Kapha derives from the elements of Earth and Water and translates as “that which sticks.” It is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and the smooth functioning of all its parts. Kapha can be thought of as the essential cement, glue, and lubrication of the body in one.
The qualities of Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static. A Kapha individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.
The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Physiologically, Kapha moistens food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates joints, stores energy, and relates to cool bodily fluids such as water, mucous, and lymph. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. With its earthly makeup, Kapha grounds Vata and Pitta and helps offset imbalances related to these doshas.
Just as a nourishing rainstorm may turn into a rampant flood, the fluids of the body may flood the bodily tissues, contributing to a heavy dampness that weighs down the body and clouds the mind. This dense, cold, and swampy environment becomes the breeding ground for a number of bodily disorders such as obesity, sinus congestion, and anything related to mucous. Mentally, the loving and calm disposition of the Kapha individual may transform into lethargy, attachment, and depression.
Ways to Balance Kapha
Key words to remember: Drying, Stimulating, and Expression
When Kapha is out of balance, too much earth has accumulated in mind, body, and environment. The result is a sense of sluggishness, congestion, and dullness. The best way to balance excess a Kapha is to bring more movement and circulation into the physiology. Think invigoration.
- Awaken at sunrise
- Look for opportunities to create healthy change
- Favor pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
- Avoid eating when you’re not hungry
- Be spontaneous and try new things
- Wear invigorating fragrances
- Clean out your space
- Drink Invigorating Herbal Tea
- Diffuse Invigorating fragrances into your environment
- Favor bright strong colors – reds, oranges, yellows
- Meditate twice a day to get clear on your intentions and desires
- Perform a vigorous self-massage with warm Invigorating herbalized oil
- Exercise daily!