If you find yourself feeling lethargic, sleepy, heavy or even slightly depressed, this may been your Kapha dosha is out of balance. Kapha is one of the three energy types, or doshas, in Ayurveda. Each of us possesses all three doshas in varying quantities, yet one or two types are dominant. When our doshas are in balance, we live healthfully and harmoniously. Out of balance doshas lay the foundation for disease and distress.
Kapha represents the combination of both earth and water. In other words, mud. When we think of the firm consistency and potential of earth and water together, we begin to understand what this dosha is about. Kapha is the dosha associated with stability, structure, routine and reliability. Kapha dominant people are down to earth, genuine, patient and calm people. They are natural nurturers and make incredible care givers. Yet when Kapha types are out of balance they can become lazy, stubborn and prone to weight gain.
Using specific essential oils is an effective way to stimulate and uplift your Kapha, restoring homeostasis to the body, mind and soul.
You can read more about Ayurveda and all three doshas in this blog post.
Kapha dominant people often have a strong build, broad shoulders and are generally well developed. They have soft, oily luscious skin, thick bushy hair and large eyes with a soft inviting gaze. Kapha females often have a typically feminine physique, with larger hips and a rounded bosom. They have a hearty appetite with a slow yet stable digestion.
Loyal, patient, conscientious and above all, calm, would be the words to describe Kapha types. Their love of routine and firm commitment to seeing things through make them immensely reliable team players. When in balance, their stable temperament allows them to remain grounded in moments of chaos. And in these moments can be relied on to provide stability and support for others. They have an excellent long term memory and are good at recalling even the most minor details.
Kapha types are thoughtful, affectionate and compassionate beings. They have plenty of love to give and tend to give it in abundance. They love the structure of home and family life and are natural nurturers. Kapha’s have an eye for beauty and enjoy the comforts that life has to offer. They appreciate delicious food, exquisite art and life’s many luxuries. When in balance, they hold a sense of inner peace and stillness of mind that is not seen as much in Pitta or Vata dosha.
Out of Balance Kapha
When sturdiness turns to stagnation is when there is an excess of Kapha. Just like being ‘stuck in the mud’ and out of balance Kapha can end up going nowhere slowly.
A Kapha’s natural love for food can easily backfire on them when this dosha is out of balance. Kaphas have a slower than normal metabolism and have a tendency to gain weight more easily than other types. When out of balance, they may gain excess weight, as well as suffer from water retention. Kaphas are prone to stagnation in the body, which can cause sinus blockages and allergies. They also are ‘cold’ and ‘damp’ by nature, so a cold and damp environment will cause issues for them.
Out of balance Kaphas can be very ‘stuck in their own ways’. Unwilling to compromise, innovate or adjust, an excess of Kapha can manifest as a stubborn character. Kaphas may also become lazy, despondent and disinterested in daily tasks. Brain fog, lethargy and intense food cravings can come about as a result of too much Kapha. They can easily lack motivation and drive when left unchecked.
Kapha types are givers and carers, yet this means they often give too much. Their abundance of loyalty means that out of balance Kaphas may stay in relationships, careers or situations for much longer than what serves or nourishes them.
Kaphas also have a tendency to sleep much more than the other doshas. This serves them well when in balance. Yet when out of balance they may have trouble waking up in the morning and stay awake and alert throughout the day.
They may not feel like exercising and all and can indulge in unhealthy behaviour patterns such as binge watching series, as well as binge eating. They are also prone to a sense of heaviness and may even suffer from depression at times.
How to Balance Kapha Dosha
Simply becoming aware of an imbalance gives us the opportunity to rectify it. The key to balancing Kapha is variety, joy and stimulation. Find a wide variety of activities that you enjoy and be sure to change up your routine as much as possible.
Find a way of moving your body that feels goods for you, and then create accountability by partnering up with a workout buddy. Any type of cardio or exercise that get the blood pumping is the best way to stimulate flow and decrease stagnation in Kapha, such as jogging, dancing, swimming or hiking. Make waking up early a habit that you stick to and try and avoid naps.
Make sure you keep your body warm and dry, as dampness exacerbates Kapha. Spend time in the sun to feel energised. Eat light and vibrant food such as raw fresh fruit and vegetables, beans and light grains, while avoiding heavy starches and meat.
When choosing essential oils for Kapha, we want to focus on warm, spicy and stimulating aromas, while avoiding overly sweet oils.
Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger is an incredibly powerful healer. It has inflammatory properties, helps with indigestion and nausea. It is a stimulating and soothing remedy for out of balance Kapha. Ginger’s warm, spicy aroma lifts the mood and promotes positivity in thoughts and actions.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Described as nature’s wonder cure, the oil obtained from Eucalyptus leaves has been used for decades in Indian, Chinese, and Greek cultures. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent choice for Kaphas, as it acts n=both as a decongestant for blocked sinuses and as a mood booster. This profoundly refreshing and invigorating essential oil clears the mind of worries and fears and promotes a sense of well-being.
Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram belongs to the mint family, which gives it and stimulating and uplifting. Yet unlike mint, it also has a uniquely warming aroma. marjoram is great choice of essential oil for calming the mind, which has a positive effect on the nervous system. The Ancient Greeks described Marjoram as the ‘herb of happiness’, making it a perfect choice for a down in the dumps Kapha.