I'll admit that kapha dosha is the hardest dosha for me to relate to. I am high pitta & vata with a very little bit of kapha, so don't tend to go out of balance here as much as I do with the other doshas. But kapha dosha hit me hard this week, and despite the inertia that it has caused, I am channeling my pitta "get it done" energy to write this blog post about what a kapha dosha imbalance looks and feels likes.
I love the kapha dosha people in my life. I need them. I need their grounding energy, their slow & thoughtful movements, and their steadiness and warmth. Kapha dosha is made of the earth & water elements and so imparts the qualities of these elements onto whatever or whomever it inhabits. It is most prevalent in late Winter & early Spring with the rain and the decomposition of earth that brings new life. We see its creative force in pregnant women & its developing force in the growth of infants to toddlers to children to adults. In every person, kapha dosha is responsible for giving us our foundation.
A person with a preponderance of kapha dosha is usually physically strong with a sturdy, heavier build. They often have round faces, large eyes, soft skin & hair, and low soothing voices. They are slow-paced, nurturing, affectionate, stable, and graceful. It will usually take them a long time to learn something, but once they do they will never forget it. You can probably already imagine the kapha people in your life. For me, they are the ones I want to snuggle with, the ones I want to be around when I'm not sure where my feet are.
When kapha dosha is out of balance in an individual many of the traits above are seen in excess. Kapha dosha can cause sluggish digestion leading to being overweight. The soft skin & hair can become too oily. The slow pace that most kaphas glide with can turn into inactivity which can lead to depression, lethargy, & general heaviness. Stability can turn to stubbornness, and affection & compassion can turn to over-attachment. A kapha will take a long time to become angry, but once they do they might have a hard time letting go of that anger. An out-of-balance kapha can really hold a grudge!
Kapha is considered to be a cold dosha. The cold helps to contain some of the prevalent water element. In the winter, this water & earth can accumulate unnoticed, but once the warmth of Spring comes it can melt and show up as Spring allergies, coughs, colds, and respiratory infections. There is a good chance a lot of people you know are sick right now. That is accumulated kapha dosha that didn't have anywhere to go but out our noses, or into our chests to be coughed up. It wants to alleviate somehow, and it is often the case that warm Spring weather allows it to "melt" out.
If you have any of the following you might have a kapha imbalance:
1. Spring colds, allergies, respiratory problems, sinus headaches
2. Slow digestion, nausea, weight gain, water retention
3. A hard time getting up in the morning or a hard time energizing
4. Inactivity, lethargy, heaviness, depression
5. Possessiveness, over-attachment, long held grudges
6. Overly oily complexion or hair
In Ayurveda we believe the like increases like, and opposites pacify each other. Kapha is cold, heavy, dense, moist, stable, & gross so bringing in warm, light, sparse, dry, moving, and subtle qualities will help to pacify it. Movement and change of routine are also hugely important for people who tend towards kapha imbalance.
If you think you might have a kapha imbalance try to change one aspect of your daily routine, eat lighter foods, and try to find movement daily! Or come to my workshop to learn more ways to find balance!