Kapha dosha: characteristics and balance

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February 28, 2022

According to Ayurveda or traditional Indian medicine, all beings are composed of the 5 elements that prevail in nature: space or ether, air, water, earth, and fire. The predominance of these elements in our constitution is determined at the moment of conception and is called Pakruti.

In Ayurveda there are 3 types of constitutions, which is determined by this preponderance of elements in our body: Dosha Vata (space or ether and air), Dosha Pitta (fire and water) and Dosha Kapha (earth and water).

People with kapha dosha maintain a higher proportion of earth and water elements, with water being the most predominant element.

Kapha dosha shapes the body has binding, lubricating and nourishing action. Kapha is the representation of the lunar energy in our bodies. The attributes of this dosha are cold, heavy, unctuous, stable, solid, and slow. All these qualities are especially appreciated in the physique, physiology, and psychology of the Kapha-dominant person.

The meaning of Kapha in Ayurveda is that of strength and endurance in the face of disease and the adversities that life presents. Kapha is associated with our immune system (Ojas in Ayurveda).

People who have kapha dosha are peaceful, stable, and resilient. They are generally creative and have a good memory. They are sensitive to food and drink, and feel best when active, preferring cool, damp weather.

The Kapha dosha possesses calmness, steadiness, and physical and mental endurance. This makes people with this dosha, enjoy great health (if the dosha is balanced), as well as emotional tranquility, calm, and patience, among other associated states.

What are the symptoms of kapha Dosha?

These physical symptoms may indicate an imbalance in Kapha:

  • Slow digestion and metabolism.
  • Overweight, obesity, diabetes
  • Fluid retention, lymphatic congestion
  • Colds, cough, congestion, asthma and excess mucus
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Sleepiness and permanent tiredness

And those are some of the mental/emotional/behavioural symptoms:

  • Dullness, mental inertia Lassitude, stupor, depression
  • Excessive attachment, greed, possessiveness
  • Deferral of obligations
  • Inability to accept change
  • Tendency to sleep too much, drowsiness Stubbornness (stubborn, obstinate)
  • Slowness of movement

What foods should kapha avoid?

To pacify Kapha or balance it through food, it is necessary to consider the attributes discussed above (cold, heavy, unctuous, stable, solid, and slow), carrying out a diet that does not enhance them. Generally, a diet that does not include foods with these qualities should be followed.

Food recommendations for Kapha dosha:

  1. Hot, dry foods and light meals.
  2. Avoid excess liquid foods and drinks.
  3. Spicy, bitter, and astringent flavours are highly recommended.
  4. Avoid sweet and fatty foods and salt. Rock salt is the most indicated.

Eat a few times a day if you feel strong.

Food for Kapha:

  • Vegetables: asparagus, artichoke, eggplant, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, zucchini, bell pepper, carrot, spinach and chard, endive, onion, leek. Most vegetables except some heavier ones such as potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, okra, cucumber.
  • Fruits: pomegranate, apple, pear, papaya, and cherries. Nuts: nuts and pine nuts in moderation. Dried fruits are not highly recommended foods for kapha, due to their fat content.
  • Legumes: green or mung soybeans, red or coral lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas.
  • Cereals: rice, barley, rye, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
  • Dairy products: goat's milk and buttermilk are advisable. Other dairy products are not recommended.
  • Oils: should be consumed in moderation, except mustard oil, since its spicy quality improves the balance of this dosha.
  • Meat: rabbit meat, chicken and turkey are the most indicated, as long as their consumption is moderate, and the person can digest it without difficulty.

Physical exercise is also very important for Kapha.

  • The Kapha person needs to perform exercises with more movement, which raise the temperature of their body and allow them to sweat.
  • They can perform standing postures and breathing exercises that increase the inner fire.
  • Meditations that include chanting, dancing, mantras etc. are recommended. Kapha people need to balance their root and sacral chakras.

Asanas (Poses) recommended for Kapha:

Gomukhasana, Bhujangasana, Katichakra Asana, Dhanurasana, Shalabhasana

Pranayama (Breathing exercises) for Kapha:

Surya BhediPrayanayama, Bhastrika, Kapalbhati

If you want to know more about Kapha dosha, recommendations for its balance and other knowledge for your health, visit our Ayurveda Course. On Conscious TV you will find courses and content about yoga, personal growth, and spirituality. Try us free for 7 days.