Thursday, December 9, 2010
Ayurveda Healing: Kapha Dosha
If you've read my other blogs on ayurveda healing and are feeling left out because none of them seems to describe you- fear not! You may be predominately kapha, the third dosha.
If your prakriti is kapha though you probably weren't disturbed by the fact that nothing sounded like you. Unlike Pitta which would be angry and Vata that would respond in a different way every day, Kapha is really slow and steady in personality. Not too much bothers Kapha people.
The Kapha dosah is comprised of the two elements water and earth. This means, the dosha is very "down to earth" The basic theme to characterise Kapha is "relaxed". People who are predominantly kapha usually have endomorph body types. They have strong, well-built bodies that tend to be thickset with wide hips and shoulders. There is a tendency for kaphas to gain weight easily. Kaphas often have cool, smooth, thick, pale skin that is often oily. Large, soft eyes are common to this group.
Kaphas have steady energy. They move, eat, and speak slowly but their stamina exceeds that of other types. They are rarely drained by physical fatigue and will have paced themselves slowly. Kapha's like to store everything- money, energy, words, food, possessions, and fat.
When out of balance, Kapha's tend towards obesity. The fat is typically first stored in lower parts of the body- thighs and buttocks. They may suffer from sinus congestion, chest colds, allergies, asthma and painful joints when out of balance. An out of balance kapha can become lazy, stubborn, and depressed. Kapha's tend to not like cold damp weather and their natural reaction to this is to eat more comfort food and sleep longer- the hibernating bear syndrome. They rarely have trouble with insomnia but oversleep instead. It typically takes them a long time to get started in the morning but then they will feel energetic until late at night.
In order to balance Kapha, the key is stimulation. Out of balance kapha's need new sights, sounds, people, and events. It is important not to overeat if you are a kapha. Dry toast, crackers, apples, tumeric, raw vegetables and ginger tea are all foods that help balance Kapha. When out of balance, Kaphas should avoid sweets which includes ice-cream, milk, butter and wheat breads- all favorites of kaphas! Kaphas should exercise regularly. Kaphas tend to be natural athletes when they are young but may have turned into sedentary adults. A return to regular exercise can be very helpful to keep this dosha in balance. Kaphas are strong and often have a high threshold for pain so they often push themselves when they are sick. Kapha's in particularly need to be aware of the slow signs of illness and pay attention to their bodies.
If you're still not sure what your prakriti or dominant dosha is, go back a couple of blog entries and take the on-line test. Or pick up one of the thousands of books on the subjects- almost all of them include ways to determine your predominant type. One I recommend is "Perfect Health" by Deepak Chopra.
Perhaps the biggest keys to health are self-discovery and self-respect. Ayurveda principles stress the importance of honoring your inherent self and the elements that you are comprised of in order to achieve true health and well-being.