As we approach the Spring Equinox we feel an awakening in the world around us. It is a time of growth and new beginnings. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with Nature and shifting our routines around diet and lifestyle as the seasons change. Early Spring is considered a predominately Kapha time of year.
Kapha is one of the three Doshas that makes up our unique constitution. It is a combination of the Earth and Water elements. It is present in all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Kapha provides structure, protection, support, strength, lubrication, and moisture. It is also responsible for immunity and memory. The qualities of Kapha are cool, heavy, slow, soft, smooth and stable. Individuals with a primarily Kapha constitution have a strong build and beautiful eyes, skin and hair. They tend to sleep well and like to relax. Kapha types are loving, kind, thoughtful creatures of habit.
As with the other doshas (Pitta and Vata), Kapha can become imbalanced. This is more likely to occur in Kapha people or during Kapha season, but everyone can experience these manifestations when Kapha is strongly provoked or increased. Signs of Kapha imbalance include a feeling of heaviness after meals… feeling dull, tired, lethargic… weight gain or a tendency to be overweight… edema… and repeated colds and cough. More serious, long term imbalances include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Emotionally, imbalanced Kapha tends toward depression, attachment, resistance to change and emotional overeating.
As the warmer weather begins to thaw the Earth, it also starts to melt accumulated Kapha in the body. If we don’t cleanse the heavy, rich winter diet we can suffer from sinus infection, congestion and allergies as we transition into Spring. Ayurveda offers some tips for pacifying Kapha dosha. However, these tips should be adjusted according to your own constitution and any imbalances you are currently experiencing. Ayurveda encourages us to make choices with awareness to the effects on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
Suggestions for Spring:
Wake up early, with the Sun
Drink warm water with lemon in the morning
Follow a Kapha pacifying diet, focusing on light and easy to digest meals
Choose seasonal, local, organic fruits and vegetables when possible… Mother Nature is always providing just what we need!!
Sip warming herbal teas throughout the day (CCF tea, Tulsi tea, Ginger tea)
Small amounts of local honey as a sweetener may help with seasonal allergies and congestion (Pitta use less because honey is heating)
Cook with warming spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, black pepper… again, Pittas use caution)
Stay warm and dry
Spend time outside taking walks or planting a garden
Get plenty of daily exercise
Pranayama ( yogic breathing practices to strengthen the lungs and clear the sinuses)
Yoga especially beneficial for Kapha:
Stimulating, warming, energizing- Sun salutes, standing poses, twists, inversions, and poses centered on the core
And a few things to limit/ avoid for the Spring:
Excess sweet, sour, salty taste
Heavy foods & large meals
Excess wheat, dairy, and red meat
Fried foods and processed foods
Cold foods and drinks (not the best time of year for ice cream)
Snacking between meals, unless truly hungry
Sleeping during the day
Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise
Ayurveda is a science of healing that promotes health and longevity by living attuned to our environment. Each season allows us the opportunity to shift and experience our life in a different way. Spring is the ideal time of year for cleansing the body, mind and spirit. This is the perfect opportunity to release old thoughts, emotions, habits, and patterns that are no longer beneficial. The Spring Equinox is an especially powerful time to reset intentions and move toward all that we are creating in our lives. Manifest health, happiness and LOVE!!!
Love you all,