What is Kapha?
Elements: Water and Earth – oily and heavy
Kapha is made up of the two elements water and earth.
Characteristics of Kapha dosha: heavy – both water and earth are heavy elements (guru); cold (sheetoha); soft (mridu); unctuous, offering lubrication (snigdha); sweet (madhura); stability, offering immunity (sthira); and slippery (tikshila).
People with more Kapha in their constitutions tend to be of larger proportions, with a robust frame and padded joints, thick smooth skin that may tend towards oiliness, and rich, wavy hair.
They are stable and calm in thought, speech and action, and are easy-going and supportive in relationships.
There is an element of steadiness to their step, a quality of serenity in their smile. Loyalty is usually their second name.
They are long, heavy sleepers and uncomfortable in damp, clammy environments. Calm and sweetness of disposition are hallmarks of balanced Kapha.
If your prakriti or original constitution has more Kapha in it, you will exhibit many of the characteristics and qualities of Kapha when you are in balance than people who have more Pitta or Vata in their make-up. And that’s natural. But if the qualities become extreme, or more pronounced than usual at a given time, then the Kapha in you has in all likelihood become aggravated or imbalanced, and needs to be brought back into balance.
Factors that can cause Kapha dosha to increase in the physiology include a diet that contains too many deep-fried, sweet or heavy foods, over-consumption of ice-cold foods or beverages, exposure to cold and damp, daytime sleep, and lack of exercise.
Signs that you need to balance Kapha:
- Are you gaining weight easily, even though you feel like you don’t really have an appetite?
- Do you feel tired even though you are not performing any physical activity?
- Do you find it difficult to awake even after long hours of sleep? Do you wake up feeling un-refreshed, tired?
- Is your skin feeling oilier than usual, with breakouts?
- Is your hair oily and streaky even with regular shampooing?
- Are you heavy and congested in your throat, head and chest?
- Is your digestion slow? Do you feel heavy and lethargic after a meal?
- Do you feel like you just want to sit and be a spectator?
- Do you feel withdrawn? Is it difficult to deal with change? Do you constantly feel the need to “cling”?
- Do you feel mentally unmotivated?
If you answered yes to many of the questions above, following a Kapha-balancing diet and lifestyle can help restore balance to Kapha.