Kapha: Ayurveda Dosha Body Type, Imbalance, and Diet
An average Kapha body type is tender, loving, soft hearted and deep, so why are they not desirable? Here is the answer!
Kapha body types are persons with typically large solid body frames, smooth rounded joints, and well-developed flesh. With soft oily skin, curly thick hair, and white even teeth, the Kapha dosha type can stop traffic when they want to.
But, and there is a big butt (pun intended hehe!!!) Kapha peeps tend to gain weight due to lack of exercise much faster than Vata or Pitta body types. Oops!! By no means does this make the Kapha body type any less than their Vata or the Pitta body friends. In fact, quite the contrary.
Ayurveda considers the Kapha Body Type to be the strongest of all body types, so congratulations, if you are one. Your steady energy levels can keep you going long after others have keeled over.
This dosha type is the easiest to go from imbalance to balance, with one, sorry, two remedies: movement and masala-la-la! Spice up your life with some Salsa and you are golden!
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Brief Overview of the Kapha Body Type
Body, the Kapha body is well-formed, large-framed, with thick curly hair and strong bone structure. From their pearly, small even teeth and developed gums to their sturdy bones and muscles, Kaphas are the Greek Gods and Goddesses type.
Mind, the Kapha mind is slow, deliberate, calm, and peace-loving
Emotion, the Kapha emotions are nurturing, loyal, and when crossed possessive
Relationships, Kaphas do well with other Kaphas the best but also work well with Vatas and Pittas.
Diseases, Kapha are challenged with weight gain, cholesterol, diabetes, kidney stones, eye infections, etc
Employment, Kaphas do well in public-facing roles where a calm mind is an advantage like police, public service, and politics.
Challenges, Kapha tends to overeat, sleep, and become lethargic when out of balance.
Grab a cup of your favorite herbal tea, I have a lot to share about your Kapha dosha body type.
What is the Kapha body type?
You know you are talking to a Kapha dosha body type, when you meet someone who is instantly warm, a typical woman of few words, and when she does speak, she speaks slowly and thoughtfully.
Kapha body types move slowly, love savory foods, and when out of balance, have a humongous sweet tooth. Kaphas have thick curly hair, soft warm hydrated skin, large calm eyes, prominent gums, and small white teeth.
Kaphas have good appetites, take a while to digest, absorb, and keep the most of their food and eliminate regularly. Their energy levels are steady and easily excel at endurance sports.
They sleep deeply, love their beds, and dream peaceful dreams of lakes and swans and such. When under stress Kaphas tend to become lazy, lethargic, and have trouble letting go. They may also show possessiveness and hoarding. Looking at you, mom!
Kapha body type personality traits & Emotions
Kapha people tend to be loving, loyal sweethearts; when the weather turns cold, they get cold hands and clammy skin and they are more likely to suffer from lethargy, sadness, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. if they do not watch out and balance themselves.
Kaphas are deep learners and thinkers, they take time to grasp but retain long term memory.
Think of a sponge soaking wet with water. Would the sponge be happy if you gave it more water? Would it like to be cold?
Kaphas do not enjoy cold wet climates and love to go on holidays to warm tropical or desert locations. Think Dubai and Florida! Headed to London or Vancouver? I see trouble!
Vata, Pitta and Kapha Body Types Meaning
Ayurveda divides all living beings into three distinct body types or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha body type, based on their unique constitution.
Each person’s constitution is one of these doshas or a combination of them.
Each biological dosha energy has a vital role to play in our health and well being.
Vata is the intelligence behind all movement in the body.
Pitta is the intelligence that governs metabolism, transmutation, and the acid-alkali balance.
Kapha energy helps to build up bulk in the body. Kapha dosha body type is Earth and Water dominant, their construction function is higher than circulation and digestion.
A Typical Kapha Body Type Archetype
By nature, Kapha dosha body types tend to have highly functioning cohesive energies, the energy that causes cells to stick together. Kapha is the “glue” that holds the structure
Kapha is the quality of hydration, and the liquids in the body like synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, lymph, plasma, cellular fluids, gastric juices, and the mucosal lining are all healthy when Kapha energy is at its optimal. Kapha is also responsible for our immunity. Without Kapha, there would be no life.
