Kriyas for Kapha: Poses to Get You Off the Couch
Have you sent this text to your best friend recently? “I just don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t want to deal with it. I’m so exhausted!” Or have you been feeling unhinged and ungrounded—like you’re juggling dozens of balls in the air? “I am so busy. I just can’t get everything done. I feel like I’m running on empty!” Whether there has been a recent change in the weather pattern, a busy end-of-summer travel schedule, or you’re too aware of the intense chaos of society, you may be feeling extremely sluggish, heavy, or sticky. These are indications of a Kapha imbalance.
Kapha, one of the three Ayurvedic doshas, is governed by the elements of earth and water: heavy like clay, sticky like glue. Kapha qualities such as stability in muscles, bones, and mind, hearty immunity, and calmness help keep you healthy and grounded. An excess of Kapha can lead to feeling unbalanced in the body and mind, weight gain, sadness, lethargy, and general malaise.
Practicing energizing yoga poses and breath-linked sequences, or kriyas, can help defend against Kapha imbalance. Kriyas are repetitive and invigorating movements. Kriyas help to stimulate and move the Prana, or life force, through your energy channels. They historically are practiced with the intention to unblock your chakras to allow Kundalini, or your soul nerve, to rise. In his workshops, yoga teacher Saul David Raye reminds students that kriya, karma, and creativity have the same roots—karma being the idea that each of your actions has an effect and creativity being that magical inspiration that guides you to make, do, and act. Whether you’re searching for a spiritual awakening or just trying to feel awake for your workday, the following movements will give you a lift.
Try these kriyas, in a sequence or independently, to get off the couch, out of bed, and back at it.
Practice this in the morning and evening and notice how your body and breath feel at different times of the day.
- Warms the sacral joint
- Releases tension in the hips and low back
- Stimulates digestive organs in the abdomen
- Healthy for blood circulation to and from the heart
- Sit cross-legged or with your feet touching and knees open.
- Bring one hand to each knee or thigh.
- Inhale and circle your whole torso forward, arching the back slightly.
- Exhale and circle your whole torso, rounding the back as much as is comfortable.
- Continue in a circle in the same direction as long as you’d like. Allow your shoulders to join in and your head and neck to move freely.
- Gently coordinate your movements and breath.
- When it feels right, pause and begin circling the opposite direction.
- Continue for one to five minutes.
- When your circles feel complete, wind down, sit up well, and breathe deeply. Pause and notice how you feel.