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What is Kapha Dosha

what is kaphaHave you ever noticed the beautiful Beyonce Knowles? Her wide shoulders, gorgeous curves, and brightly lit large eyes… She's this way because of her Kapha body type. So, what is Kapha?

Kapha is one of the three Doshas, according to Ayurveda. The other two Doshas are Vata and Pitta.

The five elements – Ether Air, Fire, Water and Earth Earth – combine with each other in a unique way, giving rise to these Doshas. To put it precisely, these Doshas are the governing authorities of our physical and mental bodies.

To learn more about Kapha dosha, and to see if this is your body/mind type keep reading…

what is kapha

what is kapha

What is Kapha Dosha?

what is kaphaKapha is the qualities and concept of Earth + Water. When water mixes with earth, it yields mud. So Kapha is the densest body type among the three Doshas. Kapha dosha is cohesion and stability. It is responsible for the structure of our body.

We only know an element by its qualities so if you have a Kapha body/mind type, you will have these physical and mental qualities.

Kapha is:

  • Heavy
  • Oily
  • Soft
  • Cool
  • Stable
  • Soft
  • Slow
  • Static

Kapha dosha (the qualities of earth and water) are responsible for:

  • Growth
  • Lubrication
  • Energy, stamina, and strength
  • Producing mucus
  • Sleeping
  • Stability
  • Repair and regeneration

If you are Kapha-dominant…

You will have well-defined bones and joints. Your skin will be thick and oily. Emotionally, you will tend to be nurturing and grounded. Like mud, you will remain grounded physically and emotionally no matter what is going on around you. Kapha-dominant types are blessed with good health and a natural mental peace-of-mind.

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Kapha resides primarily in these organs and locations in our body. When Kapha goes out-of-balance, you will be able to notice the symptoms in the areas listed below:

  • Chest and lungs
  • Tongue
  • Stomach
  • Lymph
  • Liquids of the body
  • Head

what is kaphaIt's important to know both the positive and negative aspects of the Doshas. The positive will give you superpowers. The negative will make you unwell.

The balanced side of Kapha looks like:
  • Robust frame with large padded joints
  • Thick, smooth skin with a tendency not to wrinkle much
  • Rich, thick, and wavy hair
  • Stable and calm in thought
  • Peaceful and grounded
  • Easy going, supportive
  • Steady and serene
  • Healthy digestion and deep long sleep
Unbalanced Kapha will look like:
  • Depressed, attached, lethargic and lazy
  • Slow, dull, and sluggish
  • Persistent, recurring cold and cough
  • Lung and lymph congestion
  • Slow digestion and metabolism
  • Swelling, fluid retention, and edema
  • The need to sleep excessively

what is kaphaPhysical Characteristics of Kapha

If you are Kapha-dominated, you will have broad shoulders, wide hips, with a broad and expanded chest.  Your joints will be strong and padded.  Your eyes will be large and bright. Kapha body types are solid, with broad frames and often overweight, especially when out-of-balance.

They have cool, pale skin. However, they do not like damp, cold weather.

Other physical characteristics include:

  • Gains weight easily, hard to lose
  • Large, calm eyes
  • Thick, even bushy eyebrows
  • Thick, even ears with large earlobes
  • Thick, soft, radiant skin
  • Thick, curly, oily, wavy, hair
  • Dark black or dark brown hair
  • Short, rounded, button nose
  • Healthy, white, strong gums
  • Thick, smooth, and shiny nails
  • Smooth, large, and pale lips
  • Big, deep, and round belly button
  • Regular, slow digestion and slow metabolism
  • Deep, relaxed sleep
    what is Kapha

    Kapha is the Endomorph body type

Famous Kapha Types

what is kaphaWhat is kaphaOprah Winfrey is a famous female Kapha type.

Luciano Pavarotti is a famous Male Kapha type.

Psychological Characteristics of Kapha

  • Compassion and sympathetic
  • Stoic, calm, and serene
  • Prefers slow, relaxed lifestyle
  • Learns slowly but has a long-term memory
  • Attached to things, relationships, or work
  • Prefers to be methodical
  • Nurturing, protecting and sustaining
  • Tends to live in the past and negative memories
  • Prone to depression and sadness
  • Natural listener
  • Resists changes
  • Tends to stick to comfort zones
  • Prefers to be a follower

Emotional Characteristics of Kapha

  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Calm
  • Thoughtful
  • Supportive
  • Steady
  • Strong
  • Patient
  • Tends to hold on to things/persons

Ways Kapha Becomes Imbalanced

Kapha tends to go out-of-balance under the following circumstances:

  • Indulge in sweet, salty, and/or sour foods
  • Consuming heavy foods including dairy, meat, and wheat
  • Eating processed and fatty foods
  • Consuming refined sugar, oily foods, and cold food items
  • Drinking cold drinks
  • Drinking too much water
  • Eating past 7 pm
  • Constant munching & snacking
  • Emotional eating
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive sleeping or napping during afternoons
  • Exposure to humidity and dampness
  • Living in winter and spring seasons
  • Consuming incompatible food combinations
  • Avoiding intellectual challenges
  • Spending time indoors

Kapha Common Body Symptoms

Some of the common body symptoms that reflect Kapha imbalance include;

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Fluid retention and bloating
  • A sense of heaviness in the stomach
  • Increased cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Cold, congestion, or a cough
  • Diabetes
  • Colds
  • Excess ear wax
  • Excess phlegm
  • Cystic ovaries
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Long, slow menstrual cycles
  • Low thyroid function
  • Lymphatic system disorder
  • Intolerance of cold and damp
  • Yeast conditions
  • Heart disease

Ways to Balance Kapha

Kapha prefers to live in a comfort zone, so they need to mix it and get out there mingle with interesting, motivated people. To balance Kapha you need stimulation!

what is vataHere are some suggestions to balance Kapha.

