Qualities reflecting the elements of Water and Earth.

Kapha derives from the elements of Earth and Water and translates as “that which sticks.” It is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and the smooth functioning of all its parts. Kapha can be thought of as the essential cement, glue, and lubrication of the body in one.

The qualities of Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static. A Kapha individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.

The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Physiologically, Kapha moistens food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates joints, stores energy, and relates to cool bodily fluids such as water, mucous, and lymph. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. With its earthly makeup, Kapha grounds Vata and Pitta and helps offset imbalances related to these doshas.

Just as a nourishing rainstorm may turn into a rampant flood, the fluids of the body may flood the bodily tissues, contributing to a heavy dampness that weighs down the body and clouds the mind. This dense, cold, and swampy environment becomes the breeding ground for a number of bodily disorders such as obesity, sinus congestion, and anything related to mucous. Mentally, the loving and calm disposition of the Kapha individual may transform into lethargy, attachment, and depression.

Ways to Balance Kapha Key words to remember: Drying, Stimulating, and Expression

- Eat a Kapha-balancing diet.
- Eat in a loving environment.
- Avoid a luxurious, leisurely lifestyle
- follow a regular daily routine.
- Do emotional housekeeping regularly.
- Make time for introspective activities, like meditation and writing.
- Make a distinction between being nice and being taken advantage of.
- Go to bed early and rise early, with no daytime naps.

Ways Kapha Becomes Imbalanced

- Eating Kapha-aggravating food
- Overeating
- Eating to offset emotions (like indulging in sweets when depressed)
- Spending too much time in cool, damp climates
- Not engaging in physical activity
- Spending most of one’s time indoors (especially on the couch watching TV!)
- Avoiding intellectual challenges