Regardless of your dominant dosha, anyone can experience a kapha imbalance. If you’re feeling sluggish and fatigued, it could be excess kapha doing a number on your mind and body.
by Iris Goldsztajn
In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, or energies, that help us to understand our constitutions and how to find mind-body balance. Our individual constitutions are typically dominated by one dosha, but some people are governed by two or three.
Whatever your dominant dosha(s), anyone can experience an imbalance in any of the three.
If you’re feeling too hot and irritable all the time for instance, it might be a pitta imbalance. If you’re skipping meals and feeling anxious, your vata could be acting up. As for kapha, keep reading to figure out how to spot an imbalance, and how to counteract it.
Signs You May Have a Kapha Imbalance
You’re Low on Energy
The kapha dosha is associated with a general sense of lethargy and heaviness. When imbalanced, kapha can cause you to oversleep, making it harder to get out of bed in the morning and making you feel sleepy throughout the day. You might find yourself low on energy and motivation. You might also experience low moods and feelings of sadness or melancholy.
Your Hair and Skin Are More Oily Than Usual
Oily is one of the main qualities of kapha. It makes sense, then, that a kapha imbalance can make your skin and hair feel more oily than usual. “Kapha” skin can get greasy, and you may have visible pores, blackheads and pimples. As for your hair, excess kapha can make it feel wet and sticky, which is less than ideal.
You’re Extra Sensitive To Cold and Damp Weather
Kapha types and those with excess kapha in the body may feel extra sensitive to cold and wet environments. You may also notice mucus buildup. So feeling congested and generally weighed down, may be a sign that your kapha levels have become imbalanced.
Your Digestion Is Out of Whack
Healthy digestion is at the heart of Ayurveda. That’s why whichever dosha you’re experiencing an imbalance in, it can cause digestive issues. With kapha, your digestion slows. This may manifest through a feeling of lethargy after a meal and feeling hungry less often. You might notice some bloating and you may gain weight more easily. Kapha is traditionally thought to also cause constipation.
What Causes a Kapha Imbalance?
As you might already have induced, kapha imbalances are common in winter. That’s because late winter and spring are considered kapha season — a time when we slow down and “hibernate,” so to speak. But this kind of imbalance can happen at any time of the year and to anyone. Other aggravating factors include napping too often, not exercising enough, eating too much at mealtimes and eating foods that don’t agree with the kapha dosha. Kapha types should avoid foods that are excessively heavy, sweet or oily, such as dairy, pastries, avocado, nuts and seeds, fried foods and red meat.
What Does a Kapha Balancing Lifestyle Look Like?
What you eat is super important for keeping your mind and body in balance. To balance kapha, cook with lots of spices, which are energizing (but avoid adding too much salt), and try drinking ginger tea with your meals. Eat plenty of vegetables, beans and lighter fruits such as apples. Privilege warming foods where you can.
You can also benefit from adding tinctures to your daily routine, such as The Root of It All’s GO for focused energy or SETTLE for a balanced stomach, both of which contain invigorating ginger essential oil and soothing CBD. In terms of lifestyle changes, the key here is to re-energize yourself, so change your environment by going for a brisk walk or discovering a new area of your city and get your body moving with some dynamic yoga. Make sure to keep yourself as warm and dry as possible by wearing layers and wrapping yourself in blankets if needed. Last but not least, try to go to bed earlier and get up earlier.
Balance Within Reach
A kapha imbalance can slow you down, but getting yourself back into balance is super easy with just a few simple lifestyle changes. Now that you know how to spot excess kapha, you’ll be armed and ready next time you’re feeling a little sluggish.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based writer and editor with six years of experience creating content for various outlets. Her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Stylist and Cosmopolitan, and she won first place in Writing Magazine’s Grand Prize for a short story in 2020.
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