As we slowly make our way into Kapha season, it's good to have an understanding of how Kapha dosha relates to us in the physical world, while also having an idea of its tendencies and traits so that we may recognize them within ourselves, and balance them if needed. The following is a description of Kapha dosha by an unknown author, full of symbolism and poetry to etherically and practically define what it means to be a predominantly Kapha type person. If you are brand new to Ayurveda, please see our "Introduction to Ayurveda" blog post first, as this will set the stage a little bit for what will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
"Think of the earth in all its varied forms. It is the massive planet we walk on - the dark, cool, sweet soil that bears the crops; the soft, wet, viscous clay smoothed by a sculptor's hand; the thick, sturdy slope of an old mountain; the meandering river valley; and the deep cradle of the ocean. It makes changes slowly, if it changes at all. But once an endeavour's begun, the earth advances steadily to the goal, no matter how long it takes. It has patiently nurtured many an acorn until it has become a great oak. Don't be fooled by this languid nature, however. You will get a fight if you pull up the roots, try to change the course of rivers or mine mountains of gold. What the earth holds dear, it does not let go easily.
Once you've felt earth's sensuous embrace, you have understood Kapha's beauty. Her complexion is pale, soft and ever so slightly cool and slick. Her generous face is square or round with cheeks that get to be pinched. She has voluptuous lips and big brown or blue 'bedroom' eyes that boast the lushest eyelashes. With her abundant, wavy tresses, and full-bodied figure, she is the epitome of the Rubenesque woman. Rich reds and purples warm her cool skin, and garnet and ruby peak her energy and will. In love, as in all things, Kapha is cautious, wise, honest, and steady. She rarely goes headlong into affairs - she is even a little shy - but prefers to take time for the rituals of courtship and deepening romance. There is much to be said for her civilized pace. Her graceful manner is charming, not to mention calming and undemanding, and her resourceful mind offers a wealth of insight into anyone smart enough to ask. Serene Kapha does not fall quickly, but her sweet heart does fall hard. Once she commits, her unswerving feelings and stamina are a match for any lover. When her natural equanimity is upset, however, Kapha's attachments become possessive. She has great difficulty moving on after a disappointment, and she can be sullen or unresponsive once her mood shifts. If she doesn't take steps to get back on even ground, her state of grief is apt to develop into full-blown, can't-get-out-of-bed depression.
At such times, Kapha literally seems to collapse under her own weight. She is no longer earth itself, but Ms. Atlas carrying the world on her shoulders. Her placid demeanor, once so attractive, begins to look downright dull and lazy, and her already zaftig shape is prone to put on pounds. When she clings too tenaciously to her sadness, it literally seeps through the body in other forms; mucus collects in her chest and sinus cavities, producing conditions ranging from colds and congestion to coughs and asthma; her normally active sebaceous glands 'cry' through the skin, causing excessive oiliness, cystic acne, or wet eczema, while the rest of the body retains fluids, casuing a sagging, flabby appearance overall.
In these moments, a cold, rainy day, a sad, slow love song, and a sundae topped with thick whipped cream may seem a comfort for Kapha's gloomy mood, but they are the precise opposite of what this doleful, sweet soul needs. A vigorous massage with warming sesame oil, pungent potpourri of eucalyptus, sage, and musk, a hike in sunlit woods followed by a hot-baked cinnamon apple treat will go a long way to ease her heart and mind. Get some lively music with a strong beat and the volume on high, and Kapha will be up and dancing, given some time." - Unknown Author
Do you see Kapha dosha within yourself? How do you feel when you become unbalanced? Hot tip - treat your ailment with the opposite. Like treating a burn with cold water!
Happy self-discovering! More to come on the other doshas soon, and even more on how to balance your doshas in the comfort of your own home.