• Understanding Kapha: Stability and Grounding

    Dominant elements: Water & Earth

    Dominant principle: Structure

    Qualities of Kapha:

    • Heavy
    • Cold
    • Soft
    • Oily
    • Sweet
    • Stable
    • Slimy

    General Characteristics

    • Heaviness Kapha people generally have deep voice. They have a tendency towards obesity, large heavy body, bones and muscles.
    • Coolness - Skin is generally cold to touch and there is tendency towards colds. Kapha people may have slow metabolism leading to reduced appetite.
    • Softness  - Skin and hair are generally soft. Kapha people generally exhibit loving, caring and kind attitude.
    • Oiliness - Kapha people generally have oiliness in their body, including oily skin, nails, hair and stools. Their joints are mobile and flexible.
    • Sweetness - Kapha people have tendency towards excessive intake of sweet foods and drinks.
    • Stability - Kapha people are generally patient with a relaxed attitude. They are firm in their decision making.

    Physical Characteristics

    People with Kapha dominant constitution have medium to broad frame with a balanced bone structure and wide-set shoulders and/or hips. Their bodies seem well proportioned to the eye with joints that are well lubricated and may be deep-set. Their fingers and toes tend to be short and squarish. Kapha people generally have soft, oily and lustrous skin and fair, light complexion. Hair is generally plentiful, think, curly and dark with hardly any greying. Face is rounded with attractive large eyes and full rounded lips. Kapha people have a regular appetite with a relatively slow digestion.

    Emotional Characteristics

    Kapha people are predominantly calm, quiet and steady. In balance, kapha people exhibit patience, fortitude and humility but in excess these traits may engender passivity, attachment, possessiveness and greed. Kapha people usually have very stable personalities and are loyal and loving to their friends. They often make friends slowly, but their friendships usually last for long. Their comprehension is slow but they have a good long term memory. Katha people tend to be innately more compassionate than other types.

    Kapha in Balance

    A balance of kapha in the body gives a person strength of mind and emotions, solidity, protection and endurance.

    Kapha 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.

    Causes of Kapha Imbalances

    • Lack of plan or schedule
    • Sleep during the day
    • Dairy products
    • Meat
    • Starchy food
    • Sleeping immediately after food
    • Sweet, sour, salty tastes
    • Winter
    • Spring
    • Humid, cold weather
    • Sedentary job or work
    • Excess water intake
    • Frequent heavy meals

    Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance

    • Heaviness
    • Heavy muscles
    • Low agni (digestion)
    • Slow metabolism
    • Obesity
    • Local or general heaviness
    • Lethargy
    • Indigestion
    • Chest colds
    • Sinus congestion
    • Excess sleep
  • “No medicine can compensate for un-healthy living.”

    ― Renu Chaudhary

  • How to Balance KAPHA

    Routine, Coolness, Stability

    General Guidance for Kapha Pacifying Diet


    • Foods that are pungentbitter, or astringent in taste
    • Warm foods, both energetically and in temperature
    • Heating spices—like chili, black or cayenne pepper, gingercinnamon, and cumin
    • Whole, freshly cooked foods
    • Light, dry, and warm foods
    • Honey
    • Only room temperature or warm drinks
    • A minimal amount of high-quality corn, canola, sesamesunflower oil, or ghee in your daily diet
    • Routine times for your meals
    • Eating your meal in a peaceful environment


    • Foods that are sweetsour, and/or salty
    • Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature
    • Heavy and oily foods (e.g. cheese, pudding, nuts, cake)
    • Highly processed foods (e.g. canned or frozen foods, “TV” dinners or pastries)
    • Cold or carbonated drinks
    • Overeating or eating heavy meals
    • Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within ½ hour of any other food
    • Red meat
    • Foods or drinks that contain refined sugar or corn syrup
    • Deep fried foods
    • Alcohol, except for an occasional glass of dry red or white wine

    General Guidelines for a Kapha Pacifying Lifestyle

    • An energetic routine. Avoid stagnation
    • Stimulating your body and mind on a daily basis
    • A 10–20 minute self-massage daily with ½ cup warm sesame oil before bathing. Perform a daily Garshana (dry massage) on your body to stimulate circulation
    • A vigorous exercise routine that includes jogging, hiking, biking, vigorous forms of yoga or martial arts, or other challenging forms of exercise, a minimum of five times per week
    • Keeping warm and dry, no matter what the weather
    • Use an Ayurvedic neti pot to prevent congestion. The neti pot is powerful tool for nasal cleansing
    • Lively and invigorating music, smells, experiences, and company
    • Use warm, stimulating aromas including cloves, camphor, cinnamon, eucalyptus, juniper, and marjoram
    • Favour colours that are warm and bright, including yellow, orange, and red