Updated: Jan 1
Dosha in Ayurveda, simply means energies which are formed by a combination of the elements. These energies fundamentally construct and govern the workings of our body, minds and our surrounding environments including the core make up of other sentient beings. As humans, we have all three doshas present in our bodies. What makes each of us unique however, is every individuals ratio or unique combination of the doshas. Some of us are dominated strongly by one dosha alone, for example are either Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Others share an equality between two doshas and others have a balance of all three in equal proportions. Our doshic make up is constructed from a mixture of our parents genetics, our mothers pregnancy and health, our family history, time of conception, extrinsic environmental exposure and karmic factors also. If you are to look around within your family for example, you can see that everyone is unique in their own way, even when you share the same genetics. I know even within my immediate family, our body frames, weight, hair colour and structure, skin, metabolisms and health susceptibilities all vary to some degree. Ayurveda, being the incredibly intelligent science that it is, acknowledges our dosha individuality as the key foundation for lifestyle, well-being and healing strategies.
LET'S TALK ABOUT KAPHA
Kapha is constructed of the water and earth elements and is responsible for the function of preservation and strength. Kapha governs growth, immunity, flexibility, sustenance and lubrication of the body. If you are a person with a predominance of Kapha, you are likely to be thoughtful, calm and loving in nature. You also may possess the ability to thoroughly enjoy life and are contented with regular and familiar routine. When in balance, you are grounded, loyal, patient, steady, and supportive. Your body is usually strong, with excellent stamina. Your physical characteristics appear to have large, soft eyes; smooth, radiant, pale skin; and thick, lustrous hair. You are the body type that also sleeps long and soundly, with regular digestion and elimination processes.
The Kapha dosha can become aggravated a diet too heavy in sweet, sour and salty tastes. Foods that are overly sweet, processed and oily will cause Kapha imbalance. Over-eating (including binge and emotional eating), excess sleep, daytime napping, cold, damp environments and a sedentary lifestyle all increase Kapha. Excess Kapha may cause digestive disorders such as loss of appetite, nausea, heaviness in the stomach, a sluggish digestive system, and excess weight. Swollen joints, oedema, feeling cold and conditions effecting the lymph system is linked to the Kapha dosha. Over-production of mucous, congestion, swollen glands, hay fever, allergies and any itching conditions are Kapha dominated. Additionally, immune disorders, conditions of the mouth and reproductive conditions such as PCOS, also stem from Kapha vitiation.
Kapha dominated individuals have an incredible memory, often the person in conversation that can remember the exact dates, and happenings, of an event many years ago. It might take a little longer for the Kapha person to learn something, but once it is understood, the Kapha rarely forgets.
Due to the deeply caring, grounded and strong nature of the Kapha dosha, individuals of this dominance make excellent health care professionals, teachers, administrators, horticulturists or those in manual labour and trades jobs. When out of balance, you might find the Kapha person to become resistant to change, holding onto things, relationships and jobs longer than what is of benefit or necessary. Additionally, the imbalanced Kapha mind will become stubborn, avoid dealing with issues, withdrawn and at times, dark and depressed.
GENERAL GUIDELINES TO BALANCE KAPHA
Cultivate routine - the Kapha individual thrives in a well-balanced and established routine that starts early (up with the sun) and avoids day-time naps or long periods of stagnant resting (i.e. Netflix binge).
Do not overfeed the Kapha body - three square meals a day is ideal, avoiding snacking in between.
Seek stimulation - Kapha's won't generally go out and try something new, seek adventure or push boundaries for their own growth. It is important to balance the Kapha stability with some spontaneity and new environments whenever possible.
Kapha types need more bitter, astringent and pungent (hot/chilli) tastes added into the diet and have foods that are warm, dry and spiced.
Kapha's need to move! Every day and with vigour. Because of the cold, damp and often slow nature of the dosha, exercise is one of the best pacifiers for imbalance, or used as a highly effective preventative for many Kapha symptoms.
Kapha dominated individuals should favour clothes and house colours that are dominant in yellow, orange, gold and red. This will stimulate, warm and balance the nature of Kapha in both mind and body.
Aromatherapy such as frankincense, myrrh, clove, cedar, cinnamon, musk, camphor, eucalyptus, juniper and marjoram are all great for pacifying Kapha.
As always, never hesitate to be in touch if you would like to find out some more information about your natural constitution and the doshas.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the science of Ayurveda. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult your chosen trained health care professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner, contact The Sattva Centre directly - firstname.lastname@example.org