Kapha is the energy that makes us feel lethargic and demotivated. We experience it most in winter, when the cold, damp weather is unrelenting (cold and damp are the presiding Kapha qualities), and also, psychologically, when we feel very low in mood, inert, reclusive or depressed. It is a heavy and slow energy and the following things can cause it to be raised, and thereby cause a Kapha imbalance in our bodies, minds and spirits:
On a physical level the following things imbalance the Kapha dosha
Being sedentary, still or lazy
Sleeping late or not going out very much
Eating larger meals and then taking a nap
Comfort eating rich, fatty, sweet or stodgy foods
Eating later in the day, particularly just before bed
Drinking ‘sweet’ alcohol, particularly grain-based drinks, such as beer
Cold, damp climates
On a mental and spiritual level the following things imbalance the Kapha dosha
Feeling ‘stuck’, inert, lethargic, and depressed
Dwelling on negative feelings about yourself and your life
Giving a lot to others, but not having your love or care reciprocated (this can happen to Kapha quite a bit, as this dosha tends to want to ‘parent’ others)
Feeling disassociated from one’s body and disliking your physical appearance
Lack of change, excitement or energy in life – being stuck in the same routine
Getting stuck in the past and not being able to move out of the rut
Feeling as though you are unimportant, or too meagre to be cared about
Feeling as though you could go on to do great things, but never harnessing the energy to make them happen
For Kapha imbalance, the key thing is to shake things up! You need to encourage yourself to get up, get out and get on with the things you feel passionately about, and not just let life slip by in a malaise. The following Ayurvedic changes will help you reboot your energy:
Work on nailing a regular exercise or activity that you really enjoy, and make it a daily part of life
Try not to eat heavy meals for dinner – stick with an energising breakfast (use spices such as ginger and cinnamon whenever you can), and make lunch your largest meal. Do not eat dinner late.
Focus on eating Bitter, Pungent and Astringent tastes.
Make the mainstay of your diet seasonal vegetables.
Cut back on meat, dairy and sugar.
Use herbs and spices in everything – your body thrives on heating, zingy, energising, ‘exciting’ flavours
Make your life more exciting – do something that makes your heart skip a beat
Try to be more impulsive
Get out a lot more, travel, explore, discover – Kapha thrives on energising pursuits