Routine for balancing Kapha
Kapha is naturally heavy and dense, so when it is in excess, we are very likely to feel heavy, congested, unmotivated, and lethargic. Our minds may be unclear or foggy, and we might struggle with finding the discipline to stick with our commitments. A daily routine can be potent medicine for balancing these tendencies because it automates some of our most essential self-care practices. And as an added benefit, the most supportive Kapha-pacifying routine will leave plenty of room for spontaneity as well.
start with a few simple commitments like exercising regularly, going to bed and getting up at the same times each day, eating your meals at roughly the same times daily, and taking some time for self-love every day.
Where Kapha is concerned, the evening habits are essential in that they can make or break your daily routine the following day.
Floss, dental stick and brush your teeth.
Shower with warm water to rinse off any tight muscles and remaining stress of your day.
Dry well and Self-massage your feet, or whole body (excluding your scalp) with warm oil. This practice helps to calm the mind and ground the energy before sleep. Use sesame oil. For more information about self-massage read about Abhyanga.
Stretch and spend some time in relaxing Yoga poses.Practice Bhramari Pranayama. This yogic breathing practice calms both the mind and the body. Bhramari also supports fluidity and clarity in the sinuses, throat, and lungs—helping to clear them of any stagnation. Even 2 minutes can have a considerable impact.
Next, choose a bedtime and stick with it as best you can. Receiving adequate rest at consistent times will help to prevent an over-indulgence in sleep. You may also want to think about what time you will be waking up daily. When Kapha is provoked, it is best that you budget no more than eight hours for sleep (possibly less), and you will likely benefit tremendously if you awaken before 6 am, so plan accordingly.
If you tend to have trouble quieting your mind, falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night, check out how to balance insufficient sleep.
The first step in creating a morning routine is to choose a consistent time to wake up—ensuring that you get adequate rest without over-sleeping. Because the atmosphere is infused with Kapha-provoking qualities from 6–10 AM, it can be very clarifying and invigorating to commit to waking up prior to 6 AM. If this feels like a stretch for you, try gradually adjusting your wake time, waking up fifteen minutes earlier than you do now for a few days and then shifting the time earlier every few days (in fifteen minute increments), until you reach your desired wake time. Once you are rising before 6 a.m., stick with it for a solid week or two to see how you feel.
Eliminate: naturally it is recommended to eliminate upon waking every day. If you are not already in the habit of having a bowel movement first thing each morning, simply relaxing on the toilet for a few minutes can encourage the body to develop a sense of regularity. Cleaning the tongue and drinking warm water (see below) will also support this habit.
Clean your tongue: doing so gently cleanses and awakens the digestive system for the day. It also removes accumulated phlegm and bacteria from the tongue that can contribute to foul-smelling breath.
Brush your teeth.
Nasal Rinse: Using a Neti pot to rinse the nasal passages moistens the mucus membranes while clearing out dust, dirt, pollen, and excess mucus. This practice is highly Kapha-pacifying and you may even notice that your mind is clearer as a result.
Drink warm water. Drinking 1–4 cups of warm (or hot) water after your oral hygiene routine helps to stimulate and gently awaken the digestive tract, hydrate the tissues, and also promotes peristalsis—which can encourage a healthy morning bowel movement.
Morning exercise: one of the best things you can do to balance Kapha is to get the body moving first thing in the morning. This does not have to be your full daily work-out. Even an invigorating series of Sun Salutations, a few minutes of jumping on a trampoline or a short brisk walk can do the trick. The idea is to shake off any lingering sluggishness and activate the metabolic system early in the day.
If you’re too sluggish to exercise immediately upon waking, consider ten to fifteen minutes of pranayama. Kapalabhati (Bellows Breath) and Bhastrika (Skull Shining Breath) are both deeply Kapha-pacifying because they support invigorating the mind, cleansing the tissues, and stimulating the digestive fire.
Massage your body with dry powder: at least once a week, before a shower or bath, vigorously massage your entire body with soft, exfoliating powders (like chickpea or rice flour). This practice stimulates the movement of the lymph, improves circulation, liquefies fat, supports skin health, and strengthens the tone of bodily tissues. This is also a wonderful way to remove excess oil, whenever you choose to do a full-body massage with Kapha massage oil.Do not wash the powder down the drain since it may clog your pipes. Wipe it off with a dry towel before entering the shower.
Digestive herbs: consider taking a digestive formula before breakfast to invigorate the digestive fire and encourage proper digestion. Enjoy a stimulating ginger tea.
Light breakfast: Complete your morning with a light but nutritious and healthy breakfast. Wait until you are truly hungry before you eat and don’t force breakfast. Starting your day with a light, satisfying meal will help to reinforce the Kapha-pacifying energies with which you’ve started your day.
Throughout the Rest of Your Day
Prioritize Movement and Exercise: Because appropriate exercise is one of the most fundamentally Kapha-pacifying activities around, committing to regular (ideally daily) exercise is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves when Kapha is high. Even fifteen to thirty minutes per day can be life-changing.
Vigorous exercise: The best forms of exercise for Kapha are vigorous and challenging but also inspiring and fun. The best time of day to exercise is when Kapha predominates the atmosphere, between 6–10 AM and PM. If this time-frame doesn’t work with your schedule, any time of day will do. Almost any type of exercise will balance Kapha, provided you engage with it at a level that is appropriately challenging for you.
Yoga: Kapha-pacifying Yoga will also be very supportive because it fosters activating, upward-moving energies in the body, favors invigorating flows, and emphasizes consistent movement as well as purposeful muscular engagement.
Make sure that you eat nutritious and healthy meals at consistent times each day in order to reduce your temptation to snack. Eating regularly actually helps to strengthen the digestive fire as well. Taking in the full sensory experience and being mindful of receiving nourishment can increase your level of satisfaction and reduce tendencies to over-eat or snack too soon after meals.
Make Room for Spontaneity
Be willing to follow your inspiration, say yes to random opportunities for adventure, and make time for lightness and fun. You will likely discover this practice to be even more supportive if you make it a social experience that you share with friends and loved ones.
Give up hesitation
Balancing Kapha needs sharpness, agility and courage to act. Making some slight change covered in hesitation may very easily fade away. If you are truly ready to overcome excess Kapha, your best chances for achieving balance is by diving in totally and committing to a substantial change. Anything less could also do some good, but the chances are slimmer. Excess Kapha is heavy and stubborn and requires you to really shake it off and be assertive about it. You are going to feel tremendously empowered!