The kapha dosha
Just as reviving water moistens the earth, its dry dust forming binding mud, kapha is believed to hold the body together by moistening the ‘earthen’ and solid structures of the tissues and skin. Its primary home is the stomach, but it also resides in the chest, throat, head, lymph and pancreas.
The qualities of kapha
Cold, wet, heavy, stable, solid, unctuous, slow.
The function of kapha
Kapha takes charge of the storage of energy that vata has brought into the body and that pitta has managed. Its cohesive nature gives stability to the body – helping to hold cells together and form muscles, fat and bone; whilst its fluid qualities lubricate the white matter in the brain, the joints, the lungs and heart, as well as the protective lining of the stomach.
The physical manifestations of kapha
Those with dominant kapha tend to be of stocky build with wide shoulders and hips; smooth, oily skin; thick, brown hair, and large, soft eyes. They have excellent stamina, and are known to sleep soundly and enjoy a stable appetite and regular digestion.
The emotional manifestations of kapha
You can always rely on a kapha person; full of love and compassion, they are loyal and devout in times of need – your best friend, always ready with a hug and support. They enjoy life and are comfortable with routine.
When kapha is in balance
A balance of kapha in the body gives a person strength of mind and emotions, solidity, protection and endurance.
When kapha is out of balance
When kapha builds to excess in the body, it can lead to a wet cough, stagnation, congestion, growths, sluggish digestion, and an excessive desire to sleep. Further problems may include, heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol or becoming overweight. Excessive kapha in the mind can manifest itself as stubbornness, with an inability to let go of people and jobs that are no longer nourishing.
How to balance your kapha
You can balance kapha’s heavy, dense qualities by increasing the amount of movement you do, introducing more stimulating activities into your routine, staying warm and avoiding dampness, and by cleaning out and giving away things that you won’t use again.
Take our dosha quiz to find out what dosha is most dominant for you.
Author: Jo Webber
Head of Herbal Education
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
Years of experience:
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association