Calling All Kapha Doshas! Want to Feel More Energized and Balanced? Here’s How

Sometimes, to find the answers we seek in order to improve our wellness, we need to go back to the basics and to the knowledge and science that’s been around for ages.

Ayurveda is one of those sciences. It’s an ancient Indian Medicine that views health as much more than the absence of disease.

Ayurveda Is the “Sister Science” of Yoga

Ayurveda’s teachings give us the opportunity to achieve optimal health and well-being by practicing specific forms of self-care and eating based on our mind/body types (called doshas). It’s often referred to as the “sister science” to yoga, as much of our yoga practice aligns with its healing and nutritional theories.

Ayurveda classifies different elements, energies, and even body types by something called the doshas.

There are three main doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas are made up of the universal elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Space. Vata represents air and space, Pitta represents fire and water, and Kapha (which we are diving into today) represents earth and water.

If you’re new to this, read this Introduction to Ayurveda and the Doshas

At first, implementing Ayurvedic principles into your life may feel like a lot to take on, but we’ll break down the basics step by step so you can start applying them in your life.

The best part is that the knowledge has helped people for thousands of years and can help you with your emotional and physical healing as well.

So what’s next? Understanding your dosha (your personal constitution) is the first step. Each individual typically has a constitution of 1-2 main doshas, or Ayurvedic mind/body types.

What Does it Mean to Have a Kapha Dosha?

Someone with a Kapha Dosha tends to have a larger body type – sometimes overweight, but not always. Kaphas may gain weight easily and hold on to extra water.

Try This Natural Ayurvedic Remedy for Bloating

Kapha Doshas are strong and athletic (but not always motivated to hit the gym). Kaphas tend to have a slow metabolism and move at a more “restful” pace.

Emotionally, Kaphas are often described as grounded, stable, and dependable (you do what you do, and you do it well). Even if it takes you a little while to learn something new, it sticks with you once you do.

Kaphas are often described as grounded, stable, and dependable.

If you have a regular routine and are slow to warm up to change, it’s likely that you’re a Kapha (or currently have excess Kapha energy).

On the other hand, excess Kapha energy may be the reason you sometimes get stuck in a rut and aren’t sure how to move past it.

How to Know If You Have a Kapha Imbalance

A few common signs of Kapha imbalance are: feeling depressed or sluggish, lacking energy or motivation, weight gain, and congestion. Certain foods, your environment, behaviors, and stress levels may lead to physical or emotional imbalances for you.

If you snack between meals (rather than eating three full meals per day) or go long stretches without meals, you may start to feel signs of imbalance (low blood sugar, moodiness, indigestion, lack of motivation or focus, etc.).

This can also happen if you ignore your stress or emotional feelings about something or by eating foods that are not recommended for your dosha. These behaviors may cause you to have an imbalance.

Keep in mind that the strongest dosha (based on your quiz results) is the most likely to increase based on what you’re eating and your environment. That’s the one to pay the most attention to.

Kaphas tend to hold on to emotions, they may feel lethargic, sleep too much, or feel depressed. Your digestion can be slow and you may feel extra sluggish after eating certain meals. This can also lead to craving something sweet (or feeling like you need caffeine or a “pick me up”).

For all Dosha types, if imbalances are not addressed, they may lead to bigger issues.

The early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call that it’s time to make some shifts in behavior and get that balance back on track. Making adjustments to your diet, daily activities, and/or taking herbal remedies may help such as Shatavari (for hormones), Triphala (for improved digestion), and Ashwagandha (better stress response).

In Ayurveda, “like attracts like,” so when you start to feel like something is off, increase the opposite energy in your behaviors, nutrition, and self-care.

Balance Your Eating for a Healthy Kapha Dosha

One way to improve your excess Kapha energy is to adjust your eating habits. Cut back on foods that are high in fat, dairy, gluten-based grains, red meats, and sweet vegetables.

Avoid the heaviest, “wettest,” and fattiest foods you can think of like fried food, ice cream or meals full of cheese.

Foods that are great for Kaphas are: grains, light proteins such as fish, chicken, and eggs, vegetables like beans, quinoa, spinach, salads, cayenne, pepper, ginger, broth soup, brown rice, spicy foods, and green juice.

Eat your largest meal at lunchtime and a smaller meal at dinnertime. This allows for optimal digestion (and a better night’s rest). Vegetables are your friend!

In Ayurveda, “like attracts like,” so when you start to feel like something is off, increase the opposite energy in your behaviors, nutrition, and self-care.

Eat to nourish your body and practice loving your body. When we eat to nourish rather than to simply enjoy the taste of food, what we eat assimilates and serves our bodies much better.

It’s also important to eat in a calm manner without distractions like your phone, TV, or even standing while you eat. Be present with your food and pay attention to how full you are and how you feel after meals.

Daily Self-Care Kaphas Can Practice to Increase Energy

Energize yourself with self-care activities and relationships that lift you up.

A great way to improve your mobility and energy is with self-massage or getting a massage.

Creating a consistent morning and evening routine will improve the outlook on your day and have endless health benefits. Many Ayurvedic practitioners recommend using a tongue scraper (a device shaped like a “U”) to scrape and remove toxins from your tongue.

Oil pulling is another great self-care practice to remove toxins and maintain oral health.

As a Kapha, you’ll feel best when you start your day earlier (rather than staying up late and sleeping in) and resist the temptation to nap. Think “opposite” when you’re feeling extra down, sluggish, depressed, or generally unenthused.

Exercising in the morning will increase circulation, improve your mood, support your immune system and even help with decision making. Take baby steps to add more physical movement that you enjoy into your routine.

Kaphas tend to give in to any lack of energy with eating, sleeping, watching TV, and comforting activities that feel routine. A great way to overcome this is to make small, gradual shifts like doing something out of order (take a new route on your way home), adding in a healthy habit (a walk on your lunch break), and reading instead of watching TV.

In the evenings, do your best to leave your work at work. By eating dinner earlier, your body will have more time to digest, which means more sound sleep for you. Enjoy time with family, going for a walk or stretching, or journaling to quiet your mind and reflect.

In general, pay attention to your stress levels and to the relationships and situations that bother you.

Kaphas can be prone to resist change, so love on yourself instead of feeling bad about the habits that make your Kapha imbalanced, and take your time in bringing more balance into your life.

Embrace Your Grounded, Beautiful Kapha Self

Kaphas are known for being trusting, strong, and stable. Own that.

Now that you are more aware of the signs of Kapha imbalance, you’ll be that much more prepared to implement Ayurvedic practices and self-care into your routine to feel better.

Always listen to your body and notice how you’re feeling. Becoming more in-tune with your body takes time.

You can begin to incorporate these suggestions to ease any discomfort that comes from excess Kapha in your body. This will lead to a more lighter, lifted spirit with more energy and motivation to tackle all that life brings your way.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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