The main qualities of kapha are unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft, and stable. It’s also dense, cloudy, and viscous. A yoga practice for a kapha individual should aim to create space, stimulation, warmth, and buoyancy. Kapha types have the most stamina and strength of all the doshas, but when out of balance, they may 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 the kapha individual’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 an extended period. 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 routine during the segment of the morning when kapha predominates (6 a.m. –10 a.m.) will help keep you energized and motivated throughout the day. At the beginning or end of your practice, you can practice bhastrika(“bellows breath”), which cleanses the body and energizes the digestive system. Kapha individuals can cultivate all these benefits by following some basic guidelines:
Execute the poses at a vigorous pace and with intensity.
Focus on the subtlety of the pose and how it creates an expansive presence in the body and balances the energy field that surrounds you.
Practice in a warm space.
Sustain strong, forceful breathing 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.
Maintain a sharp upward gaze.
Feel a sense of lightness in your poses.
Pause for a moment between your inhalations and exhalations.
Keep moving. Take a short rest between poses.
Enjoy a restorative pose for final relaxation.
Strive for precision in your poses.
Pay close attention to your alignment.
Don’t 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.