Category Archives: Kapha
Ever want all the information about doshas in one place? You can have the dosha snapshots that I use in my in-person training classes!
Each one of the doshas are summarized and easily accessible in this handy 4-page download. Bonus: Also included is a seasonal dosha chart and the daily routine!
If you or someone you love does not know what a dosha is, the download is perfect. If you are a yoga teacher trying to explain doshas to your students, this would be awesome for them. Or, if you just want a refresher on the doshas with all information in one place, this is for you too.
If you like these downloads, you might also like these:
Ayurvedic daily routine video
5 things to get started with Ayurveda right away
My workbook for Ayurvedic beginners: In Your Elements
Ayurvedic pizza party!? Pizza is not really Ayurvedic, but the world we know it has plenty o’ pizza. For us, pizza is definitely part of life — and if it’s part of life, it’s part of our Ayurveda. When you find yourself in the midst of a party, learn how to balance your plate for your dosha by checking out my pizza party tips on Banyan Botanicals blog.
A big shout out to my friends at Banyan Botanicals for promoting this playful excerpt from my book, In Your Elements. They are doing a FREE book give away! Wanna free copy of my book? Just enter here (scroll to the bottom). I hope you win! It’s a fabulous book and full of fun things like…pizza parties :)
ENJOY! And hit me with pizza party (or any other) questions any time. xo!
HEYO! Ayurveda promotes living according to the season. Here is a freebie 2016 Kapha Seasonal Bloom, just for you. mmmwah!
Hoooo. Welcome to “Super itchy skin Season” I mean, well, that’s probably not the official name of the season. Most would call it vata season or, fall. Anywho, if we have not already started practicing daily oil massage by now, our skin is probably letting us know it. We know it’s dry when our skin starts to show it’s texture and we can write the word “Dry” on the back of our hand with our fingernail (who remembers that commercial?). We know it’s dry when lotion buurrrns our skin (Why? Cause alcohol is one of the first ingredients in most skin lotion which dries it out further and makes it sting!). We might also wake up in the middle of the night with itchy-itchy dry scratchy legs like I did couple years ago and almost went nuts!
Most of you guys know by now that it’s time for OILS. Maybe we should rename it “Oil Season.” That sends a better message. Oils soak into our skin (especially warm oil – it’s heavenly) and also create a barrier to the outside cold, dry air. If we use oils daily, we won’t get super-itchy-skin or wake up in the middle of the night with itches. As a bonus, applying warm oil massage promotes sound sleep and can be used as a relaxation technique to unwind before bed.
Here are some ways to sneak in oils each day:
• Daily Oil Massage (yes, even for busy people), ideally in the morning before shower.
• Keep a small bottle of oil at your desk. Use like you would lotion and apply to forehead, cheeks, hands, arms, shins (if you start rubbing oil above your knees at work, people will think it’s just weird). Make sure it’s rubbed in really well.
• If you didn’t do massage in the morning then apply warm oil to your bod in the evening. Dump some oil in a pot on the stove and heat it (careful! It heats very fast and will continue to heat in the pan even when removed). Apply with strokes up and toward the heart.
• Rub warm sesame oil on hands and feet before heading outside in the cold.
• Eat oils too. Our skin is dry because our insides are dry. Favor vata-balancing diet with plenty of healthy oils this time of year.
And below are some of Monica B’s Favorite Oils (Confession…I have a lot of favorite oils, but these guys are tops).
Vata-balancing oil. Warm, nourish and ground.
Pitta-balancing oil (will nourish but also cool). Calm, sooth and cool.
Kapha-balancing oil. Invigorate, warm, revitalize.
Another one of my favorite luxurious brand of oils are from Boditonic. These would make awesome gifts or a nice bit of pampering for yourself. The baby scent is my favorite (it’s a calm, very light ylang ylang). The original scent is also good — it’s more lemongrassy. If you order from Boditonic, say hi to Adam and tell him Monica B sent you. It will make him smile.
IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE!
EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!
Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*
In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.
My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.
So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.
For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B
Ayurveda touches every part of our lives, right? So it would make sense that Ayurveda even touches on shopping! Is that the best news you’ve heard all day? Ayurvedic shopping! Permission to shop. Healthy, personalized shopping?! Yep, you betcha.
