Here Is A Short Explanation Of Dosha Traits
What Are Doshas?
Dosha means elements. There are 5 elements that everything in the world is made from. They are collectively called as Panchbhutas – Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. In Ayurveda we group elements together to only mention 3. Ether/Air, Fire/Water, Earth/Water. These are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Your body and mind’s health are determined by how balanced your elements are and how much they move around. The more balance of air, fire and earth you have the more health you will enjoy.
Here is a short explanation of Dosha traits.
Our Vata energy helps us to explore creativity and inquisitiveness, express ourselves, and remain in motion. When excessive, Vata energy can cause dry skin, insomnia, constipation, and various nervous disorders.
Our Pitta energy drives us to achieve, accomplish goals, and exhibit fiery qualities like passion and anger. When excessive, Pitta energy can cause indigestion, liver complaints, bloating, fatigue, and other ailments.
Our Kapha energy helps us to feel grounded, facilitates our nurturing of others, and helps us exhibit a calming presence in stressful situations. When excessive, Kapha energy can cause weight gain, diabetes, and a feeling of lethargy.
How well do you know yourself? Do you know what foods and exercises benefit you most? Do you wonder why you react in one way to stress while others in your family and friend circle respond differently? How long do you need to sleep to get completely recharged? Are you an early riser? Why are some people hyperactive while others stay calm? Why some people never put on weight despite over eating while others gain weight even by eating in small quantities?
Your food preferences, natural sleep patterns, favorite activities and body type are all influenced by your unique mind-body constitution called Dosha in Ayurveda. Developed in ancient India thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is a powerful system of personalized health care, offering a whole-person approach to wellness that incorporates mind, body, and spirit. The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. One must understand the unique nature of each person and situation, taking into account the individual, the season, the geography, and so on. Understanding the doshas can profoundly improve your health and your ability to create well-being on a daily basis.
In Ayurveda, there are mainly three types of body types—Vata, Pitta & Kapha. The doshas are described as biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. They govern the physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment. These doshas are derived from the five elements of nature (Panchbhutas) and its related properties.
The balance of doshas in the body goes a long way in keeping you healthy. According to Ayurveda, if the proportion of doshas in your current state is close to your birth constitution, then you remain energetic and healthy. Any imbalance or divergence between these states can lead to sickness and diseases. In Ayurveda, vikriti is the term used to describe this imbalance or deviation away from the balanced state or prakriti.
Since we are most susceptible to imbalances related to our doshas, having a deeper understand of what really constitutes them and what is your dominanr dosha is important.
Vata Dosha (Wind energy)
The Vata dosha is derived from the elements of ether and air. It is known as the energy of movement that governs all the biological activities of the body. It is also called the ‘king of doshas’ since it governs the body’s greater life force and gives motion to other two doshas of pitta and kapha.
People born with Vata dosha are usually active, creative and are gifted with the natural ability to express and communicate. They are also quick learners, have a lively and fun personality, and are full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance.
Physical Characteristics of Vata Dosha:
1. Thin / Light body frame
2. Sensitive digestion
4. Dry skin and hair
5. Cold hands and feet
6. Sudden bouts of fatigue and tiredness
People of Vata body type are generally physically underdeveloped. They usually have a lean body and are blessed with great amount of agility. Their chests are flat and their veins and muscle tendons are usually visible. They usually have brown to wheatish complexion and their skin remains dry, rough and cracked.
They can be rather too shot or too tall and usually are on the slim side. Because of poor muscle development, their prominent joints and bones are usually visible. Their hair is usually curly and scanty and have thin eyelashes. Most of the times, they have sunken eyes, hands and feet often remain cold, nails are rough and brittle while the shape of their nose is bent and turned up. They might have a disturbed sleep pattern and so sleep less than other two body types. Vata people love to gorge on sweets and love their drinks hot.
The Vata Mind
Psychologically, vata people are characterized by short term memory and yet have a quick mental understanding and so are able to grasp things quickly and easily. Though they might understand things quickly, they also have the tendency to forget it with equal speed. They have little to no will power and possess little tolerance, confidence and boldness. Because of weak reasoning power, people belonging to the vata type are usually nervous, fearful and easily get anxious.
