Are you feeling tired, heavy in mind and body, groggy, weighed down, and experiencing sinus problems? Then my friend, Kapha is visiting you this Spring. In the ancient science of Ayurveda this is Kapha season. Kapha is comprised of the elements of earth and water and helps to control the body's stability as well as it's lubrication. Kapha gives our cells their structure. It also helps to coat the lining of our stomachs so that the digestive juices don't burn a hole through it. When balanced, it is a wonderful, nourishing, building time, that provides lubrication for our joints especially after the cold, dry winter season of Vata. So while winter is cold and dry, spring tends to be cold, wet and damp, which sets the stage for things to ripen and grow. It allows water to enter to produce or regenerate life all around us. However, when the earth and water elements of Kapha are out of balance, it causes many of the qualities listed in the first sentence. When there is perhaps too much water it can inhibit a feeling of growth and feel more like being stuck in the mud.
So here are many of the qualities, or in Sanskrit the gunas, of Kapha: Heavy, dull, slow, cold, wet, smooth, dense and stable. Kapha tends to hang out in certain areas of our body like our brain, joints, mouth, lymph, stomach, pleural cavity and pericardial cavity.
So What Can YOU Do?
Here is the good news; in Ayurveda one of the main tried and true tenets is "like increases like," so to alleviate many of the above symptoms all we have to do is apply the opposite quality. We can do this by adjusting our diet and lifestyle accordingly. Think about heating, lightening and invigorating your diet, your body and your soul. Think of melting the excess water by heating things up, charging up your spirit and creating beautiful grounding space everywhere. I invite you today to look and see what you might be able to do to sail through this glowing season of Spring and bloom into Summer.
Daily To Do List
- Diet: avoid, meat, cheese, ice cream, milk, sweets
- Eliminate any iced drinks and opt for sipping warm water perhaps with lemon throughout your day
- Neti pot
- Eats lots of veggies steamed, without sauces
- Warm, clear broths like with miso or veggies
- Spices such as black pepper, ginger, turmeric
- Grains such as millet or spelt
- Think of flavors or tastes that are have an astringency (dry things up) such as dandelion tea.
- Check out the Ginger, Cardamon and Fennel tea on my site HERE.
- Rise with the sun and throw away your snooze button
- Exercise - go for brisk walks in nature
- Yoga - make it a light, energizing practice and pranayama. This is especially the time to increase your digestive fires (agni) to burn up any excess mucus that tends to accumulate with Kapha in the Spring. Try adding Ujjayi (victorious breath) and Kapalabhati (skull shining breath) to your practice. Please always check with your doctor first if you are pregnant or have any medical conditions that could be counter intuitive such as abdominal complications. If you have not practiced these pranayamas or are unsure of them please speak with a yoga teacher you trust. I'll soon be adding some videos of these practices to help demonstrate so stay tuned!
Some Helpful Morning Yoga Moves
This is the time for more invigorating sun breaths and salutations, lots of twists and pumping actions to wring things out. Set your yoga mat up by your bed and when you get up in the morning give yourself 10 mindful Sun Salutations to welcome the day. Get into your ankles and legs to move the plasma and lymph systems. If every there was a time to work up a nice sweat it is now and you don't have to do this by running hundreds of miles or doing power yoga in a 100 degree room, but you do have to breathe and move and if you are doing yoga notice at the end of your practice before coming into shavasana if you have a nice sweat going on. Notice if you have built up heat to melt away any excess Kapha that might be weighing you down.
And When It's Time For Bed...
All the elements are amazing and play an important role in our bodies so love up your Kapha in this Kapha season and maybe especially during the Kapha times of day which are 6AM to 10AM and 6PM to 10PM. Start to wind down your day by around 9PM so that you can be in bed by 10PM. Turn off those computers, cell phones and TV's and let this naturally tamasic time of day lull you to a peaceful and restful sleep. You never know, you might love all the energy you have the next day when you do so because, after all if something feels right it just might be the start of a beautiful new relationship.