Updated: Feb 10
Wintertime is Kapha season. If you are a Kapha – Pitta or Kapha – Vata or even Kapha – Pitta – Vata tri - dosha, read here about a few tips of how you can tackle the winter with yoga enjoy a Kapha Yoga Flow that leads to more energy.
The Kapha dosha is made up of the elements of water and earth. If we mix water with earth, we get mud. In the body, in excess, instead of mud, it transforms into excess mucus or phlegm and can lead to congestion, that is a cold.
Kapha is described as “what makes things stick together”, and it is the container for Vata and Pitta. The Kapha element gives lubrication and stability to the body and its tissues. It also facilitates the restoration of the body. It is the entire solid structure of our body.
Kapha Body Type
A healthy Kapha person is a sensitive, loving, steady and strong person, and has great sexual potency. When Kapha is in its balance, you can see it in the clear eyes, face, and complexion.
However, Kapha can increase through excessive sweet, salty, and alkaline foods and heavy, oily, or fatty foods. Also, through a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and excessive daydreaming puts Kapha in imbalance. Whereas Vata increases with age, Kapha is mainly associated with childhood, the morning and early part of the evening. Kapha governs the winter, but also early spring.
When Kapha gets vitiated or corrupted, a Kapha dosha person may feel drowsy, sleepy, and has a sweet taste in the mouth. They are also inclined to feel cold quickly, have an itchy throat, excessive salivation, heaviness in the body, whiteness in eyes, urine and faeces, mental and physical weariness, inertness, to feeling depressed (as we are not living in challenging times enough)! So if you have Kapha in yourself, you might feel this tiny bit more down this winter, but you can try to bring Kapha back into balance.
A corrupted Kapha dosha can get treated with pungent, bitter, astringent, sharp, and hot food and movement. Going for regular walks is for a Kapha type necessary. Maybe the yoga practises should be more movement-oriented rather than just hanging out in a yin or restorative posture. Inversions are good for Kaphas!
Our whole skin and mucous lining are associated with Kapha. Kapha is in the chest, throat and upper body, and the pancreas. The primary physical site is in the stomach and in the middle body where fat accumulates, lymph and fat tissues. Sense organs are taste and smell, the nose, and tongue. The motor organs are the urinal-genital and excretory organs.
Kapha endows us with emotion and feeling (love, caring, devotion and faith) and allows us to retain what we have achieved through our efforts.
When we experience excess Kapha, may manifest in gaining weight, lung disease, swollen glands etc. The water element may need some heat and movement (pitta and Vata) to balance itself.
Some people tend to lose weight when they are stressed, whereas others gain weight, so a Kapha person would probably gain some.
A sattvic (balanced) Kapha displays virtues, such as love, devotion, and faith. Also, is content, and presents a comforting presence. Balanced Kaphas are steady, patient, fair, balanced, loyal, forgiving, nurturing and supportive.
A rajasic (overactive) Kapha is preoccupied with the acquisition and accumulation of material things. Also, a rajasic Kapha dominates, is controlling, greedy and materialistic, constantly seeking wealth and cares only for his position and image.
A tasmatic (slow, lethargy) Kapha displays the sign of inertia, stagnation, may have various addictions, is dull-minded, sensually depressed, refuses to make efforts in life, incapable of self-reflection, blames others for their predicaments, tramples over others, is usually overweight and full of toxins.
In general, Kaphas are stockily built, generally shorter than the average height but sometimes also tall. Fat accumulates predominantly in the region of the stomach and thighs.
This can sometimes cause swollen glands, cysts, and bone spurs because of excess synovial fluid around joints. They may suffer from poor circulation and arthritis later. They are also prone to heart disease and high cholesterol.
Kaphas need more active exercise but should increase slowly and incrementally. It is suitable for a Kapha dosha to create sweat in their training, move for better circulation, and maybe practice sun salutes, vinyasa, standing postures, opening chest postures, and backbends. A lot of sitting (as mentioned above) increases Kapha, and forward bends are not so good for them. Pranayamas should be of a warming nature. Nauli is recommended if they suffer from slow digestion and low metabolism. Kaphas should come away feeling warm, invigorated, light, energised, their chest and lungs open, mind and senses sharp and clear, and any emotional heaviness released.
Keywords are: Stimulating, moving, warming, lightening, energizing, releasing.
Asana: Lion pose or sitting with pranayama, sun salutes, vigorous vinyasa, Virabhadrasana, etc. donwdogs, updogs, full inverted balancing poses (handstand ARDHO MUKHA VRIKASANA, pincha Myurasana etc.) Headstands, shoulder stands, backbends, twist, short savasana.
Pranayama / Kriyas: Solar or right nostril breathing (esp. in the morning when Kapha predominates), Bhastrika and Kaplabatthi (esp. when suffering from a cold, congestion, lethargy, depression). Prana breath (third eye, mouth, ears, eyes head), vyana breath (to clear from the lungs).
Meditation should not be too emotional, but the meditation should help let go of emotions, attachment and counter mental stagnation and lethargy, release possessiveness and heaviness, and Kaphas may require encouragement, stimulation, or motivation. It may be better for a Kapha person to practice in a group setting, chant mantras, and practice pranayama combined with meditation. They should do some physical exercise beforehand to open circulation and dispel stagnation; walking meditations are also suitable for them, vigorous pranayama (bhastirka) right nostril breathing to move energy, etc.
Kapha Season requires its own Winter Yoga, especially for a Kapha constitution. Please find out more and join my next Yoga Teacher Training.
Come to my open level Zoom Classes every Wednesday at 6 pm.