Vata dosha has a dominating effect on the movements in the body and activities of the nervous system. People with vata dosha are the kinds who are always on the go, have a creative mind and are full of vivacity and energy. The qualities of vata dosha include cold, dry quick, moving, changeable, lively and enthusiastic.
Characteristics Of imbalanced Vata Dosha
When vata is balanced, energy flows into the body and people with vata dosha can be seen being on their toes all the time. But when vata imbalance happens, they can experience physical/ mental issues like
6. Other Stomach, Digestion related problems
7. Dryness of skin
8. Dry cough
9. Lower back pain
10. Menstrual disorders
11. Abdominal pain
12. Act on impulse, mood swings
13. Respond to stress with fear, anxiety and worry
Therefore Vata pacifying foods and a diet of fresh cooked meals or food that are soft & mushy are recommended by Ayurveda to keep the Vata balanced.
Balancing Vata Dosha Through Diet
Vata is cold and dry so vata pacifying diet of foods that can neutralize this is suggested. Regular intake of foods that are warm, oily, moist, smooth and nourishing can negate the impact of vata imbalance in the body. Practicing Vata Dosha Yoga can also prove helpful.
1. Vata Pacifying Diet You Should Consume:
• Hot soups & Stews; Hot fluids at temperature higher than room temperature
• Ghee, Nuts, Avocado, Coconut, Olives, Buttermilk, Cheese, Eggs, whole Milk, Wheat
• Moist foods like Melons, Berries, Zucchini, Squash and Yogurt
• Warm spices like Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Flax seeds etc
• Papaya and pomegranate on a daily basis
• Garlic, Ginger and Nutmeg in your everyday cooking
• Sweets in moderation
2. Vata Imbalance Diet To Avoid:
• Cold and carbonated food, drinks
• Raw or uncooked fruits & Vegetables
• Frozen foods and drinks
• Leftovers from the Refrigerator
• Avoid cold foods, drinks and go for warmth
3. Keep In Mind:
• Favour nourishing foods over light food
• Prefer smooth over rough food always
• Choose moist over oily and dry food
Suggested Diet For Balancing Vata Dsha:
When it comes to balancing vata, how and what you eat plays a very important role. Vata thrives when you eat in a soothing and peaceful environment and by paying full attention to your meal. A vata diet is nothing but a combination of highly nourishing and fulfilling food items that will improve your appetite, nourish your body, aid proper digestion and support elimination.
Here Are Few Suggestive Vata Pacifying Foods Meals That You Can Take Through The Day And Balance Vata:
It is one of the most important meals of the day that can elevate your mood and energies your body for the rigors of the day. After a night of fasting, vata needs nourishment. To set the body in motion and to make it agile, you should follow the below given vata pacifying diet.
• A wholesome meal of Eggs, Avocado, Buttered toast & Sauteed veggies
• Hot cereals like Porridge, Oat meals, Rice pudding and a glass of hot milk
• Bread spread with maple Syrup, Almond butter, Honey, Cinnamon or even Ginger & cloves is a delicious way to kick start the day
Keeping your lunch nourishing and hearty will balance vata and also keep you away from avoidable in between meal snacks. For a vata pacifying diet, you must try include the below mentioned things in your lunch.
• Start with a small salad of cooked Beans, mung dal and Coconut tossed in a tangy dressing of lemon and vinegar
• Steamed rice, veggies, fish is also a great option
• For those who like their meals to be a little more elaborate, a vata diet of pesto, Pasta, Potato leek soup, baked tofu, cheese and pine nuts is also a great option
A light, nourishing yet simple and small meal at night can go a great deal in keeping your vata controlled and balanced. Try the below given vata diet for maximum effects.
• Soups made of Carrots, Potato, Mushroom or any vegetable you prefer
• Baked Potato, sweet Potato, Beans or any other light variant
Vata Dosha Home Remedies:
If you are experiencing problems like dry skin, constipation, disturbed sleep, dizziness, weight loss and decreased strength; there are chances you have suffered from vata imbalance. To tackle the problem of how to balance vata, you must practice the below given vata dosha home remedies on a regular basis.
