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Owning Your Kapha Dosha
Solid as a rock, cool as a glimmering stream in the white moonlight- such is the essence of Kapha.
-Maya Tiwari, A Life of Balance
“What’s your dosha?”
Thanks to famous ayurvedically influenced health gurus like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Vasant Lad, and Dr. John Douillard, Ayurveda is in and it’s depth, complexities, and benefits are seemingly endless.
Dosha is a sanskrit term that literally translates to that which comes out of balance, and generally refers to an individual’s constitution (mind/body type). If you haven’t taken a dosha quiz in the past three months, I invite you to take this Ayurveda body type quiz before reading further. Taking this quiz seasonally (about every three months), can start to give you a new perspective on your personal constitution, as each dosha is always fluctuating based on internal and external environmental factors.
Ayurveda translates to “life knowledge” in sanskrit. It is a science that is over 5,000 years old that utilizes the rhythms of nature, the subtle energetics and qualities of herbs and food, yoga asana practices, pranayama, visualization, and meditation to cultivate awareness of a person’s true nature and purpose. Ayurveda is not only the science of physical life and health, but it is also the means for uncovering overall dharma or individual purpose for this lifetime.
Ayurveda operates on the principle that each person has his or her own constitution made up of the primary doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). In order to thrive and fulfill dharma one must use their constitution as a tool to achieving their goals and aspirations and a means for self study. Your dosha is not meant to provide a ‘quick fix’ solution for ailments and behaviors, but as a means to go within and uncover your talents, gifts, and overall purpose for this lifetime.
Positive manifestations of Kapha dosha:
Nurturing, empathetic, loyal, steady
Negative manifestations of Kapha dosha:
Laziness, greed, stubborn, inability to let go (materials or emotions)
Practices for Kapha dosha:
- Arise early while vata is still the predominant dosha in the air (between the hours of 5am and 7am). Sleeping past 7am starts to get into Kapha time, where we often feel groggy upon waking, no matter how much we have slept.
- Begin your day by drinking warm water with lemon to stimulate digestion. From there, practice light exercise before breakfast (take a walk around the block or a practice a few sun salutations) to get the synovial fluid of the joints, blood, and lymph moving.
- To insure you wake up on time, try getting an alarm clock (in lieu of your cell phone) and put it across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
Third chakra fire meditation for balancing Kapha dosha:
- Sitting in a comfortable position with your spine straight, bring your attention to the space behind your navel.
- Notice where you attention falls. This is the location of your manipura chakra, the chakra associated with the will and earth energy.
- Visualize a small, steady, almond shape flame in the space behind your navel.
- Once you see this clearly, begin to concentrate the light and power of the flame on exhale, and expand the brightness of the flame outward in all direction on exhale. Breath like this for a few rounds, pulsing the light inward and concentrating it’s power on inhale, and expanding it’s power on exhale.
- Next visualize this flame rising up your spine from your navel center to the center of your chest, the anahata chakra (heart center; literally translating to ‘the unstruck sound’).
- Visualize this flame illuminating all corners of your heart center, and, once again, begin to concentrate the power of the flame on exhale, and allow for the flame to radiate outward on exhale.
This visualization draws awareness to the third chakra, the center for willpower and motivation and joins our personal power with the consciousness of our heart center.