Intro into the Doshas: Are You Kapha Dominant?
In Ayurveda we look to the three Doshas to decipher what is aligned or out of balance within our bodies. Doshas are constitutions that influence your mental and physical wellbeing. The three Doshas that work within all of us are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They each have distinct qualities that allow us to identify what is balanced or imbalanced. Doshas are potent and powerful forces that are constantly in motion. Depending on your body, where you live, the season and the time of day, certain Doshas may be aggravated. As we begin to identify how each Dosha shows up within us we will be able to pacify them using certain Ayurvedic protocols.
The elements that create Kapha are earth and water. The qualities of the Kapha Dosha are stability, heaviness, lubrication, wetness, and coolness. A Kapha person is nurturing, loving, grounded, and consistent. They are like an abundant, sturdy mountain who will always welcome you with open arms. Kapha people have lots of stability within their lives and their temper. They are calm people who offer sweet nectar and care to those around them. The qualities of Kapha are heightened within us all during winter when the earth is dark and dense. It is also heightened between 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm when it is time for rest and digestion and between 6:00 am - 10:00 pm. It's important to do physical movement in the early mornings to balance out the sluggish tendencies of Kapha.
The lovingness of a Kapha person can become overactive. If you have ever felt smothered by someone's kindness, they may have a Kapha imbalance. When Kapha is overactive they hold on to people or sentimental items. They are nostalgic and can become codependent on their relationships. To pacify a hyperactive Kapha, think light and mobile. Wake up with the sunrise, don't take naps, incorporate movement into your daily routine. Warming spices like cinnamon, cayenne, leaks, and ginger help to spark a fire for a damp Kapha. If you have a lack of Kapha you may have dry skin, you may struggle to have a loving perspective or you may feel a lack of predictability in your life.
Pro tip: Use the Indigo Bennd yoga mat to do a strengthening vinyasa practice. Movement is a Kapha's best friend.
Are you Kapha Dominant?
We each have one or two Doshas that are more prominent than others. If you are Kapha dominant these may be some of your characteristics:
- Round voluptuous body features
- Find yourself thinking "I just look at food and can gain weight"
- Cheeks are plump and nose is fleshy
- Beautiful, round eyes
- Soft dewy skin
- Strong gums and teeth
- Strong nails
- Thick, lush hair, oftentimes curly
- Joints well lubricated, they don't ache or get inflamed
- Rarely thirsty
- Appetite is predictable
- Slow, heavy digestion
- Sweats easily, sweat smell sweet
- Known to be earthy and grounded
- Calm and consistent
- Heavy sleeper who loves to sleep in
- Good finances and knows how to save money
- Dreams are romantic
- Resting heart rate of 60 - 70 bpm
An imbalanced Kapha (needs stimulation):
- Feels sluggish
- Little motivation
- Heavy and blocked
- Have excess mucus
- Feel congested or have respiratory issues
- Overly sentimental
- Attachment issues
- Clammy and pale skin
- Lethargic digestion
- Can hoard things
- Holds onto excess weight
A balanced Kapha:
- Stong body and stable mind
- Loyal, dependable, loving
- Able to happily support others and yourself
- Skin is soft and smooth
- Fulfilling relationships
- Thick, soft hair
- Well lubricated body
- Optimal weight for your height and structure
Integrating your Ayurvedic knowledge
Begin by taking out your journal every day for a week and document the qualities you observe within your mind and body each day. Do you feel like you have an open heart? When friends come to you for support do you feel drained or full? Is your skin dry or dewy? How are your energy levels?
All of this will be indicators of what your primary and secondary Doshas are. If you are interested in learning more about Pitta Dosha or Vata Dosha check out the full Dosha series on the Bennd Journal.