As we move out of Vata season and into Kapha season we start to feel a heavy transition. A time when the world seems to be a little more wet and muddy. We feel pulled down and heavy, often sluggish and a little too grounded. It’s in this season that we crave Springtime, fresh ingredients, and dream of days with more sunlight. But like all seasons, Kapha season offers something for each of us.
What is Kapha?
In Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga), everything is broken down into three Doshas–Pitta, Vata, Kapha. Each Dosha provides a unique combination of qualities, both physical and energetic, that guides us in our lifestyles. You’ll find that one (sometimes two) of these Doshas are more prominent for you making them your Prakriti (prominent dosha from birth). To find your Prakriti try this Dosha test and learn more about your balance.
Kapha is one of the three Doshas and is associated with the mid-winter to mid-spring. Its qualities are wet, heavy, static, dull, cold, oily, soft, and dense. We also attribute sweet, sour, and salty flavors to this dosha (meaning those flavors will increase your kappa properties).
During this season you might notice that the continued wetness has an effect on your mind and body. You might feel more sluggish, have negative emotions, find yourself with mucus-related illnesses, or even find envy and greed making themselves known in your head. These are all signs of an excess of Kapha in your life and mean that it’s time to work on some Kapha Season balancing.
How To Find Balance in Kapha Season
Throughout the season of Kapha explore these lifestyle changes to help you find balance. For each Dosha type, your experience will be different. Those who are Kapha dominant will find that the Kapha season can be extra hard to get through and take a lot of intention and attention. While Vata Dosha’s might find relief in this wet season for a type that is often dry, however, the coldness at the beginning of the season can still be trying. As for Pitta, the cold temperatures are often a relief for you which means watching how many warming spices you eat throughout the season as your body already runs hot.
In general, here are a few lifestyle practices to incorporate during this season. Of course, pay attention to how they make you feel. Each body, and Dosha, is different and will need different balances.
What to Eat
When we think of Winter we often think of craving warm things and for good reason. You want to keep your Agni (digestive fire) alive and well and do this you’ll want warm foods, spices, and beverages. Room temperature or warmer water/tea to drink, soups, cooked vegetables, and hot meals.
In the wintertime, we feel sluggish meaning that we need an increase of energy. To get this, you’ll want to increase your protein intake which can be found in beans, tofu, chicken/turkey, and fish. To keep from the sluggish feelings think of light and warm when approaching your meals. You don’t want an overly heavy meal as it will only add to the sluggish feeling later in the day.
Warming spices that not only make you feel warm and cozy inside but support your digestion are another great way to balance Kapha. These spices include Ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, fennel, turmeric, and black pepper.
Because Kapha is known for its slower movements and sluggish nature you can be inclined to focus on movement practices that slow you down. However, this often brings an imbalance to Kapha causing you to feel more tired. Instead, balance this out with more Vinyasa practices that keep you moving but are overdoing it on cardio and energy as a Barre class might. The Ohana Mindful FLOW that combines movement with meditation and rest is a great class to add to your weekly regimen along with a Yoga FLOW class. Together these two classes will help you build energy (without overdoing it) and get you unstuck from any stagnant energy.
Wake Up Early
The times of day are also broken down into the three doshas–Kapha time is 6-10 (am or pm), Pitta time is 10-2, and Vata time is 2-6. During Kapha season it’s best to wake up before Kapha time which means getting out of bed before 6:00 am. By waking up in the Vata time you’ll find more energy and space giving you more time in your day to move through a morning routine and get into the groove of things.
Find your Balance
Conscious living means pausing to notice how we feel in our bodies, what we need, and learning about all parts of ourselves. Take some time to learn about your Dosha and how it affects you through the seasons. Then watch throughout the day as you move, eat, and sleep and see how you feel physically and emotionally. You might notice that certain foods change your mood or weigh you down. Continue to make tweaks to your daily routine in order to live your most optimal life.
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