What is the Kapha season?
Spring is a season of change, growth and transition. According to Ayurveda, late winter and spring are known as Kapha season. Kapha is one of the three Doshas, or biological energies in Ayurveda, and it’s made up of water and earth. When balanced, Kapha gives strength, structure, stamina, beauty and immunity to the body.
Kapha season qualities include:
Dampness and moisture from melting ice, snow or rain
Heaviness and stagnancy in the air
Cold and cool temperatures
In Ayurveda, it’s important to be mindful of what’s happening in the weather and environment because it can have an impact on what you’re experiencing internally. Even though your original “yogic DNA” called Prakit) will never change, the changes you notice from external circumstances can make you feel like a different person, for better or worse. In excess Kapha, the damp, cold and heavy qualities can manifest as accumulated toxins, clogging the energetic channels and lowering your immunity. This is why the beginning of spring can trigger many seasonal imbalances, such as allergies, colds, fatigue and digestive sensitivities.
How to avoid Kapha imbalances
To stay balanced, it’s helpful to adjust your diet, lifestyle and daily activities to suit each season. As mentioned before, Kapha is one of the three doshas in Ayurveda (the other two being Vata and Pitta.) When there’s too much of one dosha, it needs to be reduced, and the other two can be introduced in greater quantities to help balance it out. So, to avoid Kapha imbalances, you simply need to reduce Kapha and counteract it’s qualities by adding more qualities of Vata and Pitta into your daily regimen.
Kapha balancing qualities are:
By following the qualities above, you can help bring more balance into your daily routines, food, exercise and other self-care practices.
Below are some simple ways you can ensure to stay (or return) to a state of harmony:
Embrace the season. Know that Kapha qualities are not bad. But in excess they can cause imbalances. So, embrace Kapha season! Appreciate this chance to absorb the energy from the earth and make the most of this slower, sometimes darker season; it’s okay to slow down and be a little more introspective than normal to restore balance in your busy day to day life. We don’t want to ‘give-in’ to the Kapha energy, but we also don’t want to ‘fight it’!
Get moving! Since Kapha is heavy by nature it needs some extra movement