As you are learning more about the doshas, it’s super fun to watch them in action. People-watching is one of the most fascinating things in life, so toss in some Ayurvedic knowledge and you’ve got entertainment for years.
You remember our doshas right? Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas that govern our personalities, physical builds, emotional tendencies, and the nature around us. Let’s take a peek into the shopping world of the doshas.
How they spend
Vata shopping: Vatas will spend money as fast as they make it. Like the windy beings they are—*whoosh*—cash goes flying out of their fingers as soon as they walk out the door. Vatas are most prone to impulse buys, which may result in buyers remorse, because they didn’t think through their purchases first. Or, maybe they just changed their mind. They will promptly return the item to get the cash back, and then buy something else just as quick. A vata wardrobe has a lot of variety so they can look like a different person any time they wish. Vatas have the hardest time deciding what to wear in the morning and will try on several outfits (often making a mess) before they settle and head out the door in the nick of time, or even a teensy-bit late.
Pitta shopping: Pittas don’t love to shop. They only shop out of necessity and they usually know what they want to buy ahead of time. So, a pitta person will show up at the store, have someone help them find what they need (if they don’t call ahead and put it on hold first), pick it out, and go home. They do not lurk, browse, or window-shop. Nada. They just want to get what they need and move on with their day. Pitta wardrobes tend to be the least creative and they might wear the same thing often. They like to rely on simplicity in their wardrobes so they don’t have to have to think about it too much—their time is better spent on other things. Plus, reliable clothes keeps them punctual—a pitta’s favorite thing.
Kapha shopping: Kaphas love to shop. They love to saunter, browse, touch, linger, and enjoy. They also really like stuff (kaphas are the sticky dosha, and like to collect things). Kaphas are inspired by the creativity and loveliness of items in stores–it brings them lightness and happiness. Once a kapha finds something they love, they will buy the same thing in navy, khaki, red, and black. Even if multiple colors are not available, they might buy an extra piece just in case. They have elegant tastes and will spend on high-quality items. Just the same, if there’s a sale, it’s a kapha-extravaganza and they will buy all the multiples of things at the sale to keep them in a closet (for a rainy day that never comes) or give them away as gifts.
Now, you might be curious to know what kinds of clothes these specific doshas will buy? Just as different as their spending and shopping habits, their clothes will be different, too.
What to buy
Vata: Vatas are almost always cold, so they like anything fuzzy, puffy, fleecy, sweatery, hooded, and thumb-holed (it keeps their little wrists covered). Vata’s clothes will likely have a baggy fit, which makes them look bigger than they are (for them that’s good because vatas tend to be small-framed) and more importantly, allows for movement, so they can continue to wiggle around in true vata fashion. Vatas like to wear layers because they tend to get cold and change their mind. Colors that are best for vatas include warming colors that absorb heat like black, charcoal gray, chocolate brown, reds, oranges, purples, corals, and hot pink. These colors also compliment their olive skin and are “autumn” colors, which is also vata season.
Pittas: Pittas will look for clothes that compliment their muscular build, are well made, a good fit, and of good value. Because pittas run hot and sweat easily, they do best in soft, breathable, natural fabrics with a proper fit. In the heat, pittas will opt for loose, flowing clothes. However if clothes are too loose, pittas will feel “sloppy,” and if clothes are too tight, pittas will get hot and crabby. Colors that are best for pittas are cool spectrum colors found in nature like teal, sky blue, cobalt, pale blue, emerald green, sea foam green, white, and yellows. These colors also compliment their naturally pink skin and are “summery” colors, which is pitta season.
Kaphas: Kaphas always look put together. They accessorize with jewelry, shoes, purses, and head ensembles (as if their awesome looking hair isn’t enough). Kaphas will wear clothes that usually hug the lower body and are blousy on top. This shows off their rockin’ curves and gives their upper body room to breathe (for their big chests—to hold their big hearts). If anything around the chest or stomach is too tight, they will not feel good. Kaphas feel best in dark and warm colors but the fabrics should be lightweight, so they don’t weigh down kapha. Colors that are best are oranges, purples, reds, pinks, blues, and greens. Any colors that evoke vibrancy are great for kapha, since these colors are “spring” colors, which is also kapha season.
A Kapha Goes to Costco, an Ayurvedic Story.
