Spring, or Kapha season, features the cold and heavy qualities of Kapha dosha (earth + water) so we must modify our diet and lifestyle to match the season just as nature around us does. Kapha season runs typically from February to May but knowing the qualities helps us determine the right actions to take and when. The predominant qualities associated with Kapha and late winter/early spring are: moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static.
The golden principle of Ayurveda is “like increases like and opposites reduce” so we use things such as our diet– foods to increase and foods to avoid, daily routines– meditation, yoga postures, exercise, self-care, and the use of basic herbs and spices– ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon to balance the effects of an increased or depleted dosha.
We know from this ancient science that when we live in sync with nature, we live healthier lives. Ayurveda’s translation of a healthy person is: “A person who has maintained his or her body constitution (dosha) experiences balanced functions of the three doshas, balanced digestion (agni), nourished tissues (dhatus) and proper excretions (malas) as well as clear thoughts, sharp senses, and a peaceful mind.”
Below are some recommendations to keep in mind throughout the remainder of this Kapha season:
Diet should be comprised of food and drinks with hot, dry, and light qualities to counter the cool, moist, and heavy qualities of kapha.
Drink warm water
Eat more baked, broiled, or grilled warm foods
Avoid cheeses, ice creams, and yogurts
Add pungent spices
Eat more vegetables
Cut down on sweets. Sweet, sour, and salty tastes aggravate kapha so they should be limited.
Favor pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes to reduce kapha.
*Tip: Spring is allergy season so avoiding cold drinks and adding more spices in food is key.
Drinks that use ginger, calamus, clove, and cinnamon are good, especially in warm teas.
A favorite kapha balancing tea recipe: 4 cups water, 1T ground cinnamon sticks, 1/4tsp ground turmeric, 1tsp fresh grated ginger, 1T of sugar or rice syrup to sweeten (optional)
*Heat water in a pot, add crushed cinnamon sticks and turmeric powder, boil for 3 minutes. Add sweetener and grated ginger and boil for 2 more minutes. Strain and serve hot. (If using honey to sweeten, add last after water has been removed from heat as not to cook it)
Massage and body oil therapies should be done to improve circulation and lymph drainage with warming oils like mustard and sesame oils when it’s cold or coconut and jojoba oil when it’s warm. Follow up your oil massage with a dry herbal powder such as haritaki or ginger.
Yoga and pranayama practices that are stimulating and energizing are great for this season. Poses (asanas) such as sun salutations, shoulder stand, boat pose, floor bow, and camel pose can be practiced and additionally, Bhastrika pranayam, also known as bellows breath. All of these will stimulate your lungs and improve the upper respiratory system.
Sweat daily. (Swedana) This is a key component to keeping kapha balanced. (Sounds like a perfect time to schedule your sauna session at Coulee Health!)
Avoid daytime sleep.
Dress in bright, warm colors like yellow, gold, and orange.
If you would like to know more about these concepts, discover your body constitution, and dig deeper into creating your personal path to health, book your Ayurvedic Consultation now by clicking here or by calling us at 608-612-0777.
Kaitlin Gelbmann LMT, E-RYT 200, AWC