KAPHA is the subtle energy that BINDS

The kapha energy holds cells together, it lubricates joints and skin, promotes building of tissues, governs immunity and all healing processes.
* Elements Earth and Water
* Qualities Heavy, slow, dense, cold, oily, sticky, cloudy, stable.
* Season Late winter to spring.
* Time of day 6am-10am, 6pm-10pm
* Seat of kapha in the body Lungs, stomach, respiratory tract, mucous membranes, sinus
* Time of life Birth to late teens.
* Physical profile Large and sturdy body, slow metabolism, puts on weight easily, large and soft eyes, thick, pale, oily skin, thick, wavy hair.
* Psychological profile Stable, loyal, dependable. Calm, tolerant, devoted. Learn slowly. Excellent memory.
* Spiritual profile Bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion) harmonizes perfectly with kaphas sweet and giving nature.
* Exercise A lot, high intensity. Kaphas need to sweat to maintain their weight and clear any congestion, as well as keep their spirit high.
* Colors Yellow, orange, bright red
* Aromas Basil, eucalyptus, rosemary.
* Tastes Bitter, astringent and pungent.
* Diet Favor foods that are warm, light and well-spiced.
* Aggravated by Not enough exercise, too much sleep, too much routine, exposure to cold and damp environments, eating too many sweet and starchy foods.
* When out of balance Kaphas feel uninspired, stuck, depressed.
* Common kapha disorders Colds, sinus congestion, cysts, excess weight.
* Recommended massages and body treatments Dry skin brushing, Deep tissue, Vishesh, Udvartanana, Thai Massage, neti pot and nasya.

Balancing Kapha with Ayurveda and Yoga

HOW you practice is as important than WHAT you do. The same exact postures can be balancing to all mind-body constitutions if done with the correct inward attitude. Ayurveda is all about honoring how we feel in the moment, therefore when you come to practice, identify which energy is in excess within your body/mind. You may be a vata type but let's say you woke up feeling sluggish for some reason, in that case you'd benefit from incorporating some kapha balancing practices in your routine.

The following recommendations are well-suited for…

1. A kapha constitution
2. A kapha imbalance
3. Individuals in their kapha time of life (teenagers)
4. Kapha season (late winter, spring)
5. Anyone feeling sluggish, stuck, congested.
* Intention Energize, invigorate, lighten, warm, challenge.
* Kaphas need to do what an imbalanced vata type might, which is to vary their routine a lot. They benefit from trying out different styles and teachers, experimenting with props, to avoid getting stuck and too comfortable in a predictable routine, something that in the end weighs them down.
* Styles used Styles that are physically demanding with little relaxation such as Pathabis Jois version of Ashtanga Yoga are great for kaphas. It challenges them to exert more effort in a more disciplined way than they are used to, which makes them feel lighter and more alive. Practicing in a moderately heated room greatly benefits kapha's tendency to feeling chilly. Kaphas should also find the use of upbeat and devotional music much to their liking.
* Postures Open up the chest/lungs with back bends such as camel, bow, upward bow, cobra. All forms of sun salutations are great to invigorate kaphas, even more so if some jumping is included. Standing postures held for a long time is another way to strengthen the kapha body, sweat and shed excess weight.
* Breathing techniques Warming and invigorating breathing techniques should be favored such as Ujjayi breathing, Kapalabhati, Bhastrika, right-nostril breathing.
* Relaxation- Little needed.
* Meditation Meditation helps kaphas let go of emotional attachment, learning to touch within themselves the love that they otherwise tend to seek out a lot. Kaphas do well with a devotional form of meditation. Their natural stability makes it easy for them to sit for long periods of time, yet they can also become sluggish and fall asleep. To prevent that they should prepare for meditation with lots of breathing and chanting. Walking meditation is a great alternative to keep the kapha energy from stagnating. Because they sometimes lack motivation, joining a group meditation can help them establish this habit.

The kapha -pacifying lifestyle

Yoga On and Off the Mat. Yoga Always. When we organize every aspect of our life in a way that supports our nature and its unique requirements we feel better and it's easier to come to the mat to practice. When we practice regularly we become more calm, intuitive and aware, and naturally gravitates towards those things, foods, people which support our highest good. This in turn makes it easier to continue to show up on the mat, go deeper and reap more benefits. And on and on the cycle goes.

A few "musts" to keep the kapha energy flowing clear and light:

Wake up early no matter what. Too much sleep makes kaphas feel heavy and lethargic.
Exercise! A must to keep the kapha body limber and the kapha mental outlook positive.
Deliberately vary your routines. Kapha's natural stable quality when in excess leads to attachment. To avoid getting stuck…Try new foods, different forms of exercise, activities. Even taking a different route to go to work every day can bring a welcome change of scenery to the kapha type often (too) predictable daily life.
Fast now and then. Skip dinner. Go on a juice fast (in the spring only).
Dry-skin brushing. Excellent to increase circulation of lymph fluids, open the pores of the skin and release toxins.
Adjust your diet according to the seasons. Limit intake of sweets and starchy foods, which make kaphas put on weight extremely quickly.