Exercises to Burn Excess Kapha

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Another way to shake off the kapha blues is to rise out of bed before kapha time (6-10AM), and do an aerobic exercise. This schedule will also help you fend off seasonal weight gain. If you’re feeling overextended, favor vata-pacifying types of exercise like walking, tai chi, or restorative/ slow flow yoga. If you’re feeling sluggish and heavy, give kapha prana boost with a more vigorous workout—potentially a bike ride, a challenging hike, vinyasa yoga, or ski.

Here are a few yoga postures that will burn off excess kapha:

  1. Sun Salutations invite heat and mobility to counteract the cold and stable qualities of kapha. They’re a great way to get the circulation and lymph moving first thing in the morning.
  2. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward facing dog) is a great heat-building challenge for the arms, back and legs, and also opens the chest.
  3. Parivrtta Utkatasana (Twisting Chair) builds heat in the legs while simultaneously pushing out the stagnation that can build up in the chest and lungs from excess kapha.
  4. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon B) awakens the digestive organs and stretches the entire abdomen. The side-to-side motion also offers spaciousness to the lungs, where excess mucus can build up from excess kapha.
  5. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) is the perfect asana to build heat. Keep your arms wide open to encourage space in the heart chakra where the kapha dosha lives.
  6. Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle) encourages lateral flexion which aids in sluggish digestion and heightens respiratory function.
  7. Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel) or Dhanurasana increases circulation throughout your entire body and opens your heart chakra.
  8. Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) reverses blood flow in the body, accumulated fluid in the ankles and legs (which can be caused by too much kapha) gets the chance to move and drain. Headstand also shifts the tendency of kapha to get stuck in the same old routines, by offering a whole new perspective on the world.