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How to Balance Common Kapha Imbalances

Common Kapha imbalances include weight gain, congestion, sluggishness, slow metabolism, and water retention. Can you or anyone you know relate to these?

Kapha links to the Earth and Water elements, which when out of balance can turn into a thick mud leaving us feeling heavy, stuck, and struggling to move forward. 

Ayurveda offers simple and natural remedies to help support you.

As a reminder.…

Kapha Dosha:

Elements: Earth (Prithvi) and Water (Jala)

Characteristics: Kapha embodies stability, structure, and lubrication. It governs functions such as maintaining immunity, providing nourishment, and promoting growth.

Physical Attributes: Kapha-dominant individuals typically have a solid build, clammy or oilier skin, and a tendency towards weight gain.

Emotional Attributes: Kapha imbalances can result in lethargy, attachment, and resistance to change, which can lead to feeling stuck.

  • When the earth and water elements are out of balance, it can lead to a number of health niggles or concerns. Let’s have a look at those together now.

Common Kapha Imbalances

Weight Gain and Obesity:

- Kapha imbalances can contribute to weight gain and difficulties in losing weight.

- Individuals may have a tendency to accumulate excess body fat, especially around the abdomen and thighs.

- They may experience slow metabolism, cravings for heavy and sweet foods, and a general feeling of heaviness in the body and mind.

Congestion and Respiratory Issues:

Kapha imbalances can lead to excess mucus production and congestion in the respiratory system, which is why as the weather starts to warm up after winter we can get colds and runny noses as the congestion begins to melt.

Kapha-type Asthma can include excess production of (white) mucous and phlegm, a wet cough, and attacks that may be severe during the morning or evening.

Individuals may also experience a reduced sense of smell and taste.

Lethargy and Low Energy:

- Kapha imbalances can contribute to a feeling of heaviness, lethargy, and sluggishness.

Individuals may have a tendency to feel tired, experience difficulty waking up in the morning, and lack motivation or enthusiasm.

They may also have slow digestion and a slow-paced approach to life.

They need their metabolism and get up and go boosting, even if initially they don't feel like it! Sometimes the hardest part is getting started such as starting some simple movement in the morning.

Slow Digestion and Metabolism:

- Kapha imbalances can result in slow digestion and a sluggish metabolic rate and may not feel that hungry.

- When they do eat Kaphas may experience a feeling of fullness after meals.

- Kaphas need to be careful that they don’t just snack on nutrient-poor foods, which in turn won’t help with their tendency to gain weight.

Water Retention and Swelling:

- Kapha imbalances can lead to water retention and swelling in the body.

- Individuals may experience puffiness, particularly in the face, hands, and feet.

- They may have a tendency to retain water and may feel heavy or bloated and something like the CCF (cumin, coriander, and fennel) tea, can help to boost circulation, reduce water retention, along with digestive issues.

Ayurvedic remedies to balance Kapha

  • Ayurvedic remedies to alleviate Kapha imbalances include dietary modifications, exercise routines, and herbs.

Dietary Modifications:

Light and Warm Foods: Emphasise light, warm, and easily digestible foods to counterbalance Kapha. Include cooked vegetables, soups, and warm beverages in your meals. Eating the main meal at lunch when the digestive fire is highest, can help support sluggish digestion, and eating a lighter meal in the evening will help to avoid a heavy feeling in the evening before bed.

Spices and Herbs: Incorporate spices that have a warming and stimulating effect, such as ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric. Occasional hot spices such as chili also give a boost, but I would avoid these if you have any heat-related conditions, such as those mentioned in episode #87 How to Balance Common Pitta Imbalances, or are living in a hot environment

Bitter and Astringent Tastes: Include foods with pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent tastes to help balance Kapha. Examples include leafy greens such as spinach, pomegranate, and apples.

Reduce Heavy and Sweet Foods: Minimise consumption of heavy, oily, and sweet foods, as they can aggravate Kapha because they are feeding the body more of the same heavy qualities already present. You could consider limiting or avoiding dairy products, fried foods, excessive carbohydrates, and refined sugars.

Exercise Routines:

Before we dive into exercise, I want to say I think it’s important to gradually build up the level of movement that you do, rather than dive in at the deep end and a) put yourself off it as it was too challenging and b) to avoid injury and discomfort. If your knees aren’t used to you walking 5 kilometres, give them a chance to get used to it for example.

If you wanted to get into jogging, gradually building up is one of the reasons why the couch to 5K programs can be so helpful - if running was your thing of course, it’s not personally one of my exercise preferences, but I’d much rather do zumba dance as I find that much more fun and engaging and still gets my heart beating!

Cardiovascular Exercise: Engage in regular aerobic exercises that promote movement, warmth, and increased circulation. Activities like brisk walking, jogging, dancing, and cycling are beneficial for balancing Kapha.

Invigorating Yoga Practices: Practice dynamic and energising yoga sequences like Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), Power Yoga, or Vinyasa Flow. These practices help stimulate the body and promote vitality. It doesn’t have to be an hour, it could be 5-10 minutes in the morning, what would be realistic for you?

Strength Training: Including strength training exercises to build muscle and increase metabolic activity, can help counterbalance the tendency of Kapha to promote weight gain and lethargy.

Recently I watched the Blue Zone series on Netflix about people living past 100 and one of the things that was really clear there was the ability to keep moving in day-to-day life, whether that be bending down and gardening or walking up the stairs, it helped them to stay fit and active. Do you or could you incorporate more movement naturally into your day?

Active Lifestyle: Stay physically and mentally active throughout the day, incorporating regular movement, stretching breaks, and stimulating activities. I know someone who rolls out their yoga mat in the office and does some simple movement, they are making it a priority. For me, I walk and play with the dogs, and I practice zumba routines to deliver my classes, these happen without me having to think too much about it!

Herbal Supplements:

Trikatu: This herbal formulation consists of a combination of ginger, black pepper, and long pepper. It aids in digestion, helps clear congestion, and promotes metabolism.

Guggulu: Guggulu is a resin extract known for its detoxifying properties.

Triphala: Triphala is a blend of three fruits (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki). It aids digestion, supports detoxification, and promotes balanced elimination. A great one usually for all doshas.

Herbs are typically used to nudge the body and mind back into balance, typically max 3 months.

I hope you’ve found this blog interesting. It’s looked at:

A quick reminder of the key components of Kapha dosha

Common Kapha Imbalances

Remedies to Balance Kapha

Can you relate to any of the Common Kapha Imbalances?

Let me know and ask any questions that you have by dropping me a message on Instagram or emailing me


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