Kapha Season is Upon Us
As I write this article it is bitterly cold here in New York. The Spring Equinox may feel as though it is eons away. But before we know it March 15th will come around, the snow will begin to melt, the air to warm and Kapha season will begin.
In Ayurveda, the science of life and sister science to yoga, Kapha season is the time ruled by earth and water. When Kapha is imbalanced it manifests in our body as congestion, lack of motivation and possibly depression. The goal of Ayurveda is to balance the inside environment with what we are experiencing on the outside. If you’re like the rest of us, you know that spring (Kapha season) brings along seasonal allergies and many rainy days where all you want to do is stay curled up in bed and watch the clouds roll by.
To help you prepare yourself for the impending Kapha season we have put together a series of diet and lifestyle habits to keep you vibrant and thriving all the way through.
• Eliminate Dairy: Yup, sorry. You know those seasonal allergies and congestion I mentioned earlier? Imagine all of those symptoms can be relieved, lessened, or better yet completely disappear. Give up dairy for two weeks and I guarantee you won’t turn back.
• Keep Sweets to a Bare Minimum: Unfortunately, sweets also increase kapha and only fuel blocked sinuses, allergies, colds and lethargy. There is one exception though and that’s raw honey. Enjoy a tablespoon in a cup of hot ginger tea (which will fuel your digestive fire when it is low this season) but don’t have much more than that or all benefits will be lost. Also decrease the consumption of sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squashes, tomatoes and zucchini. Increase your intake of vegetables with a bitter qualities like broccoli rabe, radishes, dandelion greens and arugula.
• Spice it Up: Our Agni, a.k.a. digestive fire, is located in the 3rd chakra which rules our inner drive and confidence. Fuel this fire with warming spices such as pepper, mustard seed, cinnamon, cayenne, and ginger.
• Fast: Once a week try a liquid fast where you only consume fresh vegetable and fruit juices as well as puréed vegetable soup.
• Routine, routine, routine: As best as you can, follow the same routine every day. If it’s not, set a couple of things that you do the same every day. Like waking up at the same time, having a cup of ginger tea after every meal, going to bed at the same time…Kapha loves routine and the more of it you have, the more beneficial it will feel.
• Engage in vigorous exercise daily: Because energy always seems to be lacking at this time of year, it’s important to keep moving. Kapha in motion, stays in motion. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to an hour of exercise daily. It can be 15-20 min. Go outside for a brisk walk, start your day with Surya Namaskars (sun salutations), ride your bike, go running, etc. Movement prevents the stagnation that tends to build up at this time of year.
• Spring Cleaning: There’s a reason why spring cleaning takes place at this time of year. It is a way to physically remove congestion from our lives. Clean out the closets and under your bed. Donate what you no longer need (Lakshmi points!)
• Practice aromatherapy: Our sense of smell is a powerful thing. The olfactory nerves connect directly to the brain which can change our energy and mood in a nanosecond. Invest in a stash of aromatherapy oils such as eucalyptus (alleviates congestion) and cinnamon (invigorating). Stash them in your bag so that you always have them on hand.