What is the Kapha season?
According to Ayurveda, the latter half of winter and spring are considered the Kapha season. It’s not the calendar year which defines the Kapha season, but the qualities of the atmosphere.
Kapha season qualities include
Dampness and moisture from melting ice, snow or rain
Heaviness and stagnancy in the air
Cold and cool temperatures
These environmental factors influence the human system by increasing the same qualities in our minds and bodies. The damp, cold and heavy qualities manifest as accumulated toxins, clogging the energetic channels and lowering our immunity. This is why the onset of spring can trigger many seasonal imbalances, such as allergies, colds, fatigue and digestive sensitivities.
How to avoid Kapha imbalances
Kapha is one of the three Doshas, or energetic humours in Ayurveda, and they constitute everything in the universe. When there’s excess of one Dosha, it needs to be reduced, and the other two can be introduced in greater quantities to mitigate the excess imbalance. We call Ayurveda “the common sense science” because the fundamental logic behind wellness is quite simple: to avoid Kapha imbalances, we just need to reduce Kapha and counteract its qualities by adding more qualities of Vata and Pitta into our daily regimen.
Kapha balancing qualities
Following the qualities above, we can bring more dry, light, warm and invigorating energies into our daily routines, food, exercise and other self-care practices. Here are some simple ways to do so:
Try rising at or before sunrise to beat the Kapha time of day. Sleep intrinsically possesses the Kapha Dosha, so when we sleep into the Kapha time of morning, which is after sunrise, our Kapha levels automatically rise. This makes getting up and going more difficult – not just physically out of bed, but for all the body’s systems.
Avoid heavy foods, opt for lighter ones
During the fall and winter we need heavier foods to help ground and nourish us through the harsh Vata season. But come Kapha season, these heavy foods will overburden our system. Because Kapha is still a cold season, we still want to maintain warmth. Light and warm are the keywords, such as vegetable soups highlighting leafy greens. Try introducing more warming spices like cinnamon, mustard seed and chili.
Amp up your workout routine
Kapha is marked by heaviness and stagnancy, both of which we can mitigate with higher energy activities: aerobic workouts, power Yoga, Pilates, dance – anything which gets the heart rate pumping. Beginning the day with an invigorating workout and a sweat is the ideal form of activity in the Kapha season, though generally increasing activity levels in general will be beneficial.
Perform a spring cleanse
The transition of the season to spring signals “cleansing time” in Ayurveda. Not only is a cleanse beneficial for eliminating excess Kapha, the season’s elements actually support the cleansing process. An Ayurvedic cleanse includes a combination of dietary guidelines, herbal formulation and supplements to enhance digestion and support toxin removal, therapeutic purgation and rejuvenation techniques.