Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, translates best as “the science of life”. Ayurveda, using the five sense therapies, seeks to restore the true inherent nature in ourselves that was present at our birth. This true nature is called “prakruti” and we all have a unique thumbprint of a combination of the three doshas. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas are life forces that are combinations of the five elements. Vata is air and ether. Pitta is fire and water. Kapha is water and earth. The doshas are predominant in different seasons.
Vata’s season is winter as it is airy, light and cold (which embody the qualities of air and ether). Pitta’s season is summer with the hot, wet and oily nature of fire and water. Kapha’s season is the cool, wet, heavy spring that embodies the qualities of water and earth. To pare down Kapha: water and earth getting together makes mud. Kapha emerges with the heavy wetness of spring, and with this, often mucous and sluggishness tag along.
Living a life out of balance of our inherent constitutions, or prakruti, gives rise to excess dosha within ourselves. This excess dosha shows itself as symptoms of the body and mind. Ayurveda is the path to bringing the excess doshas back to their original state, thus restoring optimal health and peace of mind.
Healthy concentrations of Kapha qualities are important and vital to your ability to ground, and cultivate patience and sweetness. A person exhibiting well-balanced Kapha is often nurturing, loyal, steadfast, and welcoming. However, excess Kapha can self-perpetuate and result in more sadness, slowness, and inertia.
While a Kapha imbalance can occur any time of year, it’s very common during the transition from Winter to Spring. The sluggishness that comes from months of a more dormant lifestyle and heavier foods accumulates to result in an excessively Kapha state. Using botanicals topically in vigorous massage, and eating lots of lightly cooked vegetables and fresh greens, can help you move through this seasonal slowness.
Life events and circumstances can also result in a Kapha imbalance. Emotionally, Kapha is related to sadness, low energy, and sedentary feelings. Physically Kapha is soft and loose. A bone or ligament injury resulting in more couch time than usual can manifest like this; similarly, the sadness of a break-up or other spirit-dampening event may result in a more Kapha period as well.
To bring yourself back into balance it is necessary to clear the ama, or heavy accumulation, that characterizes this state. Using aromatherapy to lift the mood in the moment, and flower essences to catalyze longer-term shifts, are excellent practices.
Aromatherapy for Kapha
Ayurvedic protocol to restore balance employs the five senses to take in appropriate therapies to reduce excess dosha. Aromatherapy employs our sense of smell to take in essential oils, resins and incenses that will pacify the excess doshas. When making essential oil blends for reducing Kapha it is best to select oils that are spicy, warming and slightly drying. Opposites balance in Ayurveda: warm and dry qualities will balance the heavy, cold and wet nature of excess Kapha dosha. Cardamom, cedar, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, clove, frankincense and tulsi are all good choices.
These oils are pungent and powerful and there is no need to be heavy handed when making your blends. A blend should remain pleasing overall, and seeing that we all are made of a combination of all the doshas, adding in soothing chamomile and lavender to a spicy Kapha Blend will appeal to your other doshas and make the blend more palatable.
Misting Potions such as Floral Revival and Pure Space, and hydrosols like Frankincense, are excellent for environment therapy as well. FlorAlchemy Misting Potions are spray blends of hydrosols, essential oils, flower essences, and crystal infusions. They’re aromatically gorgeous and offer healing for your home, aura, and skin.
Some of our favorite ways to use Kapha Blend:
**Use aromatherapy often in kapha reducing massages, which include brisk, stimulating strokes and a Kapha essential oil blend enriched massage oil.
**Use Kapha Blend to add to your diffuser or a room spritzer. Keep this by your desk, or any area where you are engaged in the mind yet inactive in the body, and spritz as often as needed. It will help to get up and walk around a bit in the freshened up air.
**Use Kapha Roll-On on your pulse points throughout the day and give yourself short, stimulating massages. You can also use Kapha Roll-On as a perfume or layer under your body lotions, or it on your wrists throughout the day to wake up and break through a sluggish moment.
**Perhaps the easiest way to reduce Kapha through aromatherapy is to apply a drop of Kapha Blend to your palms, rub them together briskly and inhale deeply a few times. This takes only a moment and is highly effective.
Aromatherapy is a pleasant, convenient, and effective way to bring Ayurveda into your everyday life. Please check out the Kapha blend product pages for more info on Kapha aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy Practices to Pacify Kapha
Invigorating Abhyanga (once a week)
Unlike other abhyanga practices, for Kapha balance you will use oil economically so as not to overwhelm your system with too much heavy wetness. The botanicals in Kapha Blend make the practice invigorating to the system.
Practice before a bath for a more traditional routine, or after bathing as a deep moisturizer.
Place ingredients in a jar and heat in a warm water bath. Make sure your space is warm. Starting at the tips of the fingers and toes massage towards your center in long strokes up the bones and a circular pattern around joints. Cover yourself from head to toe.
Kapha Blend contains citrus, so please avoid sunlight for 8 hours after your abhyanga—it’s excellent as an evening practice.
Nighttime Foot Rub (Nightly Before Bed, as often as desired)
- 2 tablespoons Jojoba Oil
- 3 drops Lavender essential oil
- 2 drops Chamomile essential oil
- 2 drops Clove Bud essential oil
Take some time before bed to give yourself a luxurious, deep foot rub. This warming practice promotes restful sleep so you can meet the next day with energy.
Ideal for delivering environmental healing throughout the day and into the night. Try these suggestions or experiment with combinations of your favorite Kapha-pacifying oils. Flower essences such as Renewal, Empowerment, and Flow Free are wonderful additions which yield excellent results with steady use over time.
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