Kapha Season: How to feel light and bright this spring
by Delight Yoga
There is a magic about spring. After months of winter, nature’s long period of reflection, we are reminded of the beauty of change. Flowers begin to bloom, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, and people themselves begin to brighten and reenergize.
In Ayurveda, winter and early spring are considered Kapha season. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic health system that originated in India, one which offers vast amounts of wisdom on how to stay healthy and balanced. Ayurveda believes that there are three doshas, or energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Everyone is born with a dominant dosha (or a two). Even if you are not a Kapha Prakruti (constitution), your environment and lifestyle choices can still start to build excess Kapha in your usual Pitta or Vata system.
Kapha dosha has a lot of cold, wet, heavy qualities, and we can feel these in our bodies and minds in early spring. This is the time of year that it is most common to suffer from Kapha-type imbalances such as colds, congestion, asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and weight gain. Luckily, Ayurveda provides many solutions to keep you light, bright and balanced this season.
How to feel light and bright this spring
Kapha is slow, heavy, and static, and is therefore aggravated by inactivity. Energizing your life with activities that require movement helps avoid imbalances.
Regular exercise is very important. The more prone you are to Kapha imbalances the more rigorous the exercise should be. (Be sure to check with your health practitioner before making changes to your exercise routine).
Try walking, jogging or biking in the fresh air outside. Or change up your routine with something new: play basketball, racquetball, or tennis.
As always, yoga is an ideal activity. Vigorous forms are the most Kapha-reducing - try one of our Vinyasa or Astanga yoga classes to move your body in a beautiful tradition.
2. Switch up your usual routine and try something new
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try something new or go somewhere exciting. Go on a mini-vacation - take a day trip to a neighbouring city you’ve never visited, or book a trip to a country you’ve never been to.
Get out of your comfort zone with simple changes - perhaps dressing in stimulating colours like red, orange, yellow, and green.
Stimulate your mind on a daily basis. Help your kids with their algebra homework, do a crossword, or write a letter. Turn off the TV and pick up a good book.
3. Spend plenty of time with loved ones and friends.
Loneliness and depression are common symptoms of an imbalance of Kapha. Make plans with friends, reach out to your relatives, talk to a neighbour - feel connected to the people in your life. Surround yourself with upbeat music, invigorating smells and lively company.
4. Embrace oil
Nasya Treatment (nasal drops) is recommended to expel Kapha dosha from head, eyes, ear, nose, and throat.
Oil pulling (Gandusha) is recommended to strengthen teeth and to improve oral health.In oil pulling, we are not consuming the oil. We are just rinsing the mouth with oil. This helps to give a churning effect and drags out all the Kapha Dosha from ear, nose, and throat into the mouth, which is then expelled out.
5. What to eat and drink
Favor barley, wheat, raisins, grape wine, honey, easily digestible and dry (moisture-free and fat-free) foods).
Avoid foods that are heavy and difficult to digest. Avoid excess oils and fats and sweet or sour foods.
‘During spring season, person should spend his midday in the company of friends engaged in pleasant games, pastimes, storytelling etc., in forests (or gardens). The gardens should have cool breeze from south direction, with plenty of reservoirs of water all around, invisible or poor sunlight, the land covered with shining crystals, with the cuckoo everywhere making pleasant sounds and engaged in love-play, with trees and different kinds of beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers.’
(Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana, Chapter 3)
This content is written or curated by someone from within the Delight Yoga community.