My kapha husband wanted to disappear last night for an evening of carousing, by himself. Do you know where he went? Costco. Yes, Costco because there are BIG things in multiples there and in BIG discounts (kaphas love shopping, sales, and multiples). Kaphas are all about the accumulation and care-taking for everyone around them (cause they are so sweet). In a nutshell, Costco is kapha’s heaven and vatas want to run screaming.
So check it out. My jolly kapha husband comes home with a 5lb bag of kettle corn. Cause we need that. Popcorn is the snack of choice for kaphas and toss in some sugar (a kapha vice), they are in total bliss. Now we have 5 fluffy pounds of…bliss for the husband. He also got a 6-pack of electric toothbrush heads because we need 6 of them for 2 of us. Yes, yes we do. Six. He also got a 4-pack of sunscreen for just $9 (“At Target, these are $17 for only 2!”). And a big box o’ tupperware.
We live in a 900 sq ft apartment without many closets. Costco was not made for us. BUT my kapha husband was made for me, so I’ll just take this with humor and grace. Don’t think my pitta didn’t try to control the situation. Before his journey, I asked if he could take my car and get me gas (of course he’ll do it, he’s a kapha) in my Mini Cooper. BOOYAH! Mini Cooper + Kapha + Costco = Can’t buy all THAT much stuff ;) Mwwaaahahahaaaa (evil, yet loving laugh).
HAPPY Kapha Season! Kapha season goes from late winter through spring, and the time is now! If you have already read the seasonal bloom in the past, maybe take another look! And then pass it along to a friend :)
NEW inside this one, I created a kapha playlist! That’s right, music to shake your booty to while spring cleaning. Nothing better to get a kapha moving than some great tunes! *shake it!*
I also ask that in return for reading, absorbing and hopefully loving the information, that you share this with at least three of your friends or family. We ALL need more Ayurveda in our lives. It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work and I am grateful I can share this with you. Please share with more people so my reach gets larger!
All right, Monica! Two questions for you. First, I was thinking of trying to practice this Ayurveda way of life you’ve been talking about. My dad has had a lot of health problems lately and I’ve been thinking it might be time for me to try to fight these things before they start with me. Could you point me in the right direction on where to start…a book, recipes, how to take small steps at first? And second, if I’m a Kapha, do I need to follow those Ayurvedic “rules” all year long or do they change with the season. I’ve been reading your posts for a while and I’m a little confused. If it’s vata season, do I follow vata “rules” or do I follow Kapha all year long?
All right, Jen! :) Thank you for your questions. First of all, check out this article on where to get started. That should help guide you in the right direction! To sum it up briefly:
1) know your dosha(s), or at least somewhat close. You will discover more about yourself as you go! That is to be expected.
2) read the seasonal bloom that sounds most like you a) vata b) pitta c) kapha
3) eat good foods that come from a good place.
4) follow the daily routine
Second, super awesome question. Seasonal rules do apply to everyone to some extent, but you will mostly follow the kapha rules all year long. Your “go to” Ayurvedic rules will be to use the kapha-balancing lifestyle and nutrition guidelines (in the seasonal bloom) because YOU are a kapha person. Yeah? Make sense? The reason why seasons are important is because of the “like increases like” rule in Ayurveda. In spring (kapha season), the likelihood that your kapha will increase (allergies, sniffles, congestion, weight gain, etc.,) is much higher because the surrounding nature is very kapha-like too. So, kapha nature + kapha Jen = too much kapha. See what I mean?
That said, during summer (pitta season), you won’t have to worry about your kapha increasing, but your pitta will increase (which warms and balances your kapha) because it’s pitta nature time. Everybody’s pitta increases in summer which is why we crave ice cream, fresh fruits, cool water, etc., Same as, everybody wears warm coats in the winter to add another layer of warmth. Now, you might be thinking, “Okay but what if my pitta goes really high in the summer!? How would I know?” If you are naturally one dosha, it’s not likely that another dosha will overtake your entire being based on seasons alone. If you follow the diet and lifestyle guidelines according to your dosha(s), you will be mostly on track. Adjust to the seasons by eating seasonal foods and that’s all you really need to worry about…at least for a beginner :)
Does this help? Anybody have more questions on this? Happy to clarify if I’ve left something out. Miss you too, Jen!! Love you! xoxox
Julia, 23 vata-kapha from Brazil asked a question about ayurvedic fasting. Goodie! Thank you, Julia! xo!
