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Kapha people are blessed with a strong, healthy, well-developed body. Their chests are broad and expanded, and they have strong muscles and large, heavy bones. With their larger frames and constitutions dominated by the water and earth elements, kaphas tend to gain weight and have difficulty taking it off. To complicate matters, kaphas generally have a slow digestion and metabolism. As a result, they tend to carry excess weight and to be on the chubby side. A kapha person may even do a water fast and gain weight!

In addition to their large frames, kapha individuals have strong vital capacity and stamina and tend to be healthy. Their skin is soft, smooth, lustrous and thick, and it tends to be oily. Their eyes are large, dark, and attractive, with long, thick lashes and brows. The whites of their eyes are very white. They have large, strong, white teeth. Their hair tends to be thick, dark, soft, wavy, and plentiful. They have hair everywhere!

Individuals with a kapha body type have a steady appetite and thirst, though digestion is slow. They can comfortably skip a meal or work without food, while it is difficult for a pitta person to concentrate without eating.

Because of their slow metabolic rate, kaphas who maintain health and balance generally enjoy a long span of life, longer than the other two doshic types, who tend to "burn out" more quickly. However, if kapha dosha is allowed to become aggravated, the person is likely to become obese, which is one of the main causes of diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack. Such a person cannot live a very long life.

Kaphas have quite a sweet tooth and love candy, cookies, and chocolate. They are generally attracted to sweet, salty, and oily foods, but these contribute to water retention and weight gain; their bodies need lighter fare and do better with the bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes.

Because of the cloudy and heavy qualities of kapha, these individuals often feel heavy and foggy in the morning and may find it hard to get going without a cup of coffee or tea. Morning is not their time. They prefer midday, yet might feel like taking a nap after lunch; they often feel lethargic after a full meal. Unfortunately, daytime sleep increases kapha and is not good for them.

Kaphas evacuate slowly and their stools tend to be soft and pale in color. Their perspiration is moderate, more than vatas but less than pitta types. Their sleep is deep and prolonged.

Despite their strong bodies and great stamina, kaphas shun exercise. Vigorous exercise is good for them, but they prefer to sit, eat, and do nothing! Rather than jog, they prefer to walk-slowly! Kaphas do tend to like swimming, but it is not particularly good for them, as their bodies will absorb some water. When they do exercise, they become hungry afterward and will want to eat. After a workout at the gym they will go to a restaurant for a snack.

Kapha dosha is slow and steady in every way. These individuals move slowly and talk slowly (their speech pattern may become monotonous). They eat slowly and are slow to decide and slow to act. They move slowly and gracefully.

Kapha individuals are blessed with a sweet, loving disposition. By nature they are peaceful, patient, tolerant, caring, compassionate, and forgiving. They love to hug people. Kaphas are stable, solid, and faithful. Their spiritual or religious faith is deep and abiding, and their minds calm and steady.

One of the dominant qualities of kapha is softness, which manifests as soft skin, soft hair, soft gentle speech, a soft nature, and a soft, gentle, loving look. A pitta person's look is sharp and penetrating. A vata's look is spacy! But a kapha person looks calm, quiet, grounded, stable. He or she is here, right now!

Kaphas can be slow to comprehend, but once they know something, that knowledge is permanently retained. They have excellent long-term memories.

Although a kapha individual is forgiving, if you insult them or hurt their feelings, they will forgive you, but they will never forget! A kapha person will tell you, "On the twenty-fourth of January, 1972, at three-thirty in the afternoon, when we were having tea, you said such and such to me-but I have forgiven you!"

Their tendencies toward groundedness and stability help them to earn and hold on to money, and they are good at saving. Their extravagances are minor, mostly in the area of spending a little on cheese, candy, and cakes.

A kapha person has a steady sex drive, and he or she can enjoy sex for hours at a time, without dissipation of energy, without orgasm or ejaculation of semen. It may take them some time to become interested, but once they are stimulated, they tend to stay that way.

Kapha dosha is aggravated by kapha-producing food, such as watermelon, sweet fruits, candy, cookies, yogurt, and other dairy products. Cold and frozen food and chilled water, sleeping in the daytime, and sitting and doing nothing all increase kapha. Sedentary work, especially when combined with steady munching at the desk, produces too much kapha in the body. Excess kapha slows digestion and metabolism and lowers the digestive fire, and the person may become chubby or even obese.

The Attributes of Kapha Individuals

Following are the main attributes of vata dosha and how they are expressed in the physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics of a Kapha individual.

Heavy Heavy bones, muscles, large body frame; tends to be overweight; grounded; deep heavy voice
Slow Slow walk, talk; slow digestion, metabolism; sluggish gestures
Cool Cold clammy skin; steady appetite and thirst with slow metabolism and digestion; repeated cold, congestion and cough; desire for sweets
Oily Oily skin, hair and feces; lubricated, unctuous joints and other organs
Damp Congestion in the chest, sinuses, throat and head
Smooth Smooth skin; gentle calm nature; smoothness of organs
Dense Dense pad of fat; thick skin, hair, nail and feces; plump rounded organs
Soft Soft pleasing look; love, care, compassion and kindness
Static Loves sitting, sleeping and doing nothing
Viscous Viscous, sticky, cohesive quality causes compactness, firmness of joints and organs; loves to hug; is deeply attached in love and relationships
Cloudy In early morning mind is cloudy and foggy; often needs coffee as a stimulant to start the day
Sweet The anabolic action of sweet taste stimulates sperm formation, increasing quantity of semen; strong desire for sex and procreation; abnormal function may cause craving for sweets
Salty Helps digestion and growth, gives energy; maintains osmotic condition; abnormal function may create craving for salt, water retention

The difficult time of year for kapha individuals is winter and early spring, when the weather is heavy, wet, cloudy, and cold. Then kapha accumulates in the system and leads to physical, emotional, and mental imbalances of the kapha variety. Physical problems will tend to be related to the water principle, such as colds, flu, sinus congestion and other diseases involving mucus, such as bronchial congestion. Sluggishness, excess weight, diabetes, water retention, and sinus headaches are also common.

Emotionally, when kapha becomes unbalanced, these individuals may suffer from greed, attachment, envy, possessiveness, lust, and laziness, leading to kapha-type depression.

Interestingly, kapha can become aggravated as the moon gets full because, as biologists have discovered, there is a tendency toward water retention in the body at that time.

Kapha women may suffer from PMS symptoms such as excessive emotionality, water retention, white vaginal discharge, and overurination. They may feel attachment, greed, and lethargy at that time and will probably have a tendency toward excess sleep.

General Guidelines for Balancing Kapha

Get plenty of exercise

Avoid heavy foods

Keep active

Vary your routine

Avoid dairy foods

Avoid iced food and drinks

Avoid fatty or oily foods

Eat light, dry food

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