External Treatments To Cure Vata Imbalance:
1. Wear warm and layered clothes
2. Administer regular body and head massages
3. Avoid fasting or going empty stomach for long
4. Take regular steam baths
5. Practice mild purification procedures like basti or vamana
Internal Treatments To Cure Vata Imbalance:
1. Dry roast asafetida and add it to buttermilk. Drink this delicious vata diet drink through the day
2. 1-2 gms of jaggery can be consumed daily
3. A glass of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of ginger powder can be had first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will balance vata dosha and also keep you hydrated through the day
4. Eat a mix of a pinch of nutmeg powder mixed with honey in the morning.
Vata Dosha Pacifying Yoga
Vata constitution of the body is the imbalance which is characterized by cold, mobility, buoyancy and size. Those who have this type can customize their yoga practice to bring back the balance. Vata dosha yoga basically helps one to re-establish the qualities of warmness, firmness and proper training to focus on establishing a natural state of well-being. Practicing yoga for vata body type can help bring equilibrium, tranquillity and sustenance faster than any other way.
People with vata imbalance end up with various health issues like headache, arthiritis, insomnia, anxiety and other digestive disorders as they do not take care of their diet properly. According to ayurveda, vata pacifying yoga can balance all the doshas and give a radiant and beaming health. Those with vata try to push themselves very hard to do rigorous yoga asanas like surya namaskar in a bid to counter its effects. But the asanas which are more appropriate for vata balancing are supposed to be calming by nature. These asanas also help to assuage anxiety issues and improve discrepancies like constipation and body pains etc. The lower abdomen, pelvis and large intestine mostly house vata in the body with many of the asanas compressing the lower abdomen are helpful in balancing vata. Also, the asanas that strengthen the lower back help improve vata.
Most useful yoga asanas for balancing vata dosha are listed below:
It is one of the most beneficial asana for removing vata dosha. One needs to stand straight with shoulders in a width-apart position. Stretch your arms straight up and thereafter hold onto the opposing arms behind the head. Keep the back in straight position and slowly bend forward taking a comfortable position. Try touching the ground in front but you need to be very careful while performing this yoga for vata imbalance as the back can be injured if there’s too much strain while bending. Hence, caution and restrained should be maintained.
It is the seated version of Uttanasana which is performed usually when the back is sore.
Balasana or the Child’s Pose is another useful asana for vata dosha which helps in constricting the pelvis region. You need to sit in an upright position while flexing the knees and folding them under the bum area. Position the arms on one side and bend in the forward position, relaxing the head on the floor in front. For those who are unable to touch the head on the ground can put a pillow or blanket underneath. This vata balancing yoga is best for those suffering from constipation or indigestion.
It is another vata pacifying yoga that helps in stretching of abdominal lower back muscles increasing the pressure on pelvis area and helping to treat asthama condition in young people. One needs to kneel the knees together and sit in a squatting position moving the legs out to the side of pelvis. One needs to place hands on ends of the feet and lean backwards in a bid to touch the lower back on the floor.
Dhanurasana or bow pose is one of the most popular asanas that gives maximum vata relief if performed regularly. For this one needs to lie on the stomach and arms at both sides. Lift the head and shoulders simultaneously and mend both the knees together. Try to reach back and touch the ankles and draw the chest upwards to let the lower body just rest on the pelvic area.
It is usually performed by people with pitta energy. These yoga poses for vata dosha involve squatting and keeping the hands on the buttocks. Move the pelvis area forward, pulling out the lower back and bringing the hands to touch the knees. Tenderly extend the neck forward and breathe easy. This asana would make the stomach, plexus and the chest areas flexible, allowing the free movement of energy through these organs.
Sun salutation is one of the best aerobic exercises that benefits people with kapha. It is a wonderful and sure shot way to get rid of excess weight and stress. It is also one of the best yoga for vata imbalance as it creates heat and opens the chest for energies to pass through. There are 12 positions to follow in this yoga whereby the first begins with standing erect, raising arms towards the sun and bending backwards. Thereafter, bend forward and fold the knees and then perform the adho mukha shavasana. Taking the cobra pose and pressing back and then coming to the standing position once again complete a cycle of surya namaskar. This has to be repeated a number of times to be effective in balancing the vata. People of kapha energy should perform this vata dosha yoga regularly at a great speed whereas people of vata nature should perform it slowly in order to decrease the vata exacerbating tendencies. Few of these yoga asanas are a little negative for the kapha, as kaphas can take advantage of all kinds of extensions and movements. For the kapha dosha people, the weaker areas in the body are the lungs and kidneys and they should be really taken care of while performances.
