This week we focus on how to cope with the fall for the Kapha dosha. Fall is a transition period for all doshas. For the last 2 weeks we have addressed how to cope with the changes of fall and the different challenges they present for Pitta and Vata. This week our discussion focuses on Kapha. Join us next week as we being a series on healing each of the 7 chakras.

How to wear your mala beads this fall: Ideas for Kapha

Earth and spring constitute the kapha dosha. Dominated by an earthy nature, kapha is warm and generous, and takes life at a slow, calm, easy going pace. However, even with a grounded nature, kapha can also come out of balance. Kapha out of balance tends to retreat from the world, become lethargic, gain weight, and will be prone to health problems associated with excess moisture such as sinus congestion. On and off the mat kapha needs to pay attention to improving metabolism. As the weather cools in the fall, kapha out of balance can experience increased lethargy, weight gain, and sinus and respiratory problems. For kapha, keeping light and warm becomes important. In the picture below, we feature the Fire Mala. The fire mala is made especially for pacifying the kapha dosha. It is made from heated tiger eye mala beads which are uplifting and warming. The Fire Mala uses copper, a metal that is ideal for uplifting kapha. The rich warm browns and red in this piece looks great with the black, cream, burgundy, and dark brown colors in your fall wardrobe.

For more information on Tiger Eye see Robert Simmons (2011), The Pocket Book of Stones, North Atlantic Books: Berkeley.

Fire Mala- A casual way to wear your yoga practice

Fire Mala- A casual way to wear your yoga practice by jmedalye

Ayurvedic Beauty: Dealing with Dullness

Kapha out of balance can experience dull skin.  If your skin looks dull you can make a deep cleanser at home to refresh and enliven your skin and follow with a therapeutic Kapha pacifying face oil. Use the recipe below by Ann Franklin for a deep cleanser, and follow with Pure + Simple’s Kapha Balancing Oil.

Small pot natural live yoghurt
2 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 small apple, peeled and cored
1 egg white
5 drops rosemary oil
5 drops lemon oil

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a low setting. Massage the mixture over the face. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Place any remaining mixture in a screw top jam jar and keep in the fridge for up to three days.

Yoga Thought of the Week: Yoga for Lethargy

During the transition time of fall when dark mornings and early evenings can bring on lethargy, kapha will benefit from an uplifting yoga practice that removes any stagnation in the body. Back bends and twists that encourage circulation can remove stagnation from the deepest parts of your body. If you are feeling unmotivated, lazy, lethargic, and/or depressed take the time for a restorative and energizing practice. One excellent practice that you can do at home is with Felicia Tomasko on YogaGlo. This kapha oriented practice uses twists, backbends, and circular movements to restore the kapha dosha and improve energy flow throughout the body.

Ayurvedic Recipe of the Week: Hearty Low Calorie Barley Soup

For Kapha increasing metabolism and avoiding dairy products is critical when out of balance. The earthy and spring nature of kapha can be balanced with foods that are dry, light, warm, and low calorie. Cooking with more spices is important for kapha, and superfoods include mushrooms, carrots, celery, cauliflower, barely, and hot peppers. The recipe below is a simple vegetarian barley soup recipe that is excellent for a cold fall evening for kapha.

Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

1 cup of barley
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of oil (corn, safflower, or sunflower are best for kapha)
1 white onion chopped
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 carrot chopped
1 large celery stalk chopped
1 cup of mushrooms chopped
½ cup of cauliflower
A handful of green beans chopped
6 cups of vegetable broth
½ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot cook barley until soft, about 45 minutes. In another pot on medium heat warm oil and add onions and garlic. Sauté until golden. Add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and green beans, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and Tabasco sauce and bring to a boil. Add the cooked barley, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.