Understanding Kapha Dosha
As a science of self-healing, Ayurveda encompasses diet and nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, rest and relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, and medicinal herbs (along with cleansing and rejuvenation programmes); and we can all take simple actions for prevention, self-healing, growth and fulfilment.
Since birth, every human being has had an individual combination of the three Doshas (life forces or body type): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They're made of the five elements, and they are present in every cell, tissue and organ. When in balance they create health. When out of balance, they are the cause of disease. It's therefore crucial to keep a Doshic balance to promote (and restore) health and wellbeing.
Kapha Dosha: water + earth
Kapha is in charge of STRUCTURE in the body. It governs bone density, fat regulation, strength, stamina, repair & restoration, mucus, moisture, memory retention.
Below are the main attributes of Kapha dosha and how they are expressed in the physical mental, and behavioural characteristics of a Kapha individual.
What are the symptoms of an aggravated Kapha?
To maintain health and balance, it requires moment-to-moment awareness. Recognising the signs/symptoms of a Kapha imbalance will help you take the right action to restore equilibirum.
What creates Kapha imbalance?
Unhealthy diet, excess stress, insufficient rest or exercise, repressed emotions all disturb your doshic balance. But not only.
According to Ayurveda "like increases like", that's the basis of understanding how doshic imbalances work. In other words, whatever qualities/attributes you bring into your life will increase the dosha that has those qualities (see Kapha's attributes above). Meaning that changes in age and in seasons can also throw you out of balance.
Eating too many sweet, rich and fatty food.
Cold drinks and foods.
A sedentary lifestyle, under exercising.
Cold, cloudy, damp weather. In other words, winter.
Sleeping during the day.
Sitting doing nothing.
It's worth mentioning that diet remains the main potential causes of disease: wrong food combinations, stale food, food with chemicals, and wrong eating habits such as eating too late at night or eating in a rush). Good news is that a proper diet is one of the major ways we can take control of our lives and maintain healthy balance.
How to reduce Kapha and get back in balance?
As discussed earlier, "like increases like", which means that opposite qualities decrease or balance". As simple as that.
As discussed earlier, "like increases like", which means that opposite qualities decrease or balance". As simple as that. Kapha are naturally dense, heavy, oily, and sweet in energy so they need foods with the opposite qualities: light, stimulating, dry, bitter, astringent and pungent. With a well-balanced diet, Kaphas can gain energy, lose weight and regain balance.
1. The rule of thumb for Kapha is: wait until you're genuinely hungry to eat.
2. Kaphas are naturally attracted to cheese and ice cream, but should definitely stay away from dairy products as they are way too heavy and cooling.
3. Should you eat snacks, dry cereal, salt-free crackers, and rice cakes balance the liquid nature of Kapha dosha. Avoid all sorts of sugary snacks.
4. Carrots, asparagus, artichokes, bitter leafy greens, celery, peas, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are good vegetable choices. They become more digestible when chopped, steamed, and cooked with Kapha-pacifying spices. Avoid nightshades, (such as tomato, white potato, eggplant and bell pepper).
5. Vegetables are best steamed or roasted, avoid using excess oil. They can be combined with lighter grains (quinoa, buckwheat, millet and couscous are good choices) and/or mung beans for satisfying one-dish meals.
6. Black pepper, fresh green chilli peppers and fresh ginger root add flavour while balancing Kapha. Use and abuse spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, black pepper, dried ginger, asafoetida (hing), cloves and fenugreek.
LIFESTYLE & ROUTINE
1. Try to wake up before sunrise to get your day started bright and early.
2. Move your body! Kaphas require the most vigorous exercise of all Doshas. And the best time is early morning because it'll set you up for the rest of the day. It can be a brisk walk (or a run!), a Vinyasa or Power Yoga class, an aerobic class ... anything to break a little sweat.
3. Shake things up! Kaphas are creatures of habits and need to shake things up a bit. Try new things and get out of your comfort zone. It can be anything from meeting a new friend or singing up for a new class.
4. Avoid sleeping during the day, as tempting as it is.
5. Avoid snacking during the day. Try to keep 4 to 6 hours between each meal. Wait until you are genuinely hungry to eat.
6. Let go of the things that have hurt you, practice forgiveness - you'll feel mentally lighter because you're not holding on to anger or sadness.
7. Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodana). It's a great practice to cleanse your lungs, increase cognitive function, decrease stress and improve the mood.
In a nutshell :
Finally, three keys words for Kapha that coud be use as a daily mantra:
Love & Light
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