Hey Monica! I’m from Brazil, I’m 23 and I’ve been practicing ayurveda for 3 months now. Could you please speak a little more about Ayurvedic fasting, and the different ways of fasting? As I said, I’m a kapha-vata and my kapha is a bit out of control, so I put some weight during the last year and my agni is veeeery low. I tried fasting (with ginger tea, and other types of tea) but I couldn’t manage to do it – I felt anxious, tense and hungry (maybe emotional). Is that because of my vata constitution? Only “pure” kaphas can fast? Being a kapha-vata makes me mad sometimes! Hahaha. Thank you sooo much! And good luck with you time/energy managing! I’m sending you good vibes from Brazil!
Ah yes! Fasting in our modern world might sound a little torturous (is that a word?) but it’s really one of the best things we can do for our digestion. And! In Ayurveda, optimal digestion is crucial because it affects evvvvverything else! The reason why fasting is good is because it gives our digestive fire (agni!) a chance to digest any extra food we have hanging out in our insides. Think of it as cleaning out your closet. If you ignore it, you will collect stuff you don’t want, don’t need anymore, AND you won’t have room for good new stuff. Same with food and our digestion.
Depending on your dosha, you will have to fast in different ways. Let me briefly outline for you.
As a vata-kapha combo, Julia is torn between the vata fast and the kapha fast because they are opposite! She is getting light headed without food because vata can’t handle that, however her kapha really needs a break and her agni a boost. So my advice, Julia, is to do a kitchari cleanse :) Kitchari is the BEST EVER cleanse in Ayurveda. It completely cleans out residue oldy moldy food stuffs, stokes agni, and you’ll be eating so you won’t feel hungry. I suggest doing this cleanse for 3-5 days and you can repeat as often as you need. Hope this helps, Julia!
I’m a Vata-Kapha, and I seem to be more Vata mind (anxiety, lots of thoughts) and Kapha body (I don’t lose weight easily, etc.) I know I need vigorous exercise and to cut down on Kapha foods, but how can I balance Kapha and not aggravate Vata?
Fabulous question!! If you are a person who is vata/kapha doshic combo, don’t worry your pretty or handsome head, it’s not as complex as it seems! Let me break it down for you. The qualities that vata and kapha have in common is that they are cold. So they both tend to have weak or varied agni, which means their digestive fire is unreliable (vata) or low (kapha). The fire element is missing in both of these doshas, so they miss out on the heat! So the key for the vata/kapha combo is to keep warm and spicy!
The vata/kaphas will do better with consistent (daily) exercise rather than vigorous exercise. Don’t go crazy with the intensity of your workout, instead, do cardio (fast walk or jog) for 20-30 mins OR do yoga. One or the other. Yoga is great for all doshas! Overexercising will mess with the vata mind and could also injure a supple kapha body! Also, my advice is to eat lots of veggies and some carbs – all veggies should always be warm and well seasoned. When it’s fall and winter, veggies and foods should be moist either in a light sauce or ghee. In spring when it’s more wet outside, favor roasted veggies or veggies from the grill! As a habit for these vata/kaphas, foods and drinks should be warm or room temperature to keep your agni going! Another agni tip, make sure that dinner is your lightest and smallest meal of the day.
Also, limit meat and sweets. Meats are very hard to digest (pittas can digest them because they have so much fire!) and sweets will make kapha gain weight while making the vata mind scattered. Keeping a consistent and reliable routine is important, especially heading to bed by 10 pm and waking just a smidge before sunrise. Zoning out to the tv before bed for hours ain’t no way to wake up like a spring chicken (I know you, kapha… ;)!
Hopefully this sheds some light! Holler with questions, suggestions or anything you want to share! xo.
Raise your hand if over the past weekend or two, you just had get in a good deep clean around the house. Raise your other hand if you felt a strong desire to start a new fitness regime. Raiser your…big toe if you are also in the mood to toss, recycle, or donate items that make you feel heavy or cluttered. Look at all those hands and toes!
