The best way to understand a dosha is by its qualities. So what are the general qualities of Kapha. As all Ayurveda enthusiasts know Kapha is one among the Tridoshas. Listed below are the qualities of Kapha dosha –
- Snigdha – Oily or Unctuousness
- Sheeta – Cold
- Guru – Heavy
- Manda – Slow
- Shlakshna – Clear & smooth
- Mrutsna – Slimy
- Sthira – Stable & immobile
So, what are the qualities seen in a Kapha person?
It is interesting that a Kapha type of person is considered of superior quality as per Ayurveda principles. Kapha person generally prefers less movement while doing work or any activities. They would have stability and even their thoughts would be stable. They generally have mental balance and can easily forgive others. They are compassionate in nature. They would have good memory and retention. They possess oily skin and hair. They generally have excess weight or can be said as well built.
Saying this, let us now look how to customize Yoga practice for a Kapha predominant person?
- Follow a grounding slower moving posture
- The main sites of kapha are the lungs, stomach, and sinuses, poses to open the chest are recommended Poses for Kapha Dosha
- Back bends – It opens up the chest and lungs.
|Bujangasana (Cobra Pose)||Lie on your stomach with your hands planted under your shoulders. With your gaze immediately in front of you, press up to arch your back.|
|Dhanurasana (Bow pose)||Lying on your stomach, bend your knees and reach behind you to grab hold of your ankles. Pull your ankles against your grip to lift your body off the floor.|
|Ustrasana (Camel Pose)||From a kneeling position with your body straight up and down, knees hip distance apart, reach behind you to place one hand on your lower back, heel, block, or floor. Do the same with the other hand and allow your head to extend back so your body is arched.|
|Sethu bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose)||Lying on your back with your knees bent and hands along your sides, raise your hips toward the ceiling.|
- Forward Bends – Brings about heat to a Kapha person who is generally cold in nature.
|Balasana (Child pose)||Start in a tabletop shape, on your hands and knees. Release the tops of your feet to the floor and bring your knees wider than your hips, big toes touching. Slowly lower your hips towards your heels. Walk your hands forward and rest your head on the floor or a prop. Take several slow breaths into your belly and chest. Gently release back to tabletop.|
|Adho mukha shvanasana (Downward facing dog pose)||Start on your hands and knees in a table top position with your hands and knees shoulder width apart. Your hands should be slightly in front of your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide on your mat with your middle fingers facing forward. Firmly press your palms flat on your mat. Curl your toes under. Exhale slowly as you lift your knees off of the floor and send your hips skyward. Press your chest back toward your thighs. Move toward straightening your legs and lowering your heels, but don’t lock out your knees or try to force it. Tilt your sitting bones up high and rotate your inner thighs slightly in and up, aware of your low ribs’ tendency to jut out as you find length here. Draw the ribs gently back in by toning your belly. Press the pads of your fingers and your full palm into the floor. Straighten but don’t lock out your arms. Engage your upper arm muscles to draw your elbows slightly in and pull your shoulders out of your ears. Keep your neck neutral (ears aligned with biceps) with your your gaze looking slightly back toward your feet.|
|Uttanasana (Standing forward pose)||Start standing with your hands on your hips. Exhale to hinge from the hips and bend forward. Think about creating as much length as possible from your hips to your head.
Release your fingertips toward the ground or your blocks. Root down into the four corners of your feet. Release the back of your head and neck. On inhales, feel your torso lengthen, and on exhales, feel your chest reach toward your toes. Stay in uttanasana for up to one minute.To exit the pose, return your hands to your hips and slowly lift up, keeping the length in the front and back of your torso.
|Paschimottasana (Seated forward bend)||Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Flex your toes back towards your face as you press through your heels. Engage your thighs, bringing the tops of them towards each other through a slight internal rotation. Place the palms of your hands on the floor by your hips and press firmly down. Extend through the spine by lifting your sternum up and broadening across your collarbones.
As you inhale, hinge from your hips while keeping the front of your torso long and extended. Root down through your tailbone as your sternum reaches forward towards your toes. Extend the arms forward, reaching for your feet with straight elbows.
To deepen the pose, don’t push yourself further forward. Instead, find more depth by continuing to lengthen the front body and encouraging the sternum forward. As you get deeper into the fold, bend your elbows out and up. The progression should be lower belly to thighs, then upper belly, then ribs and finally forehead to shins.
Allow the breath to move fluidly with you in the pose, using each inhale to lengthen and each exhale to hinge deeper.
In addition to the poses mentioned, a Kapha person can perform a slow-paced Surya Namaskara or Sun salutation to bring the dosha in balance. Read more about Sun salutations here –Sun Salutations – Everything you need to Know.
If you are new to Yoga, initially start practice under the instructions of a certified Yoga teacher.
Read more here –
Yoga for Pitta here – Yoga for Pitta
Yoga for Vata – How to pacify Vata with Yoga Asanas?