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What You Need to Know About Kapha Dosha Body Type

Updated: Mar 23

Kapha dosha is the dosha that is all about cohesion. It's the dosha that allows children to grow. In fact, the kapha time of life is when the body experiences the bulk of its growth, from conception until around puberty.

woman on a green background

No matter what your constitution is, you have some kapha in you. Ayurveda uses the term "dosha" to explain three different things:

  • your constitution

  • your current state of balance

  • how the systems within your body work.

If you didn't have any kapha in your body, you wouldn't have an actual body. Kapha makes up the physical structure of the body. Without kapha, you wouldn't have any water in your body to carry the red blood cells through your veins and arteries. The water part of kapha assists in the digestion of food in the form of saliva and gastrointestinal juices. Kapha is the container of every organ within the body.

I often think that kapha dosha gets a bad rap in the US and people don't want to identify with kapha, but balanced kapha individuals are loving, kind, dependable, laid back, and chill. They are the people who listen to you and rarely interrupt you when you're talking about having a hard time. They provide support and stability to their families and friends. They may even be the ones to hold friends and family together with their cohesive abilities.

In addition, if you have a predominance of kapha dosha in your constitution, you have a strong constitution and would be less likely to become ill. Ayurveda identifies 80 vata diseases, 40 pitta diseases, and only 20 kapha diseases.

woman wearing a white sweater and smiling

A Little More About Kapha Dosha

Kapha dosha is made up of the elements of water and earth (Ayurveda says there are 5 elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth). Therefore, kapha dosha has a heaviness and stability inherent within it from these elements of water and earth.

The qualities of kapha are:

  • heavy

  • slow

  • cold

  • oily

  • smooth

  • liquid

  • dense

  • soft

  • static

  • gross (made up of material, big, bulky)

  • cloudy/sticky

pale brunette woman wearing glasses

Kapha Dosha Body Type Tests

To take a test to see what your body type is according to Ayurveda, you can use an online test or one from a book. Be sure to answer the questions based on your entire life and not just how you feel today. Answering the questions based on your present condition may instead show your current state of balance, rather than your constitution.

Some good resources for a dosha test are:

Kapha Dosha Body Type

If you have a kapha dosha body type, you are likely to have a medium to large build with broad shoulders and hips. Your chest is broad and well-developed, and your bones are thick, giving you a stocky appearance. Because kapha tends to store energy, you may find that your body is quite massive and dense. Your fingers and toes are short and squarish, and your joints are well-lubricated and less prominent. When you walk, you tend to have a heavy footstep.

As a kapha individual, you may have a tendency toward emotional eating. You usually require less food and gain weight easily, even when just drinking water. Your body stores energy to be able to survive hunger.

Your face may be round and your nose may be wide if you are of a kapha constitution. You may have round cheeks and thick lips, moist lips.

If you have a kapha constitution, you'll likely notice that your skin feels cool to the touch but not excessively cold. Your hands and feet won't feel overly chilly either. You may have a pale complexion and be prone to sunburns if exposed to excessive sunlight, but you'll eventually develop a tan. Your skin is thick and oily, which conceals tendons and veins due to its thickness. Your skin is smooth and soft. You may have a good amount of body hair, which can be dark, and you may experience a moderate amount of sweating.

brunette woman wearing glasses in a pink sweater

If you have a dominant kapha constitution, you may find that you tend to gain weight easily, especially in the stomach, buttocks, and thighs. Because kapha has building qualities, losing weight can be a challenging task for you. To maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage weight effectively, it is essential to engage in physical activity.

Kapha individuals have thick, luxurious hair that ranges from brown to dark brown. You may find it is wavy, somewhat coarse, and quite oily.

If you are a kapha individual, you may notice that your eyes appear larger than usual, even though everyone's eyes are basically the same size. You likely have thick eyebrows (which may meet in the middle), long, thick, oily eyelashes, and white sclera. Brown eyes are common for kapha individuals, but blue eyes can occur occasionally.

Your oral health will likely be in good condition. Your lips are full and your tongue has a slightly thick texture with occasional white coating. Your teeth are large, white, and sturdy.