Know why? It’s kapha season! Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. It’s a builder for our body-minds, which is heavy and sticky in nature. As we know, to balance the doshas we use the opposite qualities of that dosha. So it’s no wonder why in heavy, sticky, wet spring we feel the need to move our bodies, clean our homes, eat lighter foods, lighten our cluttered load, and possibly take a little vacation to a warm, sunny climate! Lots of folks do spring cleanses around this time too. It’s not really because we’re worried about bikini season, it’s because nature is telling us to! Don’t forget, we are a part of nature and we flow with it in perfect rhythm.
I invite you to read Seasonal Bloom: Kapha, from last year. It has a ton of information about kapha-types, kapha season and has lots of tips to stay healthy during spring. You can download (free!) and share. Bring it to brunch as a little gift to your girlfriends, leave on your coworkers desk (it will make their day!), email it to your mom or auntie – there’s lots of things you can do to help get the good word out about Ayurveda! Please enjoy. If you read it last year, give it another read because information you were not ready to receive last year will pop out at you this year :) xoxo!
You ready? Ready for kapha’s vices? If you haven’t read about vata’s vices or pitta’s vices, I recommend doing so. Unless of course, you are a kapha. Then you can skip those and read on because the spotlight is on you, baby. By vices, I mean stuff that you reach for that is opposite of what you need for optimal health. You see, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things. When we analyze our sweet kapha friends they are happy-go-lucky, inviting, generous, the best listeners (and huggers!), able to handle a lot of work with grace, peaceful minded, and a curvy goddess-like physique. Kaphas can also be stubborn and impossible to move, can gain weight easily, have depression (though you probably wouldn’t be able to tell), tend toward emotional eating, and if pushed too far they will hold a grudge.
When I see a kapha person who’s skin looks dull/gray, their normally graceful gait has turned into a slow saunter, and their large sparkling eyes have lost their luster, perhaps hiding behind some extra weight, it tells me a lot. In that case, our gracious beauties, our treasured precious kaphas, have an imbalance. Kaphas are very private and don’t often let their vices or weaknesses show, so observing their habits is not as easy as with a vata or pitta. However, when a kapha looks lifeless, we know there’s a problem.
Please note! Just because someone is overweight does not mean they are a kapha! They might have a kapha imbalance, but are not necessarily kapha by nature.
In my observation, an imbalanced kapha craves: Heavy “comfort” foods, very sugary sweet foods, high salt and high fat foods. They will also watch a lot of TV (or play online games) and spend lots of time alone. They also…collect things.
The kapha vice-rites (vice favorites) all increase heaviness, wetness, and slow them down. Notice the foods have no spices? Imbalanced kaphas will crave meals like mac n’ cheese, pasta with cream sauces, cheesecake, which all increase the damp and heavy qualities. Kaphas are also self-proclaimed couch potatoes and will watch tv for hours and hours. Because kaphas are so giving, they tend to put themselves dead last which leaves them feeling emotionally depleted. To make up it, they might fill up on the wrong things which includes wrong foods and wrong entertainment. Kaphas love to watch others and live vicariously a little bit, so television and online games allows them a peek inside other fascinating worlds from the comfort of their own couch (they don’t like to move or take risks!). If kaphas spend too much time alone, they will get depressed. They thrive off the energy of others and need buddies to keep them uplifted! If you have a kapha friend (or if it’s you) who’s a bit blue, take them for a walk in nature and they gain back the happy spring in their step. Now, another thing, the kaphas…they also…collect things. They will buy stuff in multiples even if they don’t need it. They can be hoardy! They like to shop and they like to have things, but it’s way better for them to live light. Physical heaviness creates mental, emotional, and spiritual heaviness as well.
Okay! Now that we understand what kapha’s vices are, let’s love up some of their virtues!
In my observation, a balanced kapha craves: Spicy foods, fresh home-cooked meals, an evening or morning walk, the company of others.
When kaphas eat the right foods and are in total balance, they are the hostess with the mostess. They cater and cook for others but it doesn’t drag them down because they also know to take time for themselves. A balanced kapha will crave spices because fire heats the up and gives them gusto! They love it! Their thick hair shines, their skin radiates in perfect dewy fashion, they smile all the time (aaall the time), and move like a graceful swan. By listening, they inspire others to follow their craziest dreams while kaphas watch with admiration and anticipation. They enjoy a simple diet full of fresh foods and despite popular belief, they don’t eat a lot. Balanced kapha realizes they feel lighter with less food, they might even skip dinner or breakfast sometimes, which allows their sluggish digestion to catch up from the last meal. If I saw a curvy gal with apple cheeks, thick wavy hair, big sparkley teeth, eyelashes that go for days, and dressed to perfection, I would know she’s a balanced kapha.
