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WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF KAPHA DOSHA?

Below, we introduce the types of physical, physiological and psychological qualities of Kapha dosha as manifests in individuals. Also presented are common signs of indications doshic imbalances, and the general qualities and factors that work to rebalance Kapha.

It should be noted that the majority of the population are born with a dual dosha (known as Prakruti), and thus individuals can and will have different attributes of each. Therefore, there are different doshic combinations that one can be born with: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata Pitta, Vata Kapha, Pitta Vata, Pitta Kapha, Kapha Vata, Kapha Pitta, and the very rare combination of Vata Pitta Kapha. 

In addition, imbalances (known as Vikruti) can be single a dosha imbalance (Vata, Pitta or Kapha), dual dosha imbalance (Vata Pitta, Vata Kapha, Pitta Vata, Pitta Kapha, Kapha Vata, Kapha Pitta, and tridoshic (Vata, Pitta and Kapha together).

GETTING TO KNOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF KAPHA DOSHA

Kapha dosha encompasses the elements of Water and Earth and is considered as the dosha of binding, form and structure. Kapha dosha provides stability, grounding, and stamina while Vata and Pitta are more associated with movement. Kapha helps one feel grounded, calm, content, and compassionate, gives us the ability to taste our food, builds and nourishes body tissues, lubricates joints and mucosal linings, and protects the physical systems of the body.


The Physical attributes of KAPHA types

  • Well developed bodies
  • Strong tendency to carry excess weight
  • Chest expanded and broad
  • Veins and tendons not obvious
  • Muscle development good
  • Excellent muscle tone
  • Naturally coordinated
  • Rarely feel hungry after exercise
  • Wide hips and shoulders – store energy
  • Complexion fair and bright
  • Skin soft, lustrous and oily
  • Skin pale
  • Skin is cool, but not cold
  • Hair thick, dark, soft and wavy
  • Hair dark brown/chocolatey and thick and slightly wavy (borders on coarse)
  • Eyes generally very attractive
  • Eyes large and liquid – blue or milk chocolateJoints well lubricated & deep set
  • Eyes dense and black or blue
  • White of eye generally very white
  • Teeth large, gleaming; rarely need attention
  • Tongue rarely coated when healthy
  • Fingers and toes short/squarish
  • Nails strong, large and symmetrical; can be thick and pale in colour
  • With moderate exercise can keep moderate weight
  • Gain weight easily and specifically on the lower body parts
  • Enjoys sun and burn after overexposure
  • Rarely have cold hands/feet
  • May have a few freckles
  • Oily smooth and thick skin
  • Moderate body hair
  • Lips full and moist
  • Sweat moderately, even in climatic extremes


The Physiological attributes of KAPHA

  • Regular appetite
  • Digestion relatively slow
  • Tend to move slowly
  • Craves pungent, bitter, astringent foods
  • Perspiration moderate
  • Generally happy, healthy and peaceful
  • Appetite moderate and stable
  • Can go the whole day on juice alone
  • Can easily skip breakfast
  • Bowels regular – 1/day
  • Stools well-formed, rarely hard
  • Stools soft and may be pale in colour
  • Evacuation is slow
  • When constipated, respond to medium strength laxatives
  • Effortless and regular menstruation
  • Average amount of menstrual blood
  • Imbalance can add mucus to menstrual blood
  • Period cramps are mild and dull
  • Prone to water retention
  • PMS: water retention, bloating, swollen breasts, vaginal itches, slow digestion and lethargy
  • Not greatly disturbed by any climate but prefer warm weather and low humidity
  • Enjoy sex but are not fascinated by it
  • Can be aroused but remain passionate for a long period of time
  • Sleep soundly and prolonged
  • Drop of to sleep easily and wake rested and alert
  • Gladly sleep many hours at a time
  • Rarely have trouble sleeping
  • Dreams are cool, calm, quiet, uneventful
  • Do not bother to remember their dreams unless the dreams are intensely emotional
  • Speak slowly and cautiously
  • Don’t volunteer much information
  • Tone is lower in pitch than Vata or Pitta
  • Like to avoid confrontation
  • Strong disinterest in change
  • Predominantly calm and quiet; steady and serious
  • Enjoy home and family
  • Stable personalities
  • Study each subject carefully before committing to anything
  • Innately more compassionate than Vata or Pitta
  • Think in emotions and ‘feel’ connection between words and forms
  • Manage well and are good managers but not leaders or theorists
  • Slower to learn but once learned, never forget
  • Once angered, never forget a slight
  • Can dig themselves into ruts
  • Not motivated to exercise until they start to exercise


