yoga for kapha dosha

Did you know you can personalize your yoga for kapha dosha constitution types?

That’s right. Every time you step on the mat, you can choose yoga poses that light you up and balance your unique energy.

What does this look like?

On a day when you’re feeling super sleepy, you can revitalize yourself on the mat. Or when you feel unmotivated, you can pump yourself with a few standing yoga poses. Or if you need to relax, you can soothe yourself too with some restorative grounding postures.

Depending on what you need, moment to moment, yoga can help you enter a more balanced state.

The best way to balance your energy is by using yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. According to this ancient knowledge, you have three elements present in your mind and body: Air (Vata), Fire (Pitta), and Earth (Kapha). In Ayurveda, these three elements are called the three doshas.

the 3 doshas

Together, these three elements make up your personal constitution, with one being dominant. Think of this like your astrology sign.

If earthy Kapha is your predominant dosha, then you’re in the right place.

Don’t know your dosha? No worries! Take my quiz to find out what your dominant dosha is!

Let’s learn how to ignite your fire and practice kapha balancing yoga, so you can be your best, most authentic, most joyful self.

Yoga for Kapha Doshas

doshas Kapha
Image by vectorjuice

Basic Guidelines: Get to Know Your Kapha Earth element

You are the ultimate homebody. Chill is your go-to internal setting, and this makes you the person most people come to when they need stability and support.

Like a tree, you’re deeply grounded and emotionally stable. You’re level-headed, nurturing, and give the absolute best advice.

You move at your own pace, both in life and on the mat. If you could, you’d do slow-moving, yin yoga all day, every day. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Many people crave your level of chill.

However, to balance kapha dosha, you want to include some standing poses with only short resting periods in between.

When Kapha Dosha Is In Balance

When Kapha is in balance, you’re a healer for both yourself and others. You take care of you first, then nurture those around you. You’re reliable, steady, loving, and loyal. People are attracted to your warmth and steady radiance.

When Kapha Dosha Is Out Of Balance

Here’s the thing: sometimes too much earth can be a bad thing. When your Kapha turns to heavy mud, you might find yourself not feeling much motivation. You might notice this in your digestive system.

Here are the key signs that there’s too much kapha in your system:

Excess Kapha Symptoms

  • Procrastination
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Tired all the time

Kapha’s Greatest Challenge

For you, making decisions and gently pushing yourself are key. Adding more movement to your life, both on and off the mat, is your greatest challenge. If you can drag yourself out of the house and try something new, you can do the same on the mat by getting your heart pumping with a heating pose. Focus on building your energy up and filling your lungs with as much air as possible.

Yoga For Kapha Dosha

The yoga pose that you will benefit greatly from is energizing. We need to bring your energy up out of the Earth, and add in some fire (pitta) and air (vata).

Taking your asana at a quicker pace and making it a movement practice of your daily routine will help your body and soothe any kapha imbalance.

You can even do a walking meditation to easily incorporate more movement into your day.

Your energy field will thank you and so will your body, for building up the heat you need through asanas that strengthen you arms, shoulders, legs, and prevent weight gain. The less corpse pose, the better. We need you on your feet, building more heat!

Kapha Yoga Postures to Energize & Motivate Kapha Dosha

For you, blood flow is key. The more heat, the better. Standing yoga poses are your best friend, like tree pose (instructions below) and sun salutations. By warming up your body, you help prevent weight gain and get your digestive juices flowing.

You can even incorporate balancing postures on one leg. Backbends and twists can be a part of your daily practice. Heating postures like Warrior I, II (below) and Chaturanga will help too. Your yoga should feel like exercise to help release too much kapha from your body.

To get energized and back in balance, kapha dosha should try these standing poses:

Tree Pose

Tree Pose

This pose will help bring more vata (air) into your body so you can get energized. A tree pose is great to pair with a sun salutation. The deeper you breathe, the more benefit you’ll get from this tree pose.

  • Standing on one leg, place your opposite foot on the ankle or anywhere along the standing leg that allows you to keep your hips level (just avoid the knee joint). It’s great to have one hand on a wall or the back of a chair for support. 
  • Push your raised foot into your standing leg and your standing leg into your foot. Hug everything in toward your midline.
  • Gaze at a single point in front of you. 
  • Hands can stay on your hips, palms pressing into prayer at the heart center, or biceps alongside your ears in a wide-V.
  • Repeat, alternating legs. 

Warrior II

Warrior 2 - Virabhadrasana 2

Your chest, lungs, and knees will thank you for doing this pose. Shifting into Warrior 2 after some sun salutations is a great kapha balancing yoga flow. Remember to breathe deeply and open your chest area.

This pose helps you to feel empowered, motivated, and like you’re the boss of your life.

  • Standing at the front of your mat, take a big step back and face the long edge of your mat. Turn your right toes and knee to face the front short edge of the mat. Angle your back left toes slightly inward.
  • Bend your right knee toward 90 degrees over the ankle. Adjust your back foot as needed for a long stance.
  • Stack your shoulders and head over your hips. Broaden your chest.
  • Your hands can stay on your hips, palms pressing at prayer at your heart center, or reaching long, to the left and right.
  • Watch your breath and feel the air fill your lungs as you stand in this powerful stance.

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

half moon pose Ardha Chandrasana

This pose is a win-win for your body with the benefit of one of your favorite forward bends. This is a great pose for speeding up sluggish digestion. Focus on your breath and you’ll love this half moon posture.

  • Beginning in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) put your right leg forward, left leg back, using a block under the right hand. On an exhalation, bring the left hand onto the hip and bend into the right (front) knee. On an inhalation, bring the block to the top of the mat, in front of right (front foot) and lift left (back leg), flexing foot with toes pointed toward the long edge of the mat.
  • Pull up through the arch of the standing foot, quadricep and knee cap lift, outer hip firms. Hips are square to the side edge of the mat, low abs firm in and up.
  • On an inhalation, left arm sweeps slightly forward and up, reaching toward the ceiling, spreading fingers wide. Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

Poses to Limit for Kapha Types

The more you can get off the ground, the better. Kapha bodily constitutions need movement.

If you’re feeling extra kapha in your system, you can get back in balance by limiting these poses:

Off the Mat Tips for Revitalizing Kapha In The Moment

brett larkin kundalini yoga without bhajan

If you’re a kapha who prefers relaxing overdoing sun salutations, I’ve got some tips that you can practice anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to master camel pose or bow pose to get in balance.

Try one of these:   

  • Take a walk around the block before you cozy up on the couch. 
  • Challenge yourself to do one small thing outside your comfort zone.
  • Remind yourself that it is okay to say “no” to other people. Put yourself first.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how to manage your dominant kapha dosha can help you utilize the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine and achieve optimal health.

To go deeper, join the Uplifted Community or grab my new book YOGA LIFE to learn more.

Next Steps

  • Take my History of Yoga Course to learn all about yogic principles and how they are applied to daily life!
  • Order my Yoga Life book for a practical guide to applying yogic principles to your life and constitution.
  • Check out my Yoga Philosophy knowledge hub for more inspiring content
  • Join Uplifted for exclusive content that you can access right from the app. Take a deep dive into your practice with me this year!

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