These yogas for vata imbalance need to be practiced at a slow, smooth and steady pace with more flexibility in the poses. As most of the yoga asanas for vata dosha affect the spinal and pelvic areas, it is important to not overdo or exert these joints. Each posture of the asanas should be held for short intervals, performing multiple duplications. Also the area below the navel and above the pubic bone is the power center and hence should be most concentrated on. These asanas are specifically tailored as yoga for vata body type and involve all the body muscles while performing. One very important thing to remember while performing the vata pacifying yoga is to relax and loosen up after practicing the asanas. Always conclude the yoga with a warm bath in order to calm the senses after the rigorous workout.
A combination of fire and water elements, pitta has the characteristics of being hot, oily and light. Summer season is said to be the season of pitta. Pitta dosha is the energy of digestion and governs the metabolism and transformation that takes place in the body. Pitta predominately controls how we digest food and discriminate between right and wrong. Pitta dosha concerns itself with the digestion power or ‘agni’ and makes sure it does not go into an overdrive causing you discomfort and stomach related ailments. It functions through carrier substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes and bile. The main location of pitta in the body are the small intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood and eyes. It is known to provide heat and energy to the body through the breakdown of complex food molecules and governs all the processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body.
People of pitta type are usually intelligent people and are governed by the emotions of joy, willpower, courage, anger, jealousy and mental perception and.
Physical Characteristics of Pitta Dosha
People of pitta body type are usually of medium height and have a delicate and slender body frame. Their muscle development is moderate and usually have a fair or reddish kind of complexion. They are blessed with a soft skin and hair is usually silky but more on the thinner side and may have a tendency for premature greying. The colour of their eyes usually range from green, grey or copper brown and be of medium prominence.
The pitta people have a strong metabolism and good digestion which results in them having a strong appetite. They have a natural craving for both sweet and bitter food items and may take food and liquids in large quantities.
The Pitta Mind
People with pitta body type have a sharp mind with excellent concentration powers. They tend to quickly comprehend situations and react with agility. They are considered to be good orators and generally possess good management and leadership skills. They are usually competitive by nature and enjoy challenges.
Characteristics of Imbalanced Pitta Dosha:
When there is an excess accumulation of pitta in the body, you may experience the following:
1. Excess generation of heat in the body
2. Acid reflux, Gas, Indigestion
3. Inflammation of the joints
4. Nausea, Diarrhea or Constipation
5. Anger and Irritability
6. Bad breath
7. Body odour
8. Excessive sweating
Balancing Pitta Dosha Through Diet
Before understanding how to balance pitta dosha, it will be useful to know the causes of pitta imbalance in the body. There are a lot of factors that contribute towards accumulation of pitta dosha or pitta imbalance. Some of the most notable among them are:
1. Exposure to pitta opposing or provoking diet
2. Excessive consumption of preservatives
3. Exposure to the sun
4. Exposure to too many chemicals
5. Emotional or physical stress
Ayurveda prescribes simple yet effective pitta remedies, applying which, you can easily get rid of the pitta imbalance in the body. These methods include a pitta pacifying ayurvedic diet that aids in cleansing the body of all the harmful and toxic waste material and regularizing the bowel movements for a happy and healthy gut. Doing so on a regular basis will calm the body and allow it to function properly. Here’s your guide to a wonderful pitta pacifying diet, following which you can easily tackle the problem of how to control pitta and feel healthy at the same time.
Pitta is pacified by consuming a combination of fresh, cooling, grounding and carbohydrate rich foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables work best to control pitta dosha. Fruits that are sweet to taste and slightly astringent help pacify pitta. When picking pitta pacifying foods, it is important to distinguish between the tastes as anything sweet can work in your favor, but a fruit or vegetable that is bitter to taste can work against your body. So anything that tastes bitter among the specified pitta pacifying foods category needs to be discarded immediately. Also, fruits, vegetables and juices are best enjoyed alone and not as an accompaniment to any other food. Best would be to have it 30 minutes before or an hour later to any meal. It will help you digest the food properly and make the maximum of your diet.
