Based on ancient texts called the Vedas, Ayurveda is a comprehensive healthcare system from India. It is known as the “Science of Life.” Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of creating and maintaining health through proper diet, daily and seasonal routines, appropriate exercise and lifestyle. Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and utilizes the same techniques like asana, meditation and pranayama. Its focus is on preventing the imbalances that eventually lead to disease. Health and disease have two locations: the physical body and the mind. By taking proactive steps towards perfect health before symptoms appear, we can often prevent illness.
In Ayurveda, an individualized, multidimensional approach is taken based on unique mind-body constitution. The doshas are the three energies that govern all the functions of the body. When a person understands his/her unique mix of the three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), he/she can adjust diet and lifestyle accordingly to maintain balance and achieve optimal health.
Late winter and early spring are considered Kapha Season in Ayurveda. This means that we can adjust our daily lifestyle choices to find balance in body and mind. When one quality is present (for example, cold), we create balance by adding the opposite quality (hot).
Kapha dosha is dominated by the water and earth elements. If you mix water and earth, you create mud. It makes sense that kapha energy is heavy, sticky, lubricated, steady, cold and nurturing. Just like the fertile mud gives rise to beautiful plants and flowers, kapha energy stabilizes us for growth.
6 Tips for Kapha Season
1. Exercise every day! This is especially important for people with a Kapha-dominant constitution. Walking, swimming, biking, running and yoga are all good choices. Since we remove ama (toxins) through movement and sweat, this one tip will make a huge difference.
2. Add some spice to your life. Sprinkle cardamom, wasabi, cayenne, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and mustard seed on your food to add heat and spark agni, the all-important digestive fire. Foods that are dry, warm and spicy clear congestion and keep things moving.
3. Sip warm water. Warm foods and drinks are easier to digest and help keep us regular. Consider warm water with 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp raw honey for a detoxifying tea.
4. Breath freely by using a neti-pot. Since Kapha dominates the chest and upper stomach regions of the body, it’s wet and sticky nature causes mucus to get stuck. The neti-pot helps flush out mucus and seasonal allergens.
5. Favor light fruits like apples, pears, pomegranates and apricots. Avoid heavy fruits like bananas, avocado, pineapple, orange, dates and figs.
6. Declutter! Kapha-dominate people tend to collect things. This type of material “congestion” weighs us down. Instead, spend a few minutes each day recycling papers, donating clothes or cleaning things up. It will help you feel free and light in mind and body.
Incorporate these tips to breathe freely and enjoy balance during this beautiful season.