21 Jul An Ayurvedic Guide to Kapha Season
If you’ve got a case of the “Winter Blues”, feeling sleepy, sluggish and depressed, you may be feeling the effects of “Kapha Season”.
The three Ayurvedic types, or Doshas, each relate to a certain combination of the five elements; Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ether. The Kapha Dosha is ruled by the elements Water and Earth. Winter, so often characterised by damp soil, moist air and heavy rain, is therefore associated with Kapha.
We’ve been focusing on Ayurvedic healing recently, with a wealth of advice on the best diet, health care and beauty tips for your Dosha. The seasonal shifts and changes around you also play a big role in Ayurvedic wellbeing. As winter transitions into spring, we experience what is known in Ayurveda as Kapha Season; this is a time where the Kapha Dosha can easily become unbalanced, excessive or aggravated.
Typical symptoms of unbalanced or excessive Kapha include:
- Colds & allergies, congestion
- Low energy, drowsiness
- Low mood & depression
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Winter weight gain
All Dosha types will be affected by seasonal cycles, and will need some adjustment to prevent a Kapha imbalance. Here are some handy, healthy tips on the best way to move through Kapha Season with your Doshas in balance:
- Avoid mucous-producing foods like dairy products, especially if you have a cold.
- Avoid cold & frozen foods or drinks; these will dampen the Agni or digestive fire.
- Stay hydrated; sip on warm water or herbal tea, with a pinch of invigorating spice like cayenne pepper, or a squeeze of lemon.
- Eat warming food that’s filling but not too heavy; a vegetable curry made with leafy greens and light, fluffy baby quinoa is the perfect winter meal.
- Enjoy fresh, light seasonal fruits; there’s plenty of citrus in season during winter.
- Avoid late-night snacks; rather enjoy a warm cup of herbal tea before bedtime.
- Try and exercise regularly if not every day; morning is the best time to boost your circulation and metabolism with exercise.
- Always warm up properly before exercising, and cool down afterwards, to avoid muscle spasms or strains.
- Yoga goes hand-in-hand with Ayurveda; talk to your instructor about the best yoga poses to pacify Kapha.
- Jogging is also a great way to get the circulation and metabolism going; just be sure to wrap up warmly before you head out.
- Be especially careful to keep your head, ears and neck warm.
- This is the perfect time to cleanse! Excessive Kapha causes congestion, be it physical, emotional or spiritual; think about the areas of your life that need de-cluttering, and clear out that congestion to let your healthy energy flow freely. Cleansing could mean clearing out your wardrobe, detoxing from sugar and carbs, or even letting go of an unhealthy relationship.
- Maintain a daily routine that’s as consistent as possible; this will help to keep your natural cycles and sleeping patterns in balance.
- Take a little time for relaxation & meditation regularly; this will help you get a sound night’s sleep. Try to wake up at the same time daily (even weekends!) to avoid oversleeping.
- Get out in the sunshine and fresh air whenever you can; if you’re stuck indoors with a really rainy winter, be sure to take a vitamin D supplement to prevent seasonal depression.
When it’s in balance, The Kapha Dosha has so many beautiful, admirable qualities. These include loyalty, strength, warmth, stability and a wonderfully nurturing, caring nature. The same goes for winter; there are so many lovely things about the season to appreciate and enjoy! Whether it’s the smell of the earth after a rainstorm, the taste of hot vegetable soup or the sound of a cracking log fire; learn to appreciate all the best things about Kapha Season, and those winter blues will simply melt away.