Apples, apricots, berries, cherries, coconut, dates, pear, papaya, plums, pomegranate, mango, orange, melons, watermelon, strawberries, figs and grapes
Avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cilantro/coriander, peas, pumpkin, radishes, cabbage, sweet potato, spinach, lettuce, okra, cucumber, potatoes, leafy greens, and mushrooms among others.
Barley, couscous, oats, quinoa, granola, wheat, tapioca, wheat bran, pasta, pancakes, amaranth and rice (basmati. among others.
Grains to avoid: Corn, buckwheat, millet, museli, rye, yeasted bread, polenta and brown rice.
Legumes are astringent in nature and therefore, help pacify pitta. One must include the following legumes in everyday diet: Black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, soya beans, tofu, lima beans, mung dal and black-eyed peas.
Legumes to avoid: Soy meat, miso, urad dal, and soy sauce. These things have high salty content and can aggravate pitta dosha.
5. Dairy products:
Unsalted butter, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, goat’s cheese, ghee, ice cream, yogurt and goat’s milk.
Dairy products to avoid: Salted butter, buttermilk, frozen yogurt, sour cream, hard cheese, and fruit or preservative based yogurts.
6. Nuts & seeds:
Most nuts and seeds are known to have high oil content in them and so are advised to be kept outside of the pitta diet chart. However, there are some nuts and seeds that can be consumed in moderation to tackle the issue of how to reduce pitta from the body in a healthy manner. Pitta diet friendly nuts & seeds include: almonds (soaked & peeled., flaxseeds, coconuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and popcorns (unsalted & plain.
Nuts & seeds to avoid: Cashew nuts, almonds with skin, pine nuts, pecans, pistachios, tahini, walnuts, sesame seeds, chia seeds and peanuts
Animal meat that is sweet in taste and dry, works best to reduce pitta. The meats that you can consume in your diet include chicken, shrimp, rabbit, venison, fish (freshwater., eggs (white. and buffalo meat.
Meats to avoid: Beef, egg yolk, duck, pork, salmon, seafood, sardines, lamb, fish (saltwater., tuna fish and turkey.
Coconut oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, primrose oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, ghee and walnut oil.
Oils to avoid: Almond oil, sesame oil, corn oil and apricot oil
Spices play a very integral role in our cooking. You can have these spices to balance Pitta: Basil, black pepper, coriander, ginger, fennel, mint, orange peel, saffron, peppermint, cinnamon, dill, cardamom, parsley and vanilla.
Spices to avoid: Bay leaf, garlic, mace, hing, nutmeg, mustard seeds, salt, sage, thyme, cloves, fenugreek, rosemary and mace.
Sweet food items are known to balance pitta and should be taken in moderate quantity. Sweeteners to eat: Maple syrup, dates, barley syrup
Sweeteners to avoid: Honey, jaggery, molasses, white sugar
For a person who has excess of pitta dosha, must take care of the below given pointers:
1. Favour cool over warm or hot
2. Nourishing & light food must take precedence over dense or heavy food items
3. Dry food over liquid help curb pitta dosha
4. Mild drinks like fresh juices over hard ones like alcohol or caffeine based drinks
Pitta dosha pacifying yoga
Yoga is a great workout as well as a spiritual practice to be incorporated in one’s ayurvedic daily routine for balancing a person’s health foundation. Yoga always benefit the most when balancing is done according to the dosha one has as it makes easier to practice the pose. Those with pitta dosha are basically the ones who perspire a lot. They easily get irritated in hot weather and prefer cooler climates. The main body organs like eyes, skin, liver, brain and intestines are ruled by pitta and thus its imbalance creates problems like rashes, heartburn, fever, infection etc. Pitta also has psychological imbalance effects like feelings of anger, anxiety and hatred. People with pitta dosha are also prone to mental disorders. Thus, it is important to maintain the balance by doing Yoga for pitta dosha.
The pitta pacifying yoga for an individual should promote empathy, recognition and calm efforts. Pitta dosha is ruled by fire and water and the energy is associated with not just digestion but also enzymatic and endocrine systems as recommended by ayurveda. It helps in digestion of nutrients providing energy and vigor to the body. There are many good postures in yoga that help in providing stability to the pitta dosha. It is very important to know that not too many strenuous backbends should be performed as they heat up the body fast.
