As we move through this kapha season, here are a few tips on how to maintain harmony within your body, mind and spirit during these winter months. As the cold and wetness becomes heavier in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ve likely noticed subtle internal changes that accompany this season. With any shift in seasons, there are steps you can take to stay balanced even when the weather threatens to throw you off kilter.
The kapha dosha arises from the Earth (Prthvi) and Water (apas) elements. Kapha is stored in the brain, joints, mouth, head, neck, stomach, lymph, lungs, heart and esophagus. Per Ayurveda traditions, late winter and spring are the seasons of Kapha, reflecting the qualities of wet, cold, heavy, static, dull, smooth. When Kapha increases, you may experience:
- excess mucous
- weight gain/over indulging with sweets and heavy foods
- poor circulation: cold hands and feet
- water retention
- sluggish digestion
- sluggishness / lack of vitality
- brain fog
- over attachment: unable to let go (mental/emotional constipation)
- chest colds/sinus colds
- swollen lymph glands
- excessive sleeping
Here are a few lifestyle adjustments that can invite in pacifying qualities of warmth, lightness, energy, and movement:
- Avoid sleeping past 7am.
- Stay warm and avoid dampness.
- Morning sun salutations (surya namaskar) help stimulate circulation and the digestive fires (agni).
- Neti pot.
- Avoid taking naps during the day as this can increase kapha during this season.
- Regular exercise that is vigorous in nature: running, swimming, hot yoga, vinyasa flow, or cycling.
- Colors: yellow, orange, red.
- Kapalabhati Pranayama “Breath of Fire” or Bhastrika “Bellows Breath”
- Try something new! Do something different each day or at least once a week.
- Avoid eating too much raw food. Less fats and animal proteins during this time.
- The largest meal should be at lunch time.
- To balance and reduce excess kapha use essential oils, herbs, vegetable/herbal oils and products that are dry (cypress, geranium, lemon), warm (black pepper, ginger, clove bud, cinnamon leaf) and light (citrus oils, conifer oils, eucalyptus, rosemary).
- Drop 2-3 drops of Rosemary in the palm of your hand. Rub palms together and move towards nose holding palms open. Take a few deep inhalations. Be sure to wash hands once you are complete!
More tips on how to maintain balance during winter are coming soon! #toolsforinnerpeace