Monthly Archives: February 2011

A Closer Look At Kapha

Every year contains a full dosha cycle, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which makes up the Ayurvedic seasons. Likewise, all three doshas are within each individual (in unique proportion). Since we are currently in Kapha Season, let’s take a closer look at the Kapha dosha…

Earth Droplet

Ruled by Water and Earth, Kapha is known as the fluid force of cohesion. It is responsible for all structure and lubrication in the body.

For example, if we take a jar, fill it halfway with water and then add sand, the sand will gradually sink to the bottom of the jar, separating from the water. The only way to keep the sand in equilibrium with the water is by stirring the mixture continuously.  Kapha is the steady stirring energy that keeps the water and earth together.

Kapha is responsible for our physical structure; it maintains the body’s resistance, lubricates the joints, provides moisture to the skin, helps to heal wounds, fills the spaces within the body, gives biological strength, vigor and stability, supports memory retention, gives energy to the heart and lungs, and maintains immunity.

Every single one of us harbors the forces of all three doshas because all three are needed in order to sustain life.  So take a moment right now and allow your gaze to turn inward – try and sense the force of Kapha within you.  Focus in on your flesh, joints and bones and all the anatomical structures that are contained and connected inside your body.  Kapha has healed your wounds, has enabled your physical growth, and is the energy behind your strength, stamina and stability. Kapha also enables memory retention and sustains it over time.  Try and recall your earliest memory and see this memory in relationship to where you are in this moment.

Kapha is the cohesion in all that exists: the earth, the massive planet we walk on, the cool soil that bears the crops, the sturdy slope of an old mountain; and the deep cradle of the ocean.

Someone who has a dominant Kapha dosha may take on some of these physical characteristics: Larger, well-built frame – Evenly proportionate – Skin is clear with larger pores – Eyes are moist and prominent – Lips are full and pale – Large, strong teeth – Hair is thick, lustrous and usually wavy – Nails are clear and pale – Cool and moist to the touch – Constant and strong appetite – Great endurance – Good immunity – Slow, steady pace – Sleep is long and deep – Senses of taste and smell are sensitive

Common psychological characteristics of a dominant Kapha dosha: Caring, steady, and calm – Not easily irritated, strong and stable – Loving – Self-sufficient – Great long- term memory – Mental and physical energy is steady and enduring – Loves routine – Make good providers, dependable – Serene, warm, nurturing – Romantic and loyal

When Kapha is imbalanced (present in excess), some of the most common symptoms it can physically lead to are: Lethargy – Weight gain – Congestion – Asthma – Prolonged sleep – Excessive oiliness – Blackheads – Cystic acne – Cysts – Edema – Water retention and swelling.

Psychologically imbalanced Kapha can lead to emotions of: Depression – Attachment – Greed, and long-standing grudges or envy – Possessiveness and becoming withdrawn.

You can take a sneak peek at our most recent Kapha Season Newsletter for great tips, exercises, suggestions, songs, delicious recipes & more! Our newsletter is offered only three times a year and is a completely free resource to optimize your season! Click on the link and make sure to sign-up at the top!

For those of you who don’t know your dosha, take this quiz and find out!

“The One”

Finding “The One”…

Is it possible? Does “the one” even exist?

I truly believe each person has several soul mates, but the choices we make in life, determine the roads we walk upon. So crossing paths with “the one” or with “one of the ones” becomes a matter of karma. I’ll explain…

Karma has two different dimensions to it. One aspect of karma is the conditions in your life that are yet to be fulfilled – this is the larger picture, “karmic blueprint” that you may have heard of. The second dimension of karma is your thoughts, choices and actions – these ultimately create future karma because every thought, choice and action leads to something else that requires more thought, choice and action. Thus every relationship you have in life, especially important ones such as your romantic partnerships, significantly affect and likewise, are significantly affected, by your karma (the conditions that have yet to be fulfilled as well as every thought, choice and action you take.)

So, are you spinning in circles yet? You can stop because what does this all come down to? YOU. YOU are “the one” !

Bottom line, no other person can fulfill your own karma. We often look for someone to make us happy or expect our partners to do so. Certainly people can inspire wonderful feelings, but your life is yours to live, to commit to, to seek joy and fulfillment and then to SHARE this joy and fulfillment with the ones you love. No one person can constantly remedy the shifting whims of someone else’s discontentment. True happiness cannot be out-sourced.