The easiest yoga for pitta imbalance is pranayama, which focuses on the cooling and systematic breathing. According to yoga, exhaling through mouth is a good way to release heat and helps balance the pitta dosha in the long run. Pranayama help in treating body ulcers that pitta body types are prone to. Sitali or cool breath practice is a part of this pitta yoga and doing at least ten rounds of this helps tremendously. For sitali, one should roll their tongue around the lips and inhale through the rolled tongue, then close your mouth and exhale through the nose.
Surya Namaskar or Vinyasa
Another effective way to do yoga for pitta dosha is by doing vinyasa or rounds of sun salutations. This asana should be done with slow and relaxed poses so as to bring calmness and cooling to the body.
Anjanasayana and Salsbasana
Anjanasayana or crescent lunge and Salsbasana or locust pose should be done in a relaxed manner, to bring more coolness to the body.
Forward bends or folds are cooling in nature and uppavistakonasana is a good one as it cools off the Pitta fire in the pelvis area.
Pascimottasana, or the Pigeon pose is a one with forward bend that is also good to perform.
For the abdominal areas, twists like ardhamatsyendrasana or the half lord of the fishes pose is also very balancing in nature. One needs to stand straight and then bend forwards in bow pose and cobra pose in a bid to do pitta pacifying yoga.
Another way to do yoga for pitta body type is to meditate with some nadisodhana or alternate nostril breathing in a seated position. Maitreya meditation overcomes the pitta dosha problems like hunger, short temper, impatience and anger. The pitta mind also responds well to the meditation that is centered on sounds that are soothing, good smells and bright colors. Make sure to surround yourself with cool and light colors, focus the gawk on an unruffled and soothing yantra that will guide your mind into a peaceful and serene state.
There are also restorative child pose and fish pose asanas that help balance the pitta. These poses help in being peace to the body and mind.
It is also important to know that while doing yoga poses for pitta dosha one must try to avoid doing headstands as they accumulate too much heat in the head and eyes, aggravating the condition. Since eyes are controlled by pitta, this creates serious imbalance.
For the pitta pacifying yoga one needs to follow some basic guidelines by doing asanas and poses that are fun to do and not pushing yourself too much. A very strenuous pose may heat up the body, aggravating the pitta. Also, always try to enjoy movements in the poses that help to make them more relaxed. While gazing on the ground downwards at the horizon and practicing yoga with closed eyes one can achieve the desired results faster. Make sure to keep changing the yoga asanas as monotony gets boring for the body as well. Always practice the pitta balancing yoga in a cool area so as to help get over the condition faster. Also focus more on inhalation as the cool breath helps to diffuse the heated pitta dosha faster. Exhalation helps to release and let go of built up anger and frustration easily. Breathing should also be regulated for the back body area as well as the front, especially the ribs. Make sure to notice the ribs position every time you perform an asana and try to inhale so as to draw them back into the body.
Kapha dosha is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure and smooth functioning of all its parts. It is the principal that holds the cells together which forms the muscle, fat and bones in the body. The main location of kapha in the body are chest, throat, lungs, head, fatty tissues, connective tissues, ligaments and tendons. It aids in lubricating the joints, store energy and give bulk to the tissues.
A person governed by kapha dosha usually have a strong built and strong stamina and are blessed with good digestion. Kapha people are usually warm, loving in nature, easy going, relaxed and slow paced. They are compassionate and non-judgmental people and have a graceful appearance. They do not get upset easily, are thoughtful and are known to be possessive by nature and so hold on to things and people for a long period of time. They are usually good in money matters and possess good amount of wealth.
Physical Characteristics Of Kapha
Kapha people usually constitute well-developed bodies but also have a tendency to carry excess weight. Their chests are expanded and braod and their veins and tendons are not visible because of thick layer of skin and good muscle development. They usually have fair complexion and have lustrous and oily skin. Their hair is thick, dark and of wavy kind and eyes are often dense and large and of black or blue shade.
They have a regular appetite but due to slow digestion they tend to consume less amount of food. Know how to improve digestion. They possess good stamina and generally remain happy, healthy and peaceful.
The Kapha Mind
People of kappa mind set are usually calm and do not get aggravated easily. They are of forgiving and peaceful nature and believe in maintaining harmony in their surroundings. However they do exhibit traits of greed, attachment, envy and possessiveness. Though they have slow comprehension, but once they understand a thing the knowledge is retained and stays with them for long.
