, and awakening scents like cinnamon and clove.
Does this sound like you? I’m predominantly Kapha-Pitta so this article strongly relates to me and my needs. Check out Pitta and Vata to learn more and email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love on, you compassionate Kaphas!
With Love & Compassion,