Kapha season is here! Time for saunas, movement, massages, warming spices, green veggies, and the celebration of Spring.
Late winter to early summer is when kapha (earth+water) season dominates the air. Cold temperatures have settled in and wetness from snow or rain are on the rise (we hope so in California). As the season shifts from Vata time (cold+dry) into kapha time (cold+wet), a time to shift our diet and behaviors to live with the season and maintain a healthy balance.
Vata season, fall, was all about embracing kapha qualities. Sleeping more, moving less, and eating heavier foods to counterbalance vata qualities. Since our digestive fire tends to be stronger during vata season, we had the opportunity to acquire the nourishment that comes from eating heavier foods and slowing down. If we continue down this path, in excess, we will the increase our internal kapha qualities. Fostering the same qualities as the season will eventually lead to kapha imbalances. Such as colds, congestion, lethargy, stagnation, heaviness, water retention, and joint pain.
Seasonal imbalances occur when, instead of embracing the opposite qualities of the season, we embrace the same qualities. Eventually, the scale begins to tip in one direction, creating imbalances. All of this is easier said than done of course. I mean, who doesn’t want to continue to enjoy a hot warm milky beverage and warm grainy baked good nestled in front of a fire when it’s damp and cold outside? I know I do.
Indulging in heavy foods, hanging out, and watching old movies on a cold, rainy spring day sounds way more appealing. Once in a while its fine to indulge our imbalances. Certain days it can take alot of mental and emotional energy to ignite pitta (fire+water) dosha to get a move on. The increase in cold, damp air can be heavy and weighing.
Counterbalancing with the season’s qualities doesn’t mean giving up that warm milky beverage or almond croissant. You have to live a little…but moving them to the VERY special treat category can help prevent colds, congestions and allergic reactions to excess pollen. Maintaining the digestive fire to help prevent stagnation, foster internal heat and promote mobility and lightness. The secret is to start early, prior to the seasonal shift.
Kapha Qualities—10 keywords to counterbalance in the spring: Moist, Cold, Heavy, Static, Sticky, Soft, Cloudy, Smooth, Dull, and Slow
To Counter Balance Kapha Energy, Embrace:
- Brisk walking meditations
- Working out (excellent for Kapha dominant energy)
- Enjoying a dry sauna and even a steam
- Self-massage or treat yourself to a massage to aid circulation
- Apply sesame oil to help alleviate joint pain and stiffness
- Neti pot (help keep your nasal passages clear)
- Nasya (a natural decongestant treatment available at Ayurvedic clinics)
- Aromatherapy with scents like rosemary and eucalyptus
- Eat more pungent, astringent and bitter foods with warming carminative spices,
- Grains such as rye, dry oats, millet, corn, barley
- Fruits and vegetables that are in season
- Non-caffeinated teas throughout the day like ginger, fennel, and cinnamon (maintains the digestive fire and help keeps the channels clear)
- Eating a light dinner before 7pm
- Waking up earlier and starting your day with warm water and lemon (triggering digestion and elimination of toxins)
- Minimizing heavy foods like milk, cheese, red meats, excess oils, wheat, sugar, and sour, salty tastes, along with alcohol and cold beverages
- The idea of doing a cleanse this season
Effects of Kapha Season by Dominant Dosha:
Vata: You’re likely feeling great. This is your opposite season, and the energy in the air is helping to create a natural counterbalance. Embrace this time and kapha qualities, especially if you are still experiencing vata imbalances from the season prior.
Pitta: It could be a mixed bag. Since Pitta also contains water, you could be seeing imbalances related to water retention and feeling heavy. Embrace astringent and bitter tastes. Monitor the intake of warming spices. You need to build heat, but your season is up next, embrace cooling carminative spices to foster digestion.
Kapha: This is your season, and since like attracts like, imbalances might be around the corner or in play. Do your best to focus on embracing all things that counterbalance kapha season qualities. Who doesn’t want to spend an afternoon in the sauna after a good workout? Followed by a bowl of warm greens over quinoa.