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How to Balance Kapha Dosha with Diet, Lifestyle & Yoga Practice
Are you predominantly Kapha or experiencing Kapha imbalances?
If you don’t know your Dosha (mind-body type), the first step is to take my Dosha quiz and then come back to this blog 😊
The Kapha Dosha
Kapha is comprised of Water & Earth elements. Kapha means ‘what sticks’ and it’s the energy that controls cohesion and stability.
Kapha serves as a bodily container for Vata and Pitta.
The qualities of Kapha are heavy, cold, humid & stable.
Signs & Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance
- Excessively cold skin
- Loss of appetite and hunger
- Reduced sense of taste & smell
- Weight gain
- Feeling of heaviness & sluggishness
- Fatigue & lethargy
- Difficulty becoming active
- Increased more vicious bodily secretion
- Sinusitis or blocked sinuses
- Cold with productive cough
- Lack of inner drive
- Lack of mental clarity
- Strong sense of attachment to material possession, people & beliefs
- Brain fog
- Withdrawal from social activity
How to Balance Kapha with Diet
The major needs for Kapha types are light and warm. Choose foods that are light, warm, dry and spicy. Tea with dried ginger and lemon is a great pick-me-up for Kaphas.
Avoid mucus-forming foods (often white and slimy) such as dairy, oily and processed foods/ sugars, which are detrimental to Kaphas as well as bread and rice.
Bitter greens and astringent vegetables such as asparagus or bitter melon are excellent for cutting through mucous.
Reduce juicy, sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes and courgettes (zucchini).
Other examples of Kapha pacifying foods are spicy food, green leafy vegetables, sprouts, beans, millet, apples, berries, garlic and ginger.
Kapha types are also recommended to have regular meals ideally with company.
Pacifying Tastes (Rasa) for Kapha
Add pungent, bitter and astringent tastes to your food and avoid sweet, sour and salty.
Examples of food that have a pungent taste are ginger, hot peppers, cloves, thy, basil, cayenne pepper, radishes, mustard, wasabi, chili peppers, garlic and onions.
Examples of food that have a bitter taste are green leafy vegetables, endives, chicory, lemon peel, turmeric and fenugreek.
Astringent foods are anything that make dry sensation in the mouth – so for example, dry beans, lentils, apples, pears, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and potato.
Spices to Balance Kapha
Add ginger, chillies, black pepper, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon to your foods.
How to Balance Kapha with Lifestyle
It’s important to be active on a daily basis as Kapha types are prone to sluggishness, depression, and being overweight.
Getting out of the house and actively seeking new experiences is also recommended. Be receptive to useful change, be intentional in implementing life-enhancing actions.
Vigorous exercise that causes sweat such as dynamic Yoga, jogging, hiking, bicycling and dancing is very beneficial for Kapha types.
How to Balance Kapha with Yoga
Kapha tend to be sedentary and rarely motivated for physical activities and prefer grounding, slow, calming Yoga such as Yin Yoga. But what Kapha types need the most is stimulating and challenging practice. Dynamic style of Yoga is great for Kapha.
Recommended Yoga Poses for Kapha
- Flowing movements and flowing sequences such as sun salutation
- Stimulation and heating: stronger and challenging postures that increases heart rate and strengthening core (hold for a longer period of time)
- Building heat & energy while opening the lungs: backbends
- Detoxifying – invigorates the lungs and the digestive system: spinal twist
- Stimulate thyroid and lymphatic circulation and feeling of lightness: inversion (be careful with this one if overweight as it can cause strain on the spine)
Example Yoga Poses for Kapha
- Side Plank: strengthening
- Chair Pose: creates heat
- High Lunge Crescent: builds heat & energy
- Standing forward bend: heats the chest