The Kapha Prakriti : Characteristics and Effects of Kapha Body Type

by Dr Kanika Verma

In the previous blogs, we elaborated on the concepts of the dosha theory, prakrati (Ayurvedic body type), and their inter-relationship. So, now we know that there are three primary types of prakrati or body types – vata, pitta, and kapha body type. In this blog, let us explore the kapha prakrati, the stable people!

Reference: The blog is based on Charak Viman Sthana (8-96), a sutra that defines tridosha based prakrati and their features.

Kapha Dominant Prakrati

A kapha dominant prakrati person exhibits the primary characteristics of kapha dosha in his body.

Primary kapha characteristics are –

  • Unctuous,
  • Cool,
  • Heavy,
  • Slow,
  • Slimy,
  • Sticky,
  • Stable.
kapha body type

These properties of kapha dosha drive the kapha metabolism across the body. Let’s how kapha affect different parts of the body and their functions –

Kapha Body Type Skin

naturally beautiful skin - kapha body type
naturally beautiful skin – kapha body type

Kapha people are blessed with naturally beautiful skin, compared to other prakrati types. Their skin reflects all the properties of kapha dosha. It is smooth, moist, soft, and flawless. They face a very slow rate of aging and hence their skin can remain youthful for a very long time. They have the least chance of developing a skin disorder with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

However, kapha people are prone to excessive oiliness, stickiness, numbness, etc. in the skin. They are slow to develop skin problems, but if they do then they take a long time for recovering as well. So, slowness is prevalent in all body activities.

Kapha Hair

beautiful hair for kapha body type
beautiful hair for kapha body type

Kapha people have the most well-nourished scalp, and therefore, they naturally have the most beautiful hair as well. Their hair is thick, dense, and shiny. They may have black or dark color hair normally.

Kapha’s hair is strong and healthy. Kapha people do not face hair problems like rapid hair fall, early hair greying, dandruff, etc. They are normally never bald.

However, they may have excessively oily hair due to kapha imbalance. Their hair may become sticky and lump. This situation leads to many kapha people to use chemical-based hair care products. These products destroy the natural hair health and kapha people may develop dry hair like vata prakrati.

Therefore, today it is very difficult to predict the prakrati based on hair quality!

Kapha Body Type Weight

kapha prakriti people have above-average weight
kapha prakriti people have above-average weight

With this body type people always have an above-average weight. Kapha children are normally plump and chubby!

People with Kapha body type have a natural tendency to gain and retain weight as heaviness is an integral part of kapha metabolism. Also, they might find it very difficult to reduce weight.

Obesity is a big problem with kapha people. They may need drastic measures like intermittent dry fasting to retain normal weight.

Kapha Height

Kapha people normally have above average height. They might not be very short or very tall. However, they have an appropriate height depending on their genetics.

The height growth in kapha people is normally slow and constant. At the end of the growth period, their rate of height increase gradually tapers down. Slow is their thing! There is no abrupt height increase normally, in kapha children.

Kapha Digestion

Kapha body type people normally relish hot and spicy food
Kapha body type people normally relish hot and spicy food

Digestion for kapha reflects most of the kapha properties. Kapha people have sluggish digestion. They normally relish hot and spicy food as it helps to stimulate their coldish digestion.

Because of slow digestion and coldish metabolism, they have a huge tendency to develop digestive disorders like indigestion, heaviness after meals, anorexia, etc.

Stress and other lifestyle disorders might alter the response of kapha metabolism.

Kapha Sleep

excellent sleep for kapha body type
excellent sleep for kapha body type

Kapha people normally have an excellent quality of sleep. They may readily fall asleep and have a long deep sleep. You may not be able to wake kapha people easily when they are asleep.  

Sleep is also one of the prominent reasons for their beautiful skin and hair. Because of their excellent quality of sleep, they have an excellent rate of repair and rejuvenation. Quality sleep is the secret behind the natural beauty and health of kapha people.

Sleep is also one of the notable features of kapha disorders. When sick, kapha people tend to feel lethargic and sleep a lot!

Kapha Dosha Metabolic Pattern

metabolism is “slow and steady” for kapha body type
metabolism is “slow and steady” for kapha body type

Kapha metabolism is “slow and steady” and it helps them to win the race against diseases. They might be slow but their metabolism has a firm and stable foundation.

They normally have a strong body and great immunity. It is as difficult to create a metabolic imbalance in the “slow and steady” kapha prakrati. However, this quality has its dark sides.

Once the imbalance occurs it is difficult to correct it immediately, due to the slow metabolism. Let’s look at it like trying to make an elephant fall. It might be difficult, but if the elephant falls it takes him some time to get back on his feet, at least more than tiger (pitta) or deer (vata).

Kapha Mind

Mind of kapha people is also “slow and steady”. Kapha people like regularity and order. A kapha person may take some time to understand something, but once the concept is clear, it is very hard to change it. Kapha people have the best memory among all prakrati types. Their memory is like a statement ingrained in the stone.

Kapha Dosha Conduct                                       

Kapha people are resolute. They do not change their mind easily. They may not be extremely creative or adventurous. But kapha people are resolute and stick to the plan in all seasons. They may be conservative. Kapha people normally love traditions. They are generally systematic and organized. 

They are hard-working people and can work persistently. Kapha people do not get bored with repetitive work. Instead, they may not like drastic changes, abrupt surprises, and random lifestyle.

Overall, they are soft-hearted and loving people. Forgiveness is a defining feature that in a kapha prakrati person.

Kapha Dosha Disease Susceptibility

Breathing problems for kapha dosha
Breathing problems for kapha dosha

Kapha imbalance starts with the kapha dominant sites. If not corrected, it gradually spread to other parts of the body. Let’s see the effects of kapha imbalance in its primary sites –

It is important to note that most of these diseases have excess mucus accumulation and heaviness as primary symptoms. Most of them are caused or aggravated by cold.

They also result due to some kind of obstruction in a metabolic pathway.

  • Chest region – Breathing problems, asthma, lung disorders
  • Throat – itching, sticky mucus, voice abnormality, obstruction in vocal cord, hypothyroidism due to thyroid inactivity
  • Head – Hydrocephaly, glaucoma,
  • Soft palate/ pancreas – diabetes due to pancreatic inactivity
  • Bony joints – stiffness in joints
  • Stomach and Rasa (chyle) – indigestion, heaviness after meals,
  • Adipose tissue – Obesity
  • Sense of smell – lack of smell
  • Tongue – numbness in the tongue
  • Mucus – cough, cold

Knowing one’s body type is imperative for health preservation. Our prakrati marks the sphere of health (swasthyavritta) for all of us. Outside this sphere is imbalance and diseases. But if we balance ourselves inside this sphere, we might never fall sick!

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