The earth mother: Kapha people are loving and strong
They are the ones who nurture us, look after us, are loving, patient and kind, the calm in the storm. They're our rocks, the typical earth mother type, and family is everything to them. Kapha people have dominant earth and water energy, which makes them strong, steady and slow-moving – they don't do anything fast! They walk slowly, think slowly, talk slowly – often, they barely talk at all, and are perfectly happy like that.
They have a well-developed physique, and generally are emotionally content. They may be short, sometimes stocky, and they gain weight easily. They typically have oily, pale skin, round features and a regular, mild appetite and slow digestion.
However, their slowness, heaviness and "I'll do it tomorrow" attitude means they can easily become couch potatoes. This makes them prone to particular ailments, which causes stagnation and related health problems, such as lung problems and excess weight, as well as heaviness and dullness in the mind. Kapha people need to get up, get moving and do vigorous exercise.
Kapha mentality and motivation
Positive tendencies Calm, relaxed, content, grounded, steady, loyal, tolerant, patient, affectionate, compassionate, nurturing, loving. Their desire is to help others be comfortable and cared for.
Negative tendencies Complacent, greedy, sentimental, lethargic, lazy, heavy heart, attached (to things, relationships), possessive, can be slow to grasp information. Gets anxious or angry if stability or family are threatened. Puts things off and never moves or acts quickly.
Motivation Likes stability and security.
Kapha body type and digestion
Physical Kaphas have a well-developed physical frame. They may be stout, stocky, solid, are often short, and big (in relation to their height). They have good physical strength and endurance. The face is large, round, white or pale, with soft contours, a ‘moon face’. The eyes are big, round, prominent. Kaphas gain weight easily and find it hard to lose. The hands are square or round.
Appetite Constant but low. Attached to food. Can often skip breakfast with no problem.
Stools Moderate amount, solid, sometimes pale, mucus in the stool. When the digestion is imbalanced, tends to constipation as the metabolism is slow, but the stools won’t be hard or uncomfortable when they do come.
Menstruation A regular cycle, can be up to 29-30 days, with a light flow lasting 3-7 days. When imbalanced, the cycle is still regular but there are swollen breasts, water retention, feelings of guilt, unworthiness, failure, unloved.
Menstruation Regular, a 28-day cycle, with flow lasting 3-5 days. Tends to a heavy flow. Possible pain beforehand, and often frustrated and irritable before flow starts.
In the Ayurvedic way of living, eating specific foods and making certain lifestyle choices can balance our elemental nature, and keep body and mind in balance. If you are a Kapha type, look for Kapha-balancing recipes and advice (unless you have any sort of ailment, such as PMS or poor digestion, in which case see an Ayurvedic practitioner). Good beginners' (but comprehensive) books on Ayurveda are A Pukka Life by Sebastian Pole, or Prakriti by Dr Robert Svoboda.