The Psychological attributes of KAPHA

  • Tolerant, calm, forgiving
  • Greed, attachment, possessiveness, envy
  • Tend to be wealthy
  • Good at holding onto their money
  • Withdraw when confronted
  • Can procrastinate when under pressure
  • Express through thought and emotion
  • Very loyal
  • Are ‘in it for the long term’


How to recognise a KAPHA imbalance

  • Excess mucous in the respiratory system and in stools
  • Thick, white coating (ama) on the tongue
  • Infrequent and sluggish bowel movements (e.g. consistently not having a bowel movement every day)
  • Emotional eating
  • High body weight, difficulty losing weight and easily gains
  • Difficulty waking in the morning and from naps
  • Feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic, or heavy in mind and/or body
  • Feeling overly attached and possessive of people, things, or experiences
  • Stubbornness, complacency
  • Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, enlarged prostate


What factors imbalance KAPHA dosha

  • Foods and beverages that are sweet (sugar, grains, dried fruits, dairy), and salty tasting
  • Foods that are heavy and oily
  • Cold foods
  • Over-intake of liquid foods
  • Dairy products
  • Not chewing food properly, gulping food, eating while talking, eating while standing or walking, eating while driving, talking excessively during meals
  • Eating meals at irregular times
  • Eating on a full stomach or before the previous meal is digested
  • Overeating
  • Eating just after strenuous exercise
  • Exercising (strenuous) too soon after eating
  • Oversleeping
  • Going to bed late (i.e. after 10pm)
  • Obstructions to bodily channels
  • Lack of or under exercise
  • Lack of sexual activity
  • Any excessive (or lack thereof) activity, where there is not enough balance (work/sleep/activity/exercise/relaxation/social/creativity). This also includes excessive screen time, use of electronic devices, excessive inactivity/stagnant lifestyle, and lack of mental and physical stimulation/challenges.
  • Indulgence in suppression of emotions/any emotion
  • Late Winter and early Spring
  • Morning and evening
  • Rainy and cloudy weather

What balances KAPHA dosha
The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Kapha are oily, heavy, cold, dull, stable, slow, soft, smooth, dense gross and cloudy, sweet, sour and salty in taste. Therefore, the opposite of these qualities will help bring Kapha back into balance.

  • Fun, varied, enlivening, stamina focussed and orientated activities.
  • Light, warm/hot, sharp, hard, pungent, liquid, subtle, clear foods with bitter, astringent and pungent tastes.
  • Foods, medicinal herbs and Ayurvedic bodywork therapies that have the qualities as listed above.
  • Avoidance of the above listed diet/lifestyle factors that aggravate Kapha, and work on elements/factors that rebalance Kapha during Kapha times of day and Kapha season of year.


Qualities of a balanced KAPHA
When in Balance, Kapha types are stable in temperament, have a good long-term memory, good strength and stamina, a healthy and robust physiology, are team players, are reliable and enjoy sound sleep, are compassionate, loving, nurturing and affectionate.

If you have any concerns about your health please be sure to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner or your local health physician. See our Ayurvedic Practitioner Services and Consultation Page for more information.

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Disclaimer:
The above information is for information and educational purposes. As such we are not, diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before taking any form of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

 

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