[ I was going to title this post, "More on being a Fata (Fatty Vata)", but as I started writing realized that an explanation of the doshas would be good! ]
A friend of mine recently commented that she, too, couldn't believe she's a Vata because her physique is not that of a typical Vata, and she was glad to see there was some explanation for it (referring to my previous post on weight & ayurveda). To recap, typical body characteristics of each dosha are: Vata types tend to be wiry and thin, Pitta types tend to be muscular and strong, and Kapha types tend to be large and hefty. As I mentioned in my previous post, the term Kapha simply represents water and earth, so to be a Kapha-type means your predominant mind and body functions are most influenced by Kapha (water and earth).
But we are all composed of all the elements of each dosha: air, space (Vata), fire (Pitta), water and earth (Kapha). So I can be a Vata with my Kapha out of balance, making me a fat vata instead of the typical skinny vata. In the same way, you can be a Pitta with your Kapha out of balance, making you heavy instead of the typical toned, athletic Pitta.
It is entirely possible that one's Kapha has been out of balance for a lifetime, despite being a Vata. This is because Kapha, being water, is also the body of emotions. Love and security are defining characteristics of Kapha -- lacking those, one would turn to other sources of love and security, such as food, to build more Kapha in the body and feel that sense of warmth and groundedness.
Alternately, I think the "happy pounds" one gets in the security of a loving relationship can follow the same pattern. Love is Kapha, and Kapha begets Kapha. As you give and receive love, your body and soul want to stay in that happy place and add to it by passively building more Kapha, reinforcing those Kapha traits of stability, inertia and contentedness by spending more time lounging around and ingulging in rich and pleasing foods and delicacies.
So that's the story of Kapha. We all have Kapha within us integrally, and whether it's our dominant dosha or not, it can get out of balance -- either because the season is winter or early spring (like now), or we lack love and security, or have a lot of sweet heavy love. Or perhaps because our culture and society reinforces a sense of isolation that we attempt to correct, or the food and advertising industries encourage us to consume Kapha-elevating foods like wheat, sugar, fats, meats and dairy... there are any number of possible reasons, but happily there are some things we can do to balance this. And quite possibly, as we eat the right Kapha-lowering foods, we may delve into ourselves and discover what causes our personal imbalances with our own body and spirit.
My next post will be about Kapha-decreasing foods... : )