We survived Old Man Winter! Despite some aspects of winter still remaining, we are officially in the spring season. Notice how the qualities have changed? The snow is wet, heavy, dense. The air is more damp. The air is more damp, and there is a sense of slowness. Many of you may have been experiencing a difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning. Perhaps wanting to relish in the warm cocoon of blankets for “just a little longer.”
Welcome the Ayurvedic season of Kapha. Kapha is a combination of the elements of Earth and Water. This is supportive for growth as we see in the spring. Kapha governs the structure of the physical body. It holds our cells together forming muscle, fat, bone, and sinew. It is Kapha’s job to protect.
Everything in moderation applies to the science of Ayurveda. When we are “in balance” with our inherent constitution, we function like a well oiled machine. When certain elements go out of balance, we begin to see symptoms which left untreated may progress into becoming disease. Using the theory “like attracts like,” we can reduce the incoming Kapha qualities of: heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, and oily by choosing things that are the opposite. The tools we use are the foods we eat, our lifestyle, yoga practice, meditation, and breath work.
When Kapha builds to excess, weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies manifest in the body. When out of balance, Kapha may become overweight, sleep excessively, and suffer from asthma, diabetes, and depression. People with an excess of Kapha tend to hold on to things like jobs and relationships long after they no longer serve them. Excess Kapha in the mind manifests as resistance to change and stubbornness. During times of stress, the typical Kapha response is “I don’t want to deal with it.” The seat of Kapha is in the chest. Oftentimes illness this time of year will manifest as chest colds with a lot of mucous/phlegm (those Kapha qualities of moist, damp, slow moving). Prevention is key in Ayurveda, like attracts like, so we must adjust our routines to avoid imbalance.
A few tips for reducing Kapha:
- Get up! As hard as it may be, be out of bed by 6am every morning.
- Get moving! Add some vinyasa to your yoga practice. Include heart openers and backbends in your poses. Explore other types of daily vigorous exercise.
- Get warm! Stay warm in cold, damp weather.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes.
- Favor pungent, bitter, astringent tastes in your food and light, dry and warm foods.
- Reduce heavy, oily, cold foods and sweet, sour and salty tastes.
- Explore! Seek out variety and new experiences.
Want to learn more? My upcoming course: Ayurveda 101 will teach you how the elements affect us and how to live in balance and ease. Be the first to hear when registration is open by signing up for email updates.
Want customized recommendations? Email me to learn more about one-on-one Private Yoga Sessions to get personalized Ayurvedic recommendations and yoga sequences that help you live better. Email me to learn more!