by Morgan Webert
Somedays my feet and hands don’t feel attached to my body.
I trip over nothing or knock over everything. My thoughts jump from one thing to the tenth thing before I’ve finished thinking about the first and nothing seems to flow or connect.
Perhaps some of you relate? Even if Vata (air and ether) doesn’t dominate your constitution, many of us living in a Western culture regularly experience Vata imbalances because our society at large is fast pasted, disconnected and living from the neck up.
So how do we bring cohesion into this scattered scene? With glue of course!
That’s right, I said glue. Kapha derives from the elements of water and earth and translates to mean “that which sticks.”
It is the energy of building and lubrication that gives the body physical form, structure and smooth functioning of all parts. It’s often thought of as the essential cement or glue that connects the body into one functional unit.
The qualities (gunas) of Kapha include moist, cold, heavy, sticky, dull, soft and static.
Physiologically, Kapha moistens our body and food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates or joints, stores energy and relates to cool bodily fluids like mucous, lymph, water and synovial fluid.
This unity consciousness is an essential part of Yoga practice. The word Yoga means “union” or “to yoke.” In asana practice we’re establishing a union between mind, body and breath as well as between individual consciousness and the greater world consciousness.
Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience and forgiveness; all emotions that naturally arise when we feel connected and truly realize that all is one.
When balanced, Kapha individuals are loving, gentle, warm and give great hugs. They typically have good health and stamina with broad frames and smooth beautiful skin with large eyes, nose and mouth.
Sometimes the earth and water elements get a bit heavy.
When there’s too much Kapha energy, the sturdy building nature of water and earth can turn to hoarding and heaviness. Individuals may become greedy, overly attached or completely lethargic and depressed.
The nourishing fluid that keeps our joints happy and muscles supple can sometimes flood the body creating a heavy dampness that shows up as excess mucous, obesity, sinus congestion and fluid retention.
Kapha can get out of balance from overeating, eating to offset emotions, spending too much time in cold, damp climates or indoors and avoiding challenge.
When trying to balance Kapha think drying, stimulating and expression.
- Focus on non-attachment in daily life
- Do emotional housekeep regularly
- Engage in stimulating activities like running, hiking and more vigorous forms of Yoga.
- Eat a Kapha-balancing diet
- Surround yourself with bright vivid colors
- Spend time with interesting and motivated people
What’s your favorite glue?
How do you find cohesion mentally and physically when you feel disconnected? What do you do to keep that glue from getting too sticky and stuck?
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