Ayurvedic & Medicinal plants can be used to treat various ailments using the Ayurvedic home remedies.
Characteristics Of Imbalanced Kapha Dosha
People governed by kapha dosha are said to be active but in case of kapha imbalance in the body they can face the problems of weight gain, fluid retention, allergies and fatigue among others. Kapha imbalance in the body can also cause ailments like diabetes, depression, asthma and excessive of sleep. People with imbalanced kapha become quite stubborn and unreasonable.
Signs That Point Towards Increase Of Kapha In The Body Include:
4. Excessive sleep
6. Poor appetite
8. Excess salivation
11. Sweet taste in mouth
Balancing Kapha Dosha Through Diet
What we eat can have a positive as well as adverse effect on us and our body. According to Ayurveda, it is important to eat a healthy diet in order to both remove excess of kapha from the body as well as balance it. Because kahpa is easily aggravated by heavy, pungent and oily substances, therefore, when it comes to the question of how to remove kapha from body, a kapha pacifying diet of light, dry and warm foods is recommended.
Here is a guide to what to eat and what to remove from your diet to balance kapha in your body.
A day of liquid diet per week can help you balance as well as remove excess kapha from your body. Ingesting fresh fruit and vegetable juices & smoothie and hot beverages like herbal tea & soups are the best examples of a kapha pacifying diet.
2. Dairy Products:
While dairy products are known to aggravate kapha, at the same time, consuming their low fat and calorie versions can help you find an answer to the question of how to balance kapha dosha via kapha pacifying diet. Low fat milk is a good option. Always boil it before consuming. You can also add a teaspoon of turmeric or ginger to it as it helps in reducing any kapha increasing qualities of milk. Also, consuming yogurt or ghee made of low fat milk is a good example of kapha pacifying diet.
Light fruits like apples, pears, watermelon, pomegranates, apricots and cranberries etc., form an integral part of a kapha diet. They are any day better than consuming their heavier or sour counterparts like bananas, oranges, pineapples, avocado, coconut and dates among others.
Except for honey, most of the other sweeteners must be avoided if you are looking at definitive answers to the question of how to remove kapha from body. Honey is considered to be the only sweetener that can best pacify kapha and hence advised for consumption. To help release excess kapha from the body, a teaspoon of raw honey each day can be made a part of your kapha diet.
5. Hot/Warm Beverages:
Herbal teas and soups are advised to be included in your everyday kapha diet, as they tend to stimulate the digestive system as well as sharpen the taste buds. Read more on different types of taste. Wondering how to remove kapha from body? Drink 3-4 cups of teas like ginger, mint or cinnamon tea can do the trick. To make this tea:
1. Boil 4-5 cups of water in a pan
2. Add ½ inch of ginger and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes
3. Take the pan off the heat and steep 1-2 herbal flavoured tea bag in it
4. Remove the tea bag after a while and store the tea in a tea pot
5. Drink it through the day as part of your everyday kapha diet
Remove salt from your diet. Instead use pungent spices like pepper, mustard seeds, ginger, cloves and cayenne in your diet. These spices will not only stimulate and balance kapha but also make your digestive system to function properly.
7. Oils And Nuts:
Kapha diet suggests intake of lighter oils like olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil and pure ghee. Also, favouring pumpkin and sunflower seeds is a better option over heavy nuts like cashews, pistachios and pine nuts among others.
8. Light Meats Over Red Meats:
For those who love their non-vegetarian offerings, lighter and organic meats like white chicken, eggs, turkey and other variety of seafood is recommended over lamb, pork or beef.
Grains form an integral part of our diet. So, to redeuce kapha, the diet should consist of barley, corn, millet rye and buckwheat is favoured over a diet of Oats, Rice and Wheat.
An ideal kapha diet is the one that fills you up with energy and vigour. If you want to know how to balance kapha dosha, the key lies in eating at designated times, eating healthy and in moderation. An ideal diet should consist of three meals a day wherein the heaviest meal of the day should be had in the morning followed by a hearty lunch and light dinner. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours of rest to your stomach between each meal and must avoid going to bed immediately post any meal. Include a bit of physical activity in your everyday regime and you will be able to live a healthy and balanced life.
Kapha Dosha Home Remedies
To get the toxins and stress out of the system, the following things should be included in your everyday regime.