What do you think, kaphas? Does this sound like you? I know you’re shy, but we would love to hear from you :) xoxo!
A little match made in heaven: I received this email from one of my dear readers who was curious about inter-doshic relationships. Just as food, exercise and nature influence the doshas, people do to! Here is a sweet story about how a vata/pitta person and a kapha person form complete unity and balance each other. I’ve highlighted areas in orange italics to demonstrate why compliments attract :)
I’ve (vata/pitta) recently gained a very special friendship with someone who is pretty much kapha (everyone loves a kapha). She’s down-to-earth, happy, easygoing, curvy physique, etc. She’s all girly and about clothes and has perfect hair (kaphas love to look nice and have nice things). I’m older and a smaller person who prefers sportswear—I feel I’ve got my shoes covered because I have one pair brown and one pair black (pittas like comfy clothes and keep it simple so their mind can focus on more important things). So we walk along, rather quickly (vata/pitta making kapha move quickly – great!), and we talk about everything under the sun (talking and listening is therapy – tridoshic).
Her Kapha-like personality and my Vata/Pitta thing has made for a few interesting observations on my part. One day I was hovering in the ether, all anxious and stressed (vata problems) about something that, “wasn’t quite right” in my world. (vatas are the most intuitive) I was walking along, waving my arms, ranting and fussing (vata, vata, vata). She let it all play out and then just said something like, “People just sometimes don’t cooperate. Good thing we have you around to keep us all on track.” (kapha, always keeping the peace and giving an ego boost at the same time) Then gave me a big hug (kaphas give the best hugs), which, of course she is very good at, and I, of course, crave (vata is pacified by physical touch). I have to admit I chuckled to myself later when I recalled that episode (laughter is some amazing medicine – tridoshic).
This is proving to be a very great friendship for us, as she’s offered love and nurturing to me (kapha qualities), and I’ve been able to offer objective, realistic advice (pitta qualities) as well as keep her moving with regular exercise, and listen to stories of her past that she still grudges about (kaphas hold grudges if pushed far enough).
Thank you for sharing with us, dear reader! Sounds like a match made in Ayurvedic Heaven :) Anybody else have an example of someone who balances you? xoxo.
Hey guys! Often when people think of Ayurveda, they associate it with the image below. Seemingly magical remedies that really don’t make logical sense.
Am I right? It might seem mysterious, exotic, pretty unattainable, maybe luxurious or elitist, and even a little weird. Like gross, who would put their head under warm oil while it drips all over their HAIR! Eu! And then how do you get it all out?! ;)
Well, shirodhara (SHEE-ro-DAR-uh) is the name of the therapy where the oil flows onto the forehead from one side to the other, almost in an oval pattern. Unlike all the photos you see, there is actually a person (or should be) moving the oil stream from side to side. Anyway, my point is that while this therapy is truly awesome (if you could feel it’s awesomeness, you would BEG for oil to be dripped all over your hair), it’s a teeny weeny part of Ayurveda! Shirodhara is not accessible to most people, it can be expensive for treatments, and it’s not something you can do daily.
I have good news. Ayurveda is so much more than shirodhara, herbs and other “magical” remedies. 90% of all imbalance can be corrected with diet and lifestyle. Do you know what a magical remedy is? Eating really good food that comes fresh from the earth, not from a lab or a GMOed seed. Another magical remedy is getting enough sleep each night and turning off computers early enough so we can unwind. Sleep does magic for the mind to help it rest as the body restores itself. One of the best magical remedies is getting daily exercise (yes daily, discipline!) even if it’s a 20 minute daily walk. Drinking enough water to keep the body supple and flowing is also another magical remedy. It keeps the mind clear and focused, channels flow easily, and our bodies stay buoyant instead of shriveled. My favorite magical remedy is breathing. It’s so magical and easy that we forget it’s even there ;)
Friends, when you think of Ayurveda and talk about it to your comrades and loved ones, remember that Ayurveda is simple. Ayurveda is life. Ayurveda is nutrients, rest, movement, hydration, and taking in enough oxygen. If you don’t have these things, then don’t bother with the fancy shirodhara therapy, the spas, the herbs, or the massages. Start simple. Start with what you already have within your power. And if you aren’t doing those simple things yet, then start practicing :) That is where you will find your results and where you will live your best life. And once you get the hang of that then run, do not walk, to your nearest Ayurvedic spa for an indulgent shirodhara session :) xoxo!! You can DO it!!!
