Uplifting and energizing Ayurvedic practices for late winter to spring.
Late winter to early spring is the time when Kapha is high in nature.
According to Ayurveda, everything in nature is made up of the five elements; earth, water, fire, air and space. Just like how each one of us has a unique finger print, each one of us is also made up of these five elements in different proportions which determines our constitution. Not only us, but also the four seasons possess the qualities of these elements in different ratios. While in the autumn and early winter, the qualities of the air and space elements are dominating, during late winter to spring the qualities of earth and water elements are high in nature. These two elements make the Ayurvedic kapha constitution.
Kapha Dosha and its qualities
When there is excessive kapha in nature, it naturally increases in our body as we are in constant interaction with the environment around us. Ayurveda places great emphasis on maintenance of health by paying close attention to balance in our life, especially during these seasonal highs of the elements. In order to know how to bring balance back to ourself, we first need to know the qualities of kapha dosha and the signs of its imbalance.
Since kapha is made up of the elements earth and water, it has the characters of these elements.
Signs of kapha imbalance
When in balance, these qualities give us good stability both physically and mentally but
generally during this time of the year many complain of sinus congestions, colds, flu, water retention and headaches. Mentally, excessive kapha in nature leads to lethargy, lack of motivation, depression and possessiveness which are all signs of imbalance.
Here are some simple ways we can balance kapha.
Do’s and Don’ts
Ayurveda suggests simple lifestyle adjustments that will bring more energy and uplift your mood during these cold months. Here are 3 do’s and don’ts that each one of us can easily implement to stay balanced:
- Use warming and pungent spices like ginger, garlic and pepper. All these spices have a warming and lightening quality which is much required during this time of the year. They not only keep you warm on the inside but also improve your digestion and metabolism.
- Get plenty of exercise. Our natural tendency in the winter is to bundle up and be inactive which adds to the kapha qualities. Instead you can beat the kapha imbalances by staying active, do active styles of yoga or any other sport that makes you feel strong and energetic.
- Listen to lively music. Music is powerful tool, whether you want to calm yourself or bring liveliness around you. Listening to upbeat music is one of the best and easiest things you can do to cheer yourself up during the winter months. Crank up the volume and let the music revitalize you!
- Eat deep-fried and oily foods. Oily and deep-fried foods reduce metabolism which is already low during this time. Choose fresh and boiled foods to support your digestive power and maintain metabolism.
- Eat excessive dairy products, According to Ayurveda, dairy products are high in kapha elements. If you generally tend to use milk and cheese in your diet, opt for skimmed milk or other types of milk like; almond milk, oats milk etc. Young cheese would do better than other varieties.
- Day time naps. Naps during the day when kapha is high in nature will make you more lethargic. While naps are a blessing during other times of the year, you will benefit more from short refreshing walks during this time.
Preventing imbalances will go a long way in maintaining good health. Through proper diet, positive thinking and a good lifestyle, we can stay healthy, irrespective of the season, as long as we do not ignore the subtle signs that our body gives us.
Ayurveda also places a great amount of importance on appropriate yoga and pranayama practices that will energize you from within. We will explore this and other more simple and effective ways of balancing kapha in the upcoming workshop. Interested in learning more about how to keep yourself balanced during this season? Check out the Ayurveda Yoga workshop for kapha balance on March 11th.