When Kapha energy is out of balance, the body creates more bulk than it needs, because of this Kapha dosha body types gain weight no matter how little they eat.
What are some Kapha diseases?
When Kapha displays a negative state of mind, their bodies do not enjoy movement, they like to stay at home and they get frequent coughs, colds, sinus infections.
When the Kapha energy is out of balance, Kapha Body type peeps crave for more food, have trouble getting out of bed, sleep during the day, and scarf down sugary desserts and greasy treats.
If the Kapha continues going down the path of imbalance then they start to get diseases like excessive weight gain, atherosclerosis, cholesterol, diabetes, depression, seasonal mood disorders, Polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS/ PCOD, hypothyroidism, eye infections, Cataracts, Kidney stones, migraine headaches from clogged sinuses among others.
Imagine a couch potato, chugging down beer, eating take out every night, a house full of cats and trash bags, a closet spilling over everywhere, no friends, and getting bigger and bigger by the day, that would be a classic Kapha gone rogue.
The good news is there are very few pure Kapha types out there.
Introducing the combination Kapha Body Type..drum roll, please.
Combination Ayurveda body Types: Wait, there is more?
There are a total of ten body types, the main three are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, as mentioned before.
And there are also an additional seven sub-body types based on combination types like Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, and Kapha-Vata, plus Vata-Pitta-Kapha, a body type where all three doshas tend to go out of balance in equal proportions.
It is highly unlikely that you are a pure Kapha, mostly you are a combination of a fiery Pitta-Kapha or a dainty Vata-Kapha.
You could be a dominant Kapha with a subtype of a Pitta body type or a Vata body type, in which case you will be called a Kapha-Pitta or a Kapha-Vata.
Kapha Vata combo Body Type, Imbalance and harmony
Creative, full of ideas, and often chasing after a gazillion plans, this deep nurturer is also someone who hits the brakes just when they need to. The Kapha Vata Body Type enjoys the best of both worlds. Born with zeal and vision, this body type can go forward in directions unthinkable and unachievable for others. Not only do you fly high, but you are also paradoxically a deeply grounded human.
Kapha Vata Imbalance:
- Intolerance of cold
- Weight gain
- Clinging to old habits, friends, relationships past their due date
- Sudden crippling overwhelm
- Pain that moves around the body
Balancing Kapha Vata makes the person feel
- Greater surety about when to go-go-go and when to stop
Respect for both aspects of personality, the scattered part and the one that requires structure
Kapha Pitta combo Body Type, Imbalance and harmony
Robust and resilient, energetic, and ambitious this body type is a strong leader. Born with energy and determination, nothing is unachievable for this body type. Not only are you a go-getter you are also a deeply nurturing, empathetic human. Your body is naturally strong when balanced.
Kapha Pitta Imbalance:
- Intolerance of cold
- Weight gain
- Clinging to old habits, hurts, relationships past their due date
- Skin rashes
- Body Odor
- Sadness and lethargy
- Lack of patience
Balancing Kapha Pitta makes the person feel:
- Patience and tolerance of others
- Understanding that not everyone is born with the energy and drive of a Kapha Pitta
- Knowing when to stop pushing self and others
Kapha Dosha balancing diet: What should a Kapha body type eat and avoid?
Diet and lifestyle hold the key to balance no matter which dosha is out of whack.
Sweet, salty, and sour tastes tend to help build the body, the Kapha already is blessed with constructive energies so they must be balanced by the opposite tastes of bitter, pungent, and astringent.
This means lots of greens, cabbage family vegetables, bitter vegetables like Kale, fenugreek, and nettle should be part of a Kapha diet. Kaphas should be generous with using flavorful herbs in their cooking like parsley, coriander, sage, rosemary, oregano, etc.
Kaphas thrive when using spices like turmeric, ginger, paprika, carom seeds, etc.
