83: Ayurveda Series 2 – How To Balance Kapha

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If there was one body type or dosha that people love to disown, it would be kapha. But If I were to have envy of any particular dosha, it would most definitely be Kapha. Sure, if kapha goes out of balance it can lead to increased weight gain, but when in balance it holds the key to lustrous skin, shiny hair, a strong immune system and a long, happy and healthy life.

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Episode Resources

I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media, and use the hashtag #broadnewworld, or leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review (5 stars would be epic, but whatever feels true for you) on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.


Transcript

Welcome back to the show. I’m your host Nick Broadhurst, and that song you were listening to was my very first single, Little Lover, which you can listen to on my debut album which is called Thank You, out June 29th, plus you can listen to the full song on all music platforms simply by searching for my name, Nick Broadhurst.

Before we get started, please make sure you listen to Ayurveda Series 1 first which you can find at iamnickbroadhurst.com/21 to 24. Please also listen to this series in order, starting with episode 77 – Your Digestive Fire, then 78 – Rekindling Your Agni/Digestive Fire, 79 – The Root Cause Of Disease , 80 – The Antidote to Ageing, 81 – How To Balance Vata and 82 – How To Balance Pitta.

Let’s dive into the world of Kapha. I want you to think of this dosha in the following 5 ways…

  • Movement
  • Light
  • Warm
  • Drying
  • Stimulating

It may help to think about someone like Oprah who is a classic Kapha. Nurturing, compassionate, generous, larger frame, luminescent eyes, glowing skin, deep voice. Kapha’s are very stable which is amazing for friends and family. They are generally softer as well with an empathic nature. But when kapha becomes imbalanced these amazing qualities can go the other way, leading to heaviness of the mind, heart and body.

Day to day there are things you can be doing in your lifestyle to help balance kapha. Anything that feels like you are leaning towards being stagnant or heavy is what you want to move away from. One way to visualise a kapha imbalance is the classic couch potato, so if you find yourself sitting in from of the TV eating, it’s time to put away the snacks, get your butt off the couch and move your body. So in general your lifestyle needs to be emotionally and mentally stimulating, plus based around lots of physical movement. You will want to express your feelings in the moment, and try not to hold onto things. If you ever feel like you want to hide from the world, that’s a clear sign to get out there and share yourself.

Living in a warm, dry environment can be very supportive, and you can really benefit from daily, or latest 5 times per week, of vigorous exercise or cardio based movement such as jogging, walking and competitive sports because that team environment will keep you committed. Anything that will keep your metabolism moving, and even better is if you can do your movement in the morning to shift your of that kapha state to start your day.

You can also use uplifting smells, music and spend time with stimulating people. Experiment with dry body brushing to move any stagnant energy in the body, followed by self massage using cold pressed organic sesame oil before your bath or shower.

In terms of foods for decreasing and balancing kapha, you will want to favour…

  • Dry over oily or wet
  • Rough over smooth
  • Light over heavy
  • Warm over cold

The tastes you will want to lean more towards are…

Pungent

Think of flavours such as raw onions, chillies and radish. Pungent is dry, rough and hot. If you love spice like chilli, then that’s awesome. But if not you can also incorporate things like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, paprika and cumin. This is going to encourage more heat in the body which will boost metabolism and clear the body of stagnation.

Bitter

Bitter is also rough and drying, but it’s also cooling so you need to balance the bitter with pungent. Chili chocolate would be an example of this taste combination, but remember sweet imbalances kapha. Bitter can come from some leafy greens like dandelion greens and kale. It’s also found in jerusalem artichokes, eggplant and bitter melon. Because kapha can accumulate moisture, bitterness is great for absorbing excess moisture as well as supporting digestion to keep things moving.

Astringent

This is the taste of dryness, like putting a green banana in your mouth. It makes your mouth and face contract. You can find astringency in adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and soybeans are classically astringent in taste and very kapha-pacifying. Some fruits, vegetables, grains, baked goods, and spices are also astringent in taste—things like apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, crackers, basil, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley, and turmeric. It is dry, rough and light and balances kapha with its compressing and absorbing nature.

Now let’s look at what you will want to minimise…

Sweet

Sweet is very kapha aggravating and needs to be reduced in a kapha body type, otherwise it may lead to heaviness, obesity, excess sleep and that classic couch potato vibe. Keep an eye on the amount of sweet foods you eat such as fruits, grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils, and meats. It doesn’t mean you can’t have them, but they are not going to make up the majority of your plate, that’s for sure.

Sour

We all know what sour foods are. They are oily and moist, and can aggravate kapha by increasing thirst, leading to water retention.

Salty

Similar to sour, salty can lead to water retention, and is also oily and moist in nature.

It’s worth noting as well for kapha that when you are eating, you will want to be in a relaxed, peaceful environment that will allow your body to digest properly as kapha can have slow digestion. Because you are already prone to accumulation, you don’t need to eat until you are full. Keep an eye on your portion sizes and never eat beyond ⅔ full. And sipping on warm CCF tea, which is a brew of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, can keep things moving inside and reduce any accumulation.

So that’s how to balance kapha. Again, what I am giving you here is an overview of the main concepts so you can take that away with you and use it everyday.

I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media. Please also leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.

P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health practice.

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