Recently, we posted a blog about eating with your yoga practice in mind. We introduced the belief system of Ayurveda, the mental and emotional counterpart to the physical practice of yoga. This ancient, scientifically backed system aims to connect the mind and body for a more self-aware and balanced being.
An Ayurvedic diet is broken into three kinds of body types, called doshas. Each dosha represents a different element of nature. Vata is the dosha that represents air; pitta represents fire; and kapha represents earth and water. You can take this quiz to figure out what your body type is. If you’re experiencing a high imbalance of kapha, continue reading for information on the types of foods you can eat to help pacify it.
This type of eating plan is meant to help your overall health, but can also help your yoga practice. If you’re looking for somewhere to take classes, Duality Fit in Sloan Lake offers a couple of different yoga classes to help you find your center. Contact us today for more information or to become a member.
Food Qualities For Kapha
If your body is experiencing an imbalance of kapha, specific types of food qualities will help bring you back into balance. Kapha is heavy, cool, oily, and smooth, so an overabundance of this can be balanced out by foods that are light, warm, dry and rough. Eating these types of food can help lower kapha.
Fruits and vegetables tend to be lighter foods compared to others. Leafy greens and salads are light and can help balance kapha; however, cooked foods are recommended. We’ll go into that more below. Spring and summer vegetables tend to be lighter than fall and winter vegetables, too, so focus on eating those.
Avoid heavy foods like hard cheeses, wheat and other flours, nuts, pudding, and deep fried foods. Fried foods in particular are very oily, which can aggravate kapha even more. Heavy meals and processed foods can make you feel heavy and drowsy, a side effect of a kapha imbalance.
Since kapha has a cooler quality, it can be balanced out by eating warm foods. This includes foods that have been cooked as well as foods that have been spiced, as many spices create a warming effect. Cook food that is fresh and drink beverages that are room temperature, warm, or hot.
Avoid leftovers that have been stored in the fridge and affected by the cold. Steer clear of cold, frozen, and even carbonated beverages. If you have to choose between foods though, a salad or reheated light meal is better than a meal that is warm and heavier.
Kapha has an oily quality, which can be offset by eating dry foods. Beans, white potatoes, dried fruit, rice cakes, and popcorn are good examples of dry food. Though you should limit your alcohol intake, a glass of dry wine is also acceptable. Stay hydrated, but don’t over-hydrate as kapha retains water.
Limit the amount of moist and oily foods in your diet that can irritate a kapha imbalance. Foods like avocado, dairy, wheat, nuts, melons, summer squash, and zucchini should be avoided.
More fibrous foods tend to have a rougher texture; these fruits and vegetables are often called roughage. These fibrous foods are easier to digest once cooked, though, so if you’re eating rough foods, try to cook them rather than eating them raw. Rough foods include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, dark leafy greens, and beans.
Since kapha is characteristically smooth, avoid smooth foods that could aggravate it like bananas, hot cereal, dairy, and pudding.
Certain flavors are more pacifying to kapha than others. Focus on eating pungent, bitter, and astringent foods. These flavors help cleanse the pallet and counteract the sweet, sour, and salty flavors associated with a kapha imbalance.
Balance Your Body
By eating foods that pacify a kapha imbalance, you bring your mind and body back into alignment with one another. This, coupled with your yoga practice, can give you the energy and motivation you may feel you’ve been lacking. If you’re looking for yoga classes to help you improve your health and wellness, Duality Fit offers a couple of different types of yoga classes that involve sequences, focusing inwards, breathing, and movements. Become a member today and gain unlimited monthly access to yoga classes and more.