Balancing Kapha with Diet

Consume:
  • Pungent, bitter, and astringent foods
  • Warm, freshly cooked, whole foods
  • Light, dry and energizing foods
  • Warm, heating spices like black pepper, chili, cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon
  • Beans, especially mung dal
  • Cooked veggies
  • Flaxseed, safflower, and sunflower oils are best. Use all oils in small amounts
  • Dried fruit is best as they are not too sweet. Apples, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, pomegranates
  • Warm boiled milk spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger or turmeric
  • Grains like barley, millet, and basmati rice
  • Meals at regular intervals of time
  • Food when you are peaceful
Avoid:
  • Sweet, sour, and salty foods
  • Cooling foods
  • Heavy, processed, deep-fried foods
  • Heavy grains like white rice and wheat
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • Carbonated and aerated drinks
  • All nuts
  • Tofu and other soy-based products
  • Indulging in heavy meals
  • Consuming fruits or juice 30 minutes before and after meals
  • Red meat
  • Foods with refined sugar
Cut down the consumption of sour and/or heavy fruits like:
  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Coconuts
  • Melons

Kapha Pacifying Ayurvedic Herbs

In general, these herbs increase your body heat. In addition, they stimulate your metabolism and digestion. These herbs prevent water retention and promote weight loss. But, one should use them as a part of a treatment, complete with a diet and exercise plan.

Here’s a list of common Kapha balancing herbs:
  • Triphala
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Punarnava
  • Tulsi
  • Turmeric
  • Pippali
  • Licorice
  • Vasaka leaf
  • Cardamom
  • Chitrak root
  • Guggulu
  • Vidanga
  • Brahmi leaf
  • Shankhapushpi
  • Bhringaraj
  • Nutmeg

General Guidelines for Balanced Kapha Lifestyle

Following these guidelines will help to balance the Kapha.

  • Aim to wake up before the sunrise
  • Cleanse your tongue and teeth.
  • Drink 3 cups of warm water with cumin seeds
  • Stimulate your mind and body with a vigorous exercise regimen
  • Do a self-massage with warm sesame oil for 15 minutes
  • Take a bath in warm shower
  • Eat five small meals at regular intervals.
  • Sip warm water infused with cumin seeds throughout the day
  • Aim to sleep between 9 to 10 pm.
  • Keep yourself warm, irrespective of the weather
  • Listen to livening, invigorating music

Powerful yoga practices like Ashtanga Yoga are ideal for the Kapha-dominant people. You might also choose vigorous walking, jogging or martial arts. It is advisable to exercise 6 days a week, 60 minutes a day to prevent weight gain.

What is Kapha – Conclusion

Kapha, in general, look large. They always tend to remain overweight. A thin body is not what Kapha should aim for as it would be unhealthy for this Dosha. Aim to inculcate a steady regimen, but make changes as and when required to balance the Kapha Dosha.

Now that you know what is Kapha, you can find out if you are one, physically or mentally!

“One whose doshas are in balance, whose appetite is good, whose body, mind and senses are blissful, is called a healthy person,” says Sushruta Samhita. Modifying your lifestyle by synchronizing it with the Dosha requirements will help you lead a healthy, blissful life.

what is kapha

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About the author

Jackie Parker

4 Comments

  • Hello here. Maybe it is a consequence or sign but I see articles or books from Ayurveda more often as before.
    I checked my type but I could not decide which type fits me at the best.
    Overall, Vata seems as for me but there are some details such as things which happen when Vata is unbalanced and they do not fit for me.
    I guess that nobody can be 100% of particular dosha type. Maybe there can be some percentage of one dosha and other percentage for different dosha.
    Overall, Ayurveda’s teachings are understandable and easy to grasp.
    I think that if everybody would follow them, the world would be more at peace and balance.
    All the best, Nemira.

  • Hello here. Maybe it is a consequence or sign but I see articles or books from Ayurveda more often as before.
    I checked my type but I could not decide which type fits me at the best.
    Overall, Vata seems as for me but there are some details such as things which happen when Vata is unbalanced and they do not fit for me.
    I guess that nobody can be 100% of particular dosha type. Maybe there can be some percentage of one dosha and other percentage for different dosha.
    Overall, Ayurveda’s teachings are understandable and easy to grasp.
    I think that if everybody would follow them, the world would be more at peace and balance.
    All the best, Nemira.

    • Hello Nemira, Yes, there are many Ayurvedic schools and programs and the word is spreading about is practical, natural way to stay healthy.

      You most likely are dual dosha. Almost everyone is. We have all 3 doshas, because they are the building blocks of the body, but usually two dominate.

      Yes, I agree… if more people knew about Ayurveda there would be less need for pharmaceutical drugs and sicknesses.

      Thanks for commenting. Take good care.

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