Ingredient for happiness? Respect. Every relationship, including the one with yourself, is about respect. And respect can only come from the awareness that each individual has his/her own individual karma to fulfill.

Loving with whole heart is to love someone separate from his/her relationship to you. Loving yourself whole-heartedly is to respect yourself, no matter what others may do to you or what they may think of you.

There are many tried & true ayurvedic methods on how to achieve happiness. They are as vast as they are diverse and if you find the appropriate one for your current mindset and lifestyle, it can be profoundly effective. Despite the diversity, all these techniques have the same aim, to cultivate awareness. That is Ayurveda, awareness.

Some examples of these techniques include: meditation (in all its varied forms), breathing techniques (pranayama), detoxifications (periodic cleansing), sense therapies (lifestyle choices of sound, color, nutrition, massage, and aroma therapies), exercise (yoga asanas or any other mind/body practice), mantra work (japa meditation, bakti yoga chanting etc.) and many more…

I would love to talk about each one of these techniques in the hopes that it can bring a useful tool to at least one of my readers.

Am I happy?  Who is the right person for me?  What choices should I make?

The answers to these questions are profoundly personal and lie deep within each individual. Sometimes it requires a bit of patience for “what’s right” to come out of hiding, but it is there and it will.

Remember…the purpose of every relationship, including the one with yourself, is to make life more beautiful, more healthy and more joyful within every passing day.

Cleaner, Healthier, Happier…

Cleansing with Herbs:

The most commonly found skin cleansers often contain chemical surfactants that not only cause irritation, but also degenerate skin proteins, which allow environmental toxins easier access to the deeper, more vulnerable layers of skin tissue. So then why would these irritants be used? For a number of different reasons, but a large one being that these chemicals are inexpensive and therefore, can be mass-produced.

Unfortunately, in ‘modern’ society, we have become used to cleansers that foam and suds when we wash and have formed an attachment to the notion of ‘squeaky-clean’. However, prolonged use of these types of cleansers, strip the skin of its natural oils that keep us looking young! They severely over dry the under tissues and consistently alter the pH of the skin, making us reliant on toners to rebalance again and again and again. A true roller coaster ride is what these types of cleansers offer and yet we wonder why our skin breaks out or looks dull or oily or is hard to keep balanced.

Why all of this when nature has given us the perfect cleansers already; pure, healing plants that are profoundly effective. Cleansing with herbs has so many benefits: they remove deep-seated dirt and toxins without causing irritation nor the degeneration of skin tissue; when massaged into the skin they promote healthy exfoliation, increase circulation, stimulate skin’s metabolic processes and even deliver protein-rich nutrients that visibly rejuvenate the complexion, all without altering the natural pH of the skin.

Pure, all natural herbs for cleansing are readily out there and available — just look and make sure to read ALL the ingredients. We offer dosha-specific herbal cleansers at pratimaskincare.com. But for the adventurer, here are two great face & body recipes for you to try at home!

Basic Herbal Face Cleanser:

(For daily use)

Mix ¼ teaspoon organic turmeric powder + 1 tablespoon organic chickpea flour.

To this mixture add:

For dry skin:                     1 tsp sweet almond oil or sesame oil +  2 Tbsp. water

For sensitive skin:            2 Tbsp. of milk only

For oily skin:                     2 Tbsp. water + 2 drops of lemon juice

Combine to make a liquidy paste. Massage all over the face in circular motions while cleansing and gently exfoliating. Rinse.

Luxurious Herbal Body Cleanser/Deep exfoliator:

(For monthly use)

Mix 2 Tbsp. red lentil powder into ½ cup organic whole milk. Soak overnight. The next day add to mixture: 1 tsp. almond butter + 1 tsp. cashew butter + 1 tsp. dried milk + ½ tsp wheat germ oil. Mix ingredients. Apply paste all over face and body and massage. If you have the time, place a towel in your bathtub or shower, and relax for 15-20 minutes, allowing herbal paste to dry and the nutrients time to soak in. Using your hands or a dry towel, gently rub off dry paste in a circular motion. Rinse. Your skin will be deeply nourished and silky soft! Follow with an herbal oil massage to relieve dryness and provide ultra nourishment & glowing radiance.

Note: If you would like to use this mixture to cleanse your body on a more current basis, add rosewater to further liquefy the mixture.