If you want to practice the real deal (it’s accessible, simple and fun!), you might want to check out my book IN YOUR ELEMENTS. It’s a workbook! And I talk like you! Ain’t no mystery or magic, it’s chock full of real life, easy ways to keep you feeling awesome every day.
I got this awesome question and wanted to share it with all of you. Guys, what is the foundation of Ayurveda? One size does not fit all. Yepper. Here is an example of someone who is trying to lose weight by reducing/eliminating carbs. Rather than feeling uplifted, they feel heavy and dragged down. They are not abnormal or doing anything wrong…they just have a unique make up that doesn’t fit the South Beach diet mold :)
Test shows I’m a Pitta (Pitta/Kapha), but my body feels like Kapha. I have been on a low carb diet (south beach) and my belly size has been reduced, I am not feeling bloated as I normally do. The problem is that my body feels so heavy. My movements feels slow and I lack vital energy. What should I eat to reduce the Kapha feeling? I need lots of sleep and I rarely sweat , I prefer warm climate and all these things matches Kapha. But in my mind I feel like Pitta, being competitive, like to be in control, sharp, direct. So there is a mismatch with what my mind would like to do and what my body wants.
It might be that your agni (digestive fire) is low. Carbs are the easiest thing for the body to digest so too many proteins and raw veggies, etc., requires a very very strong agni in order to digest properly. You might have kapha digestion but are eating like a pitta, which will make you feel heavy. Kapha digestion has a tendency to be slow/weak so my guess is that the foods haven’t been digested all the way and the old food is hanging around inside clogging channels and weighing you down. Try checking your tongue. If it’s got a white coating on it, you have some ama (toxins) and need to rid that first. Once your tongue is pink, you should start feeling lighter and more clear-headed again.
Also, it sounds like you have a kapha body/digestion and a pitta mind/emotions. Totally normal to have a combination like that! Many of us have two dominant doshas. So in your case, you would eat a kapha-balancing diet, keeping foods warm, light and nicely spiced so you are satisfied with less quantity. Kaphas don’t need a lot of carbs, so you are not wrong in your approach. However, favor steamed/warm veggies and light carbs (like rice noodles, basmati rice, quinoa, couscous) as opposed to lots of meat and raw veggies. Remember, vegetarian diet or one with very little meat is considered best for kapha. Having lentils and legumes for proteins is best because they are light and much easier to digest.
Stick with it and keep learning about yourself. You will discover so much along the way and as long as you are receptive and open to tweaking your habits, you will find what works for you! Namasté!!
Feeling down? Maybe ungrounded? Hug a kapha. Yep, just go grab a kapha and hug them. I’m serious! They are instant grounding and comfort :)
In a previous post on exercise for your dosha, I stress how important it is to get up and move our bodies, daily. This could not be truer, especially for our sweet, sweet, kaphas. Remember in Ayurveda, like increases like. So, kapha-type people + kapha season = wetness, heaviness, stickiness, chilliness, cloudiness, and an overall feeling of wanting to stay sedentary.
The cure to release kaphas of these qualities is to use the opposite qualities for balance (dry, light, warm, clear, movement). I often advise to my kapha clients that the number one thing they need to do to feel better is move! Sweat! Walk those legs! Dance that tush! Swing those arms! It’s tough to get a kapha person to move but once they do, they will feel glorious! Their happy-go-lucky selves get their glow back. They will glisten. Moving the body increases heat, improves circulation, releases stagnation, and gives agni (digestive fire) a well needed boost. A good sweat releases excess water, salt, and toxins. And if it’s fun enough, kaphas will want to do it over and over again. So the key is, make your moving fun. Grab a buddy and keep it enjoyable. That said, don’t get so caught up in conversation with your buddy that you end up meandering instead of power walking (I know you).
Below I’ve provided some necessary inspiration. And if it speaks to you, shake that booty and fling your arms like a Solid Gold Dancer (does it look like there are batons flying around in the background?! Ha!). Get movin, kaphas! xoxo.