Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What is Kapha? The 5 main types of Kapha

Kapha is the quality that holds us together and gives us stability.  The 5 types of Kapha, or subdoshas, all have this earth and water quality to them.  The job of Kapha, and the subdoshas, is to protect the body from the damage caused by Vata and Pitta.  They are kledaka, avalambaka, tarpaka, bodhaka, and sleshaka.  Some asanas and pranayamas work wonders in balancing out these subdoshas and helping to maintain the harmony in the physical body.

Kledaka- This subdosha has it's main home in the upper half of the stomach.  It lubricates and protects against the stomach acids(Pitta) that make digestion possible.

Avalambaka-  Main home is in the chest, heart and lungs.  This Kapha helps to protect the respiratory system, but is also considered the store house of our sorrow.  If you ever talk to someone dealing with emotional pain, they will often motion to or feel pain in the chest.  This is one place where emotional damage is stored in our physical body.  Many Hatha Yoga Asana and Pranayamas are directed at this particular Kapha.  Backbends are particulary useful for keeping this subdosha in check, as well as certain pranayamas.  This subdosha is often associated with weight gain and clinging emotions as well.

Tarpaka- Lubricates and helps to protect the brain, the mind, and the nerves.  It 's main location is in the heart and the brain.  Meditation helps to promote and strengthen Tapaka Kapha, creating stability in the mind.

Bodhaka- Is located in the mouth and tongue.  It takes form of mucous and saliva and is necessary for our ability to taste.

Sleshaka- Is located in the joints.  It protects the joints from wear and tear, lubricates them, and provides stability to movement.  Traditional Yogasana is excellent for regulating this subdosha.

One thing I look at one I practice is what is happening to the Doshas.  If you increase one dosha excessively, other will diminish.  To much Pitta (heat) or Vata (movement) will eventually wear on Kapha Dosha.  Kapha is what gives us stability, sweetness, and nurturing when in balance.  And, Kapha, especially Tarpaka, is a must for any seated practice!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. keep it up. If your readers want to know more about their doshas and Ayurveda, here is a company that speaks a lot about this subject and also has Ayurvedic products made in USA:
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