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A De-Congesting Support Plan for Kapha Vrddhi

Kapha Vrddhi is a term describing the unhealthy increase of Kapha Dosha within the body. An increase in Kapha Dosha (and Vata and Pitta Dosha) have five sub-dosha or 'seats' that they 'overspill' first from when excess accumulation occurs.

Kapha Dosha sits in the chest region (primary seat), tongue, joints, stomach and brain. These are called Avalambaka Kapha, Bodhaka Kapha, Shleshaka Kapha, Kledaka Kapha and Tarpaka Kapha respectively.

An excess of Kapha Dosha gives symptoms cough and a chesty cold, wet/slimy/white cover on the tongue that does not disappear upon tongue scraping or toothbrushing, aching joints, weak digestive strength (mandagni) and an excess sleepiness, drowsiness and even depression. Usually there is a feeling of heaviness within the body and mind and there may also be noticable weight gain. Usually, because of the slow Nature of Kapha Dosha, these symptoms do not come upon you suddenly but rather creep up on you month by month, until one day you notice you are just not feeling or acting your usual self. You may also feel quite clingy and sentimental both within relationships and with the things you own. Because of the sticky nature of Kapha, seeking to accumulate and hang on rather that clear out and let go can become the emotional track that is followed most easily.

The seasonal impact of the environment upon the Dosha means that we have more of these types of symptoms (Kapha increase) in Spring than we do any other time of the year. It also means that the body is geared to find release of these symptoms during this season both naturally (with the changing weather/climate of the upcoming season) and with natural seasonal remedies.

I have termed this practice a De-Congest practice because it is traditional to eliminate Kapha Dosha from the chest, nose, throat areas where we find the symptoms of mucous congestion most apparent.

The movement practice above uses warming core sequences and intake of fresh Prana via breathwork and upper back/shoulder work to help to melt and move the sticky, mucous laden, heaviness that has taken refuge within the weakest areas of the body. To support this movement practice fasting is a great boon!

A hot and spicy Thai soup would be the exact qualities needed to get your body and mind warmed and shifting energy. Add plenty of spices, green leafy veg and nourishing stock and use less oil, liquids than usual and leave out the meat for this particular home remedy.

I also love Dale Pinnock's flu fighting soup ( when I am experiencing Kapha Vrddhi symptoms.

Green leafy vegetables and salads are a great 'go to' for moving energy but cold food is not. So, make sure that you light up these veggies by adding a sharp/hot dressing that is not too oily and give any greens a little burst of stir frying with the most limited amount of oil that you can.

Getting up early and exercising are both a wonderful way to get more 'flow' into your life and warming up both body and mind. But, especially if you are suffering with the symptoms above, it will be hard to get yourself up and out. Once you realise this grudge is just another symptom of Kapha Vrddhi you can release that as a cause of your not going and accept it more as a consequence of not going. Sometimes it is best to start this sort of exercise programme with appointments (for 121's) and going with a friend as it becomes much harder to explain the no shows.

Triphala and Pippali (Piper Longum) together are a great combination to both stimulate Agni and to melt fat. Ask your Ayurvedic practitioner if it is right for you.

If you would like to practice with the full range of Five Element Fitness therapeutic classes (and practices that work with the Five Elements (Ether, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth) they are available on Demand here via subscription.

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