It is best to choose a breathing technique that has the opposite qualities to those of the Dosha to which your constitution corresponds. In the case of Kapha, this means choosing a routine that promotes warmth in the body to offset the cold, oily and heavy qualities associated with a Kapha. The recommended practice for Kapha is Bhastrika, or “bellows breath”
Benefits of Pranayama for Kapha Dosha
Because the natural state of being for a Kapha tends to be sedentary, even lethargic at times, practicing Bhastrika will bring much needed energy into your system. Bhastrika will help to lift excess Kapha by increasing the graceful flow of energy through the body’s energy channels. This will help to bring a feeling of warmth and lightness to your physical body, and will also benefit you on an emotional level if you are experiencing negative or “hopeless” thoughts.
The practice of Bhastrika helps to relieve congestion in the lungs as well as brightening the eyes and complexion. The act of breathing deeply and rhythmically, as practiced in the “bellows breath” help to stimulate all of your body’s systems, Your digestion will improve, and if you suffer from constipation, which many Kaphas do, you should see an improvement in that area.
This form of Pranayama is particularly effective for Kaphas who suffer from cold extremities and will help to guard against chilblains. Your circulatory system is supported by Bhastrika, as are your lymph and nervous systems, which can help with conditions of the heart and lungs. Your immune system also benefits from the support given by this practice, and you may also notice an improvement in mental capacity. Sluggishness in all areas is a characteristic of excess Kapha, and this applies to your thoughts and emotions as much as to your physical body. This form of Pranayama is a very good way to begin to address any emotional imbalances you may be experiencing. It will help to motivate you to take action in areas of your life where you know you are avoiding confrontation or difficult situations.
Pranayama Techniques for Kapha Dosha
Note: This breathing technique is meant to be performed on an empty stomach. Have tissues ready in case you produce excess mucus. Do not perform this exercise if you are pregnant or have a heart condition.
- Sit in a comfortable position making sure that your spine is elongated and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Because this technique is known as “bellows breath” imagine the sound and action of a pair of bellows to help you to achieve maximum effectiveness.
- Breathe in deeply, through your nose, making a conscious effort to open your ribs on the inhalation. If it is comfortable for you to do so, take your hands behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This will really open up your ribcage, but do not strain or overstretch.
- Exhale fully through the mouth, allowing your shoulders to droop and your chest to “cave in” as you expel the last of the air form your lungs.
- Repeat the sequence several times, for about 20 – 30 seconds, then relax and breathe normally.
Pranayama Tips for Kapha Dosha
Bhastriki Pranayama is a very active technique, and you may find that you experience light headedness for a short time. Do not attempt to get up immediately after completing the cycles of breathing, but allow your breathing to return to its normal rhythm first.
Kaphasdo tend to be quite sedentary in their habits, and often struggle to incorporate new patterns or habits into their set routines. If you recognize this trait in yourself, set aside a short time each morning (it does not need to be more than 10 minutes) to practice Pranayama. The warmth and energy you feel after doing this should be enough to keep you motivated to continue with the practice every day.
If you find that you are suffering from the cold at any time during your day, try to do 30 seconds’ worth of Bhastriki, which should begin to raise your temperature and get your blood flowing to your extremities.