Ayurveda 101: Kapha Explained

//Ayurveda 101: Kapha Explained

Its the final chapter of our “Ayurveda Explained” series!  We’ve talked Vata and Pitta – and now the Kapha dosha within Ayurvedic Medicine.  For those of you who don’t know, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian Science of Healing.  This sister science to yoga holds the belief that wellness is dependent on the harmonization of our internal energies – known as Doshas.  These Doshas are characterized by the elements: Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth and water).  We all have these three energies in our constitutions but are born with a specific makeup that usually makes one or two of the doshas dominant.

Imbalance occurs when we stray from our original doshic constitution and accumulate different ratios of them, leading to signs of excess dosha. All ailments are caused by this imbalance – translating into depletion (from Vata space/ air in our bodies), inflammation (through excess Pitta heat) or build-up of toxicity (the accumulating Kapha earth and water-retention).

Kapha – Earth & Water

The Kapha dosha is an energy described as earth and water.  This dosha is characterized by qualities which embody these elements (ie. Heavy, wet, cold, stable).  Those of us with a strong presence of the Kapha dosha display this in our bodies.  In TCM this is known as Yin (that which has substance.  Energetically, the shady side of the mountain’). Those with high Kaphas are grounded, loyal and dependable.  Like earth and water, they have mass so tend to more have robust bodies and immunity – they also are likely to be slow-moving and sometimes lethargic.  Because earth and water represent growth and storage, Kaphas have good memories as they store and retain knowledge excellently.  They also tend to be sentimental, storing and holding on to the past. Physically, Kaphas are all about abundance, again because of the tangible characteristics of earth and water.

The voluptuous Kapha Scar-jo! Look at that thick, vibrant Kapha skin and full Kapha lips

The voluptuous Kapha Scarjo! Look at that thick, vibrant Kapha skin.

Kaphas have a heavier frames, more fatty tissue, voluptuous or husky physiques and develop muscle easily.  Their skin is thick and oily with large pores. This is why they tend toward over-oiliness, acne (only when out of balance) and dull complexions – as stagnant blood flow creates paleness.  Their features full and substantial, their nails strong and hard.  Kaphas tend to be the healthiest, most robust of the doshas as they have everything in abundance.  True Kaphas have beautiful large eyes.  Kapha lips are full.  Kaphas have thick hair and in abundance. Ailments or issues from Kapha manifest as too much abundance.  Problems with being over-weight (accumulation of fat), sinus congestion (accumulation of mucous), edema and puffiness (accumulation of water), cystic acne (accumulation of toxins and oil in the skin) are due to excess Kapha.

Their mental and emotional imbalances follow the same theme as too much of this dosha can translate into greed (the need to accumulate wealth), hoarding, self-indulgence and slovenliness, being unable to let go of the past and past grudges, neediness and resistance to change (lacking flexibility and movement). Kaphas are classically beautiful as they beam with health.  They are incredibly romantic and passionate making them very attractive.

We love Oprah because she seems so grounded and nurturing. Kapha characteristics!

We love Oprah because she seems so grounded and nurturing. Kapha characteristics!

2017-05-01T16:39:43+00:00 By |Ayurveda|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Jen Scharf March 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    hi, i loooove your website and really appreciate the work you’re doing… it is so important to share knowledge with people and I want to say that reading your blog about castor oil detox has inspired me to chug a whole bunch of castor oil dry and just see what happens and rest all day saturday… i still cant commit to vacationing for detox! yikes… wow… oh my god. i am sorry to criticize but your examples are not primarily pitta people… the first is primarily pitta and the oprah is likely to be primarily pitta and secondarily kapha… remember black people have more kapha in general, so Oprah would not be a good example for young black women who are actually kapha. Kapha people do not really gravitate towards celebrity but there are examples of course of the ‘nice fat guy’ archetypes… and that girl from that movie with that guy from arrested development… i dont know what that was. but ya amazing post, so good i like ayurveda too im a reincarnated brown guy.

    • kristen March 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your insight! I will say that we may need to agree to disagree because when there are physical signs its an indictor of high doshic energy. Of course we are all a mix and Oprah definitely has Pitta but there is a healthy dose of Kapha in her making her a good resource for people to start to understand the doshas.

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.