By Dr. Regina Antony
A healthy mind, devoid of distractions, anger, jealousy, or theft is a sign of healthy Kapha Dosha.
A happy and contented mind that does not seek worldly pleasures, that intends to seek higher spiritual practices is a sign of healthy Kapha Dosha.
But aggravated Kapha may cause lethargy, ignorance, false knowledge, lack of enthusiasm, lack of energy to tread the path of spirituality etc.
Yogic principles that impose self restriction promote healthy and well balanced Kapha Dosha. Examples:
Ahimsa – non violence
Satya – truthfulness
Asteya – not stealing
Brahmacharya – abstinence from sex.
Aparigraha – abstinence from greed / generosity
Shaucha – purity
Santosha – happiness
Swadhyaya – Self observation
Ishwara Pranidhana – devotion to God
Asana – postures
Pranayama – breathing exercises
Pratyahara – withdrawal of senses from sensual pleasures
Dharana – concentration of mind
Dhyana – meditation
Samadhi – mystical absorption, oneness of mind with the soul
Overall, the entire process of Yoga helps to achieve good control over Vata Dosha, maintains a healthy Pitta Dosha and promotes good qualities of Kapha Dosha.
Kapha balancing asanas
A list of postures of Yoga that helps to balance Kapha Dosha is mentioned below –
Shavasana – Corpse Pose
Shavasana balances the Tridoshas.
Balasana – Child’s Pose Method
Balasana balances and calms Tarpaka Kapha. Balasana sets right the breathing patterns. Therefore it promotes synchronization and coordination between Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu and Avalambaka Kapha.
Mayurasana – Peacock Pose
Mayurasana basically balances the Tridoshas.
Vajrasana – Diamond Pose
By maintaining the symphony of Pitta and Vata with Kapha in the stomach, Vajrasana helps in creating a protective buffer in the gut, thus preventing ulcers and acidity.
Tiryaka Tadasana – Swaying Palm Tree Pose
Destroys Morbid Kapha – Tiryak Tadasana helps in chest expansion. It also helps in clearing excess phlegm accumulated in the chest and thus cures asthma, bronchitis and other breathing disorders.
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Balance, stability and postural integrity is brought about by the balance of Vata and Kapha. It synchronizes Prana-Sadhaka-Tarpaka integrity. It also balances Avalambaka Kapha.
Makes the body flexible and active. Reduces lethargy and decreases Kapha Dosha.
All Yogasanas used for treating obesity decrease Kapha Dosha.
Naukasana (boat pose),
Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend),
Parshwa Konasana (side angle pose),
Garudasana (eagle pose).
Kapha balancing pranayamas
Effect of Pranayama on Kapha Dosha –
Sitting for a long time in the same pose increases Kapha Dosha. Hence pranayama does gently increase Kapha. But, being a mentally active exercise, and breathing going on in a rhythmic manner, it does not cause Kapha increase to an extent that it causes diseases. Those types, which generate heat like Kapala Bhati decreases Kapha.
Kapala Bhati – Here, the air from the lungs is forcefully and voluntarily exhaled. But inhalation is done involuntarily. Many use this Pranayama in the initial phase of meditation. It helps to improve alertness and concentration.
In Ayurvedic terms, Gheranda Samhita mentions that it mitigates Kapha dosha. The stomach and lungs is where Kapha is prominent. Rigorous exhalation leads to increase in Vata; that is why one feels more alert and active, after this exercise. Like water is dried by the wind, Vata helps to dry out and balance Kapha.
Kapha is related to obesity, and this Pranayama strengthens abdominal muscles and helps to burn calories. Hence, it is beneficial for Kapha balance.
Bhramari Pranayama – Humming bee breath – It is more targeted towards mind and spirituality than the body. It balances all the three Doshas.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – balances all the three Doshas.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama – It generates heat. It increases Pitta Dosha and decreases Kapha Dosha.
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – It is a derivative of Nadi Shodhana, excluding the breath holding phase. It balances Tridoshas.
Bhastrika Pranayama helps to clear the lungs, stimulates heart and lungs and decreases Kapha Dosha.
Kapha balancing meditation
An active mind without lethargy, sleepiness, ignorance, is a sign of well balanced Kapha Dosha. Increased Kapha Dosha makes a person lethargic, inactive, ignorant and sleepy.
Meditation done in standing pose, Vrukshasana pose (tree pose),
meditation done facing the Sun,
meditation done while fasting,
meditation done early in the morning by cutting the sleep time,
help to balance Kapha Dosha.
All forms of meditations that
stimulates the mind to think about various spiritual matters,
makes the mind delve deep into oneself and
makes the mind active are Kapha balancing in nature.
Kapha balancing spiritual practices
There are many spiritual practices that require good physical and mental strength and control.
For example –
going on a pilgrimage by walking long distances,
fasting for many days,
offering Dandaarpanam (Dandavat Pranaam) for a hundred times,
processions, circling the temple for hundreds of times (Pradakshina)
rolling the body around the temples (Anga Pradakshina)
All these spiritual practices
– are a way of expressing our love towards God.
– help us to shed the negativity, lethargy, laziness.
– make the mind and body, alert and active.
– balance down Kapha Dosha and stimulate Vata Dosha.
Read related – Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama for Vata Balance