1. Seek newness:
Kapha is usually associated with the qualities of cold, heavy and dense and so require constant stimulation to keep them hooked and interested in a thing. Bringing about a change in your everyday routine and introducing new things on a constant basis can provide you with the required stimulation and excitement.
Any form of physical activity is good for the body. Indulging in yoga, walking, running, swimming etc., not only aids in keeping your body fit but also elimination of harmful toxins from the body by regularizing your bowel movements and keeping the gut clean. It also helps in building stamina and keep you strong. Also Learn about the various benefits of yoga.
3. Stay warm:
People of kapha dosha are normally sensitive to cold and damp places. It is therefore advised for them to stay warm. Using heat pads or wearing warm layering of clothes can benefit you to a great extent.
4. Detoxify to remove kapha dosha:
Try the detoxification diet. Doing it once a week can help remove free radicals from the body and remove any kind of congestion from the digestive system. Accumulation of waste in the intestine can lead to the problems of stomach disorders, indigestion, acidity and gas. A liquid and fruit based diet will help clear the blockages from the system and keep your digestive system and gut healthy and clean.
5. Favour warm substances:
If you need answer to the question of how to balance kapha dosha, start including warm substances in your daily diet. Warm beverages like herbal teas and soups and spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc., keeps the kapha stimulated.
6. Perform Ayurvedic neti pot:
Nasal cleansing aids in removing congestion of any kind from the lungs and the respiratory tract. Performing it every morning can help balance kapha dosha.
Kapha Dosha Pacifying Yoga
As the main sites of kapha are the lungs, stomach, and sinuses, poses to open the chest are highly indicated. Inversions are great for kapha as they stimulate circulation and help bring a feeling of lightness to the body. (Be sure to practice safe inversions, minimizing the pressure on the cervical spine.)
1. Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations invite heat and mobility to counteract the cold and stable qualities of kapha. They’re a great way to get the circulation and lymph moving first thing in the morning.
2. Parivrtta Utkatasana
This pose builds heat in the legs while simultaneously pushing out the stagnation that can build up in the chest and lungs from excess kapha. Moving from side to side with the breath, as well as longer holds, can be beneficial.
3. Ardh Chandrasana
Stimulating the side waist is a good way to ward off mandagni, or slow digestion, because it moves and awakens the digestive organs and stretches the entire abdomen. The side-to-side motion also offers spaciousness to the lungs, where excess mucus can build up from excess kapha.
4. Virabhadrasana I & II
Standing poses, especially with the arms and/or gaze raised, will help bring more heat and lightness into the body. You can do Virabhadrasana I and II (warrior I and II) and utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle). This is the perfect pose for a long, heat-building hold to burn kapha. Keeping arms wide open brings space into the front body where the kapha dosha lives.
5. Utthita Parsvakonasana
Similar to Virabhadrasana 1 & II, this extended side angle standing pose, will help bring more heat and lightness into the body.
The lateral flexion in the Triangle Pose, much like in Half Moon, aids in sluggish digestion and opens the lungs and chest space to get things moving. This pose is also great to challenge and strengthen the legs, back, and core.
Standing on one leg means that all the other limbs are off the earth, balancing the earth element of kapha. Turning the gaze up while in Tree can invite even more spaciousness and lightness into the posture, to counteract the dense heaviness of kapha.
8. Urdhva Dhanurasana
Backbends can also help release tension in the areas of the chest and lungs. Urdhva dhanurasana (upward facing bow) is a great option—it is typically more challenging, it brings more heat/blood flow to the head through gravity, and it opens the chest. This supine backbend massages all the digestive organs and stimulates agni, our internal digestive fire.
Purvottanasana or Upward Plank pose is a great heat-building challenge for the arms, back and legs, and also opens the chest.
10. Salamba Sirsasana
When you reverse the blood flow in the body, accumulated fluid in the ankles and legs (which can be caused by too much kapha) gets the chance to move and drain. Headstand also shifts the tendency of kapha to get stuck in the same old routines, by offering a whole new perspective on the world.
11. Natarajasana & Salabhasana
Natarajasana (king dancer) and salabhasana (locust) are also great backbends for kapha. Forward bends also bring more heat to the chest by compressing that area, which helps to counter the cooling guna of kapha.