If you have a predominance of kapha, you will likely have symmetrical nails that are big and strong. They may be thick and pale in color.

Kapha individuals typically experience slow digestion, resulting in a well-formed bowel movement that may take some time to occur.

If you are a woman with a kapha constitution typically you will experience regular periods with minimal discomfort but you may experience mucus in your flow. When imbalanced, you may experience water retention, bloating, slow digestion, lethargy, breast swelling, and vaginal itching.

Kapha is best able to endure vigorous physical activity, but may not be interested in expending the energy. You may move slowly. The same is true for kapha individuals in bed. You have stamina and are quite fertile, but may not want to waste the energy. You may rarely feel hungry, even after vigorous exercise.

pale woman with big teeth smiling

The speech of kapha individuals is usually slow and melodious and can be a bit monotone. You may be reluctant to say much and may need to be prodded to speak. You may speak slowly, clearing phlegm from the throat as you talk. Kaphas may be prone to snoring.

Comprehension for a kapha individual may be slow, but once you understand something, you will remember it forever.

If you are of a kapha constitution, you may like to sleep 8+ hours a night. You may sleep heavily and may have difficulty waking up.

Kaphas tend to be steady, calm, quiet, tolerant, and forgiving. You are generally peaceful, happy, and healthy. You enjoy family and being home. You're patient and humble, but when you go out of balance, you may be attached, stubborn, passive, envious, possessive, overly attached, and greedy.

A kapha individual's faith is unshakable and steady, but you usually don't become fanatical.

You may not make friends quickly, but the friendships usually stick for a long time, due to the cohesive quality of kapha. If you are at a party, you may find one person to glom onto and talk to all night long, rather than mingling with all of the guests.

If you have a kapha constitution, you are usually good at both making money and holding onto it. You make perfect managers because of your ability to listen to people and be stable.

Variations of the Kapha Dosha Body Type

Usually two doshas a predominant in most individuals. These combinations bring kapha together with either vata or pitta and change the characteristics of an individual.

Vata-Kapha Constitution

This is when both vata and kapha are predominant in an individual. They usually have longer bones and aren't quite as strong or as stocky as a pure kapha. The cold qualities of both vata and kapha can make these individuals always feel cold, so they need to keep their bodies warm and eat warm foods. Kapha in this kind of individual can make excess mucus and vata may dry out that mucus making it hard to clear.

woman with read hair in a black dress and red leather jacket

Pitta-Kapha Constitution

This is when both pitta and kapha are predominant in an individual. They tend to have the strength of kapha with the drive of pitta, giving them a strong constitution. They have strong pitta digestion, but also the kapha extra layer of adipose tissue, and may easily gain weight. However, they may be less sluggish than a true kapha and may expend more energy to maintain weight. These individuals often have an extreme amount of patience, until they hit a limit and then explode.

Your Experience with a Kapha Dosha Body Type

I would love to hear about your experience of being a kapha dosha body type, whether you are predominantly kapha or have a predominance of vata-kapha or pitta-kapha. Do you identify with these characteristics? Which ones do you identify with the most? Please leave a comment in the comment section.

Book a consultation if you would like to learn more about your constitution

The following books were used in research for this blog post:

  1. Svoboda, Robert. "Constitutional Characteristics". Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Consitution e-book, Kindle, Sadhana Publications, 1998, chapter 2.

  2. Lad, Dr. Vasant. Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. 2nd ed., Lotus Press, 1984. pp. 33-34.

  3. Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice. 2nd ed., Singing Dragon, 2013. pp. 28-34.

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2 comentarios

Maria Hamburger
Maria Hamburger
12 oct 2023

Hi Belinda, I LOVE reading your posts! Thank you. Will share your website in my news letter with my students this week.

Sending love,

Your Pitta Kapha friend : )

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Belinda Baer
Belinda Baer
12 oct 2023
Contestando a

Thank you dear Maria! I am getting a tremendous amount of joy from writing these blog posts. I’m glad that you’re enjoying them. And thank you for sharing on your newsletter! 💕

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This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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