The main qualities of kapha are unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft and stable. It is also dense, cloudy and viscous. A yoga practice for a kapha individual should be one creating space, stimulation, warmth and buoyancy. Kapha types have the most stamina and strength of all the doshas, but when out of balance, suffer from lethargy and excess weight. If you are predominantly kapha, a stimulating, energizing yoga practice is ideal. It's important to challenge yourself and create heat in your body, to counter kapha's natural tendency to feel cold and sluggish. Move through your flow sequences quickly (though always with conscious awareness) to lighten and warm your body. Most of the standing poses are invigorating, especially if you hold them for a longer time. Try maintaining your asanas for up to 20 breaths. Back bends are also heating, helping to open the chest and circulate the life-giving energy of prana throughout the body.
Doing your yoga in the early morning hours of kapha (6-10am) will help keep you more energized and motivated throughout the day. At the beginning or end of your practice, you can practice bhastrika or bellows breath, which cleanses the body and energizes the digestive system. Kaphas can cultivate all of this by following some basic guidelines:
Practice at a vigorous pace and intensity.
Focus on the subtlety of the pose and how it creates an expansive presence in the body and energy field.
Practice in a warm space.
Use a strong forceful breath during practice.
When you are ready to release the pose, take one more breath.
Keep your chest and shoulders open and lifted as you practice.
Have a sharp upward gaze.
Feel a sense of lightness in your poses.
Pause for a moment between your inhalations and exhalations.
Keep moving. Have short resting periods between poses.
Enjoy a restorative pose for final relaxation.
Be precise in your poses.
Pay close attention to your alignment.
Dont give up!
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.