As you may already be aware, each of us tends towards one of the 3 Dosha types in Ayurveda, and this tends to remain fairly constant throughout our lives. However, it is only natural that as we age we may lose some traits and acquire others. For example, we may transition from a fiery, Pitta young person into a calmer, more Kapha mature person. Likewise, outside circumstances play a part in determining how we behave and feel at any given time. For this reason, it is good to be aware of your own tendencies and if you find yourself acting “out of character” take a look at which Dosha seems to be out of balance and determine whether it is appropriate or helpful to redress it. A typically Kapha type will most likely be fairly resistant to physical exercise and quite content to be a spectator of more extreme physical activities. They tend towards heaviness and feel the cold, so a comforting meal by the fire holds more attraction to them than a brisk walk in the cold air. None of these things are, of themselves, cause for concern or for judgement, but if you find yourself slipping into the kind of lethargy that means you no longer take proper care of yourself it is time to take action.
The Benefits of Meditation for Kapha
Kapha is aligned with earth and water and hence tends more towards introspection and introversion than either Pitta or Vata. If your Kapha element becomes too dominant you may find that you become deeply stuck in a rut, lacking the will to move forward or to change things that really do need changing in your life. Just as Kaphas are prone to carry excess weight so do they also carry unnecessarily heavy thoughts, leading to depression and apathy. In meditation a Kapha is likely to fall asleep or to lose their focus, so that thoughts become idle, drifting around in a fairly useless way.
Kaphas will benefit from the daily practice of a form of meditation that also stimulates the body. Such practice will bring a renewed sense of purpose and vigour to a Kapha, as well as encouraging healthy circulation of both blood and energy, through the circulatory and the meridian systems. It will invigorate the body as much as the mind, and this in turn will enable you to focus your will and exercise control over your thoughts and emotions, rather than drifting passively through the world.
Meditation Tips for Kapha Types
Of all the Doshas, Kaphas will benefit most from some form of moving meditation. You can choose to practice a progressive relaxation in order to bring your mind and body to a place of calm by beginning at your toes and moving through each of the muscles groups up to your head, alternately tensing and relaxing each one. Or you may like to do a very simple walking meditation in a quiet place by yourself. Focus solely on the placing of your feet if you choose to do this. Breathe naturally, becoming conscious over time of the way your breathing can slow and down and deepen as you take your awareness into your body. Walk slowly, place your feet with care precisely on the spot you have chosen and synchronize your breathing with your steps.
Possibly the best form of moving meditation is Tai Chi or Qigong. Not only do these movements benefit your muscles, ligaments, tendons and internal organs, they also bring a deep state of inner calm that is wonderfully invigorating to the mind. If possible, find a class to attend, but be discriminatory so that you find a teacher who is not focused solely on the martial arts aspects of Tai Chi as this will not really benefit a typical Kapha type. Choose Qigong over Tai Chi if you have the option. A great alternative to attending classes is to search online for videos of Qigong routines that you can practice at home. The act of concentrating solely on the physical movements means that you stay alert but are not overwhelmed. A moving meditation is a wonderful way to shake yourself out of apathy and lethargy, whether this is a product of an imbalance in Kapha or any other reason.