Should kapha body types eat meat?
Kaphas should avoid heavy foods as their digestion is slower and thorough, their body is able to draw most of the nutrition from their diet, this makes the Kaphas do well even on a poor man’s simple diet.
Red and white meats, fish, eggs, nuts, full cream milk, cheese, avocado, coconut, white rice, sesame, black urad lentils, and wheat are really not required in a Kapha diet. These foods may throw the Kapha energy out of balance creating more body mass. Only on rare occasions when recovery from an illness or a pregnancy, a Kapha can add these to their diet.
Generally speaking, a Kapha who eats a simple basic freshly cooked diet with mung lentils, millets, sorghum, oatmeal, fresh greens are best. Root vegetables with the earthy quality of bulk building are not preferred, instead when in doubt Kaphas should eat the lighter vegetables that grow above ground.
Well cooked, soaked, and skimmed legumes and beans work for Kaphas even though gentler lentils like mung, red lentils, and black-eyed peas work best.
I advise my Kapha clients to take a teaspoon of ghee with their dinners sprinkled with Trikatu for easy bowel movements.
Cold drinks + Kapha body type = Cough, Cough, Cough
Since Kaphas do not thrive in cold environments and cold food and drinks cause imbalance, Kapha dosha types must avoid cold salads and go for steamed, baked, broiled, stir-fried, sautéed, and grilled over fried in oil and pan-fried.
Lightly fermented foods, kimchi, kombucha, wines, hot toddies, herb, and spice liqueurs are good for Kapha bodies, due to their drying nature. Remember, Kaphas tend to become overly hydrated when imbalanced, and based on the samanya vishesha Ayurveda philosophy of like increases like and opposites balance, these drying foods help a Kapha thrive.
Sweet kaphas and fruit, do they mix?
Kaphas do well with fruit that is not overly sweet, grapes, gooseberry amla, berries, and raisins work well. So do pomegranates and Grapefruit. Peaches, less sweet varieties of apples, apricots, pears are all good for Kaphas. Pineapples and Papaya, even though sweet, are still good for Kaphas due to the higher amount of proteolytic enzymes.
Kaphas must eat sugar sparingly, they may use warming raw honey, jaggery, date palm jaggery, treacle, or maple syrup completely avoiding white sugar and any sugary processed drinks.
How much sleep does a Kapha dosha body Type need?
Generally, Kaphas do well with 6-8 hours of sleep at night. It is best to avoid day sleep in spring and fall especially. During summers they may take a 20-minute power nap an hour after taking lunch.
Kaphas must try and wake up in the Brahma Muhurtha, the sacred time of dawn, within 90 minutes prior to sunrise. This is Kapha time in nature as well if you have noticed the dew starting to condense on foliage and flowers.
Similarly in our bodies, the sinuses and chest may have increased mucus drainage. Staying in bed creates discomfort and swelling due to the blockage. Know anyone who wakes up with a puffy face and eyes?
Waking up with the rising sun and getting some steam inhalation will help dry the Kapha build up in the sinuses and respiration will be easier.
The time just before dawn is invigorating for all body types, especially Kaphas.
Divaswapna or sleep during the daytime helps to build bulk in the body and it is not advised for a Kapha body type unless recovering from illness, pregnancy, postpartum or during a heavy period.
A Kapha dosha body type in Love, Relationships and Heartbreak
A Kapha body type is loyal as a puppy and as sweet as one. With their big calm eyes, they make adoring, eager friends who are thoroughly dependable. They are usually known for their nurturing and their rock-like steadiness.
Kaphas are frisky in love, they go slow but fall hard when they do.
If they are in love with an erratic Vata, there is trouble because the Vata is too volatile and the Kapha cannot keep up with the daily change in plans. The Kapha likes her quiet, and the Vata loves the energy, banter, dance, music! The Kapha heaves a sigh of relief when the Vata is not around.
Understanding the Ayurveda body type will help the Vata bring the Kapha out of her shell, and help the airy-fairy Vata, settle down and center.
A Kapha in love with a Pitta has the energy to match and even outrun, but a fiery ambitious Pitta can feel too abrasive for the gentle Kapha. The Pitta loves the sweet Kapha but she can be annoyingly cloying sometimes and the Pitta will find her a little too clingy.
A rejected Kapha may resort to shady tactics like his phone at night and acting weird around his female coworkers. Kapha body types can get jealous and possessive when feeling insecure.
Once the Kapha understands that the Pitta needs a goal even for cuddling on the couch, she will be able to set his expectations and manage them marvelously.
When he gets home all worked up with a new project, she will know that a sandalwood aromatherapy oil or a glass of cool iced tea will get him to “cool” down and appreciate the gorgeous space she has created for them to relax.
If you are a Kapha, figure out your partner’s body type here and put your worries to rest for good.
Kapha Professions and Retirement
Kaphas do well in professions that require being on their feet, showing empathy for others, and being experts in their field. Kaphas with their calm personalities and great energy make good pilots, aircrew, engineers, politicians, physicians, nurses, healthcare workers, firefighters, and policemen. Their nurturing abilities are able to bring diverse groups together and work towards common goals making them excellent businessmen and women as well.
Warm tropics with lower rainfall and modern dessert cities work best for Kaphas to buy a retirement home.
A Quick Checklist for Kapha dosha imbalances
- When a Kapha person starts to crave sweet, sour salty, and oily foods and snacks, they can be sure that they are going out of balance. This is a handy checklist to go over what needs to be done.
- The eyes, stomach, sinuses, and lungs are seats of Kapha, meaning Kapha is needed here more than Vata and Pitta. A continued disturbance will start to show up as disease in these body parts first.
- As first aid, Kaphas must move whenever possible, vigorous exercise like dance, cardio, and Zumba are great for you Kaphas
- Avoid heavy cream and nut butter-based sauces and curries, this will mess up your digestive agni fire.
- Walk every day, as much as you can to keep your juices flowing, remember stagnation is your body’s natural tendency.
- Kaphas must go out into the sunshine daily to keep your spirits high
- Kaphas have slow digestion, they must drink buttermilk with Trikatu instead of Milk or yogurt.
- Avoid cold desserts and drinks and water, drink hot herbal teas instead like cinnamon, dry ginger, tulsi, coriander, clove, etc.
- Popcorn, crackers, and toast are great for Kaphas. This adds the much-needed air element to balance the higher water element of your body.
- Use light oils like Olive and Coconut for cooking for easy digestion.
- ·Dry brush or massage with a light oil like almond before a warm abhyanga bath. Garsana or rubbing the skin with a loofah or silk gloves will help invigorate your Kapha skin.
- Enjoy pickles and spicy salsa and sauces with meals, Kaphas need the stimulation.
- Spring is Kapha season and this is also the time for seasonal allergies. If you are a Kapha fasting weekly during spring will help your body detox.
- Kaphas must do Nasya oiling regularly especially when they feel sensitive to allergies. Using a Neti cleansing will also help you during the Spring season
- Kaphas get lethargic and withdrawn when under stress, seek out your extroverted friends and mix up your schedule.
- Dry Sauna and inhaling steam will help your Kapha energy get back to balance.
- Do a fire ceremony or tratak meditation with a candle every weekend. Make a date with your higher self and light the candle. The fire will soothe and help balance your Kapha energy which is water and Earth dominant.
Kapha is the energy that creates the body’s bulk, it’s the energy that keeps together bones, muscles, ligaments. Kapha supplies the moisture for all the body parts to function well together. It is the 3rd and final great energy that keeps the Universe functioning.
Kapha is the last energy to go out of balance, Vata, and then Pitta easily gets disturbed much quicker. It causes no more than 20 conditions based on the Samhita classics of Ayurveda. Kapha is slow to get disturbed and is the one responsible for regaining our health. Kapha is the reason for life.
This makes Kapha body types healthiest of all.
Hi, my name is Salila
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