10 Ways to Balance Kapha

Coming out of kapha imbalance takes a lot of motivation, so we can lower our expectations a bit and make the task more feasible. Let’s just say you incorporate 5 out of the 10…that’s still a great start (really, I mean this)!

1. Don’t sleep past 7am. Once kapha gets rich in the atmosphere, we feel it and we fall deeper into sleep. It’s really tough to wake up when you are in a kapha cloud. The earlier you can get out of bed in the morning, ideally rising with the sun, the less likely you are to have kapha-head-stay-in-bed syndrome. I’ve found that 7am is really the farthest most of us can push it before entering hit-the-snooze-button-land.

2. Sun salutations (surya namaskar) are great to keep our internal fire nice and stoked. Heat helps balance the cold quality of kapha. Surya namaskar also helps to get our circulation going, which counters the stagnant quality of kahpa.

3. Exercise in the morning. Being active helps to balance the passive and sedentary nature of the kapha time of day.

4. Avoid cold temperatures. Staying warm helps to counteract the cold quality of kapha dosha. Dry heat and saunas balance cold and damp inherent to kapha; saunas with eucalyptus essential oil are really nice.

5. Avoid cold dairy foods. So cold foods are only really balancing if you are in pitta imbalance. Most of us have a vata imbalance and should favor warmed food. Cold dairy foods are really high in kapha energy.

6. Spice your food. This is the time to heat up your food. Most all of the warming spices are natural decongestants–this is not a coincidence. I love how eating seasonally really is the best prevention for disease. My favorites this time of year are cinnamon, cardamom (ok i love cardamom every time of year), clove, turmeric, cumin, ajwain and black pepper.

7. Brush your skin. “What the ___ is that?” was what I thought the first time I heard of this. And here I am today a devoted fan of skin-brushing. So the women in my family use the eco foot brushes. There are several brands of wooden/bamboo foot brushes out there (and for all you Ross/TJMaxx fans, they usually carry them for around $5). We use the brush side as a body brush instead of foot brush, brushing the skin all over moving from the perifery towards the heart. It promotes healthy circulation and help to stimulate the body to access remote fat stores, aiding in toning and discouraging cellulite (anti-kapha).

8. “Breath of fire” (kapalabhati) helps to balance kapha energy. The translation of the kapalabhati is “shiny forehead” because you get a little sweat going from the heat you build. Here’s a video I like demonstrating the pranayam practice.

9. Try new activities. Stepping a bit out of our comfort zone balances the immobile, sluggish or stubborn sort of feel to kapha imbalance. This is a good time to finally try things you have been meaning to do.

10. Cultivate new friendships. Getting to know the people around you is a great way to step out of your own life and

11. (BONUS POINT FOR THIS ONE) Try on new perspectives. This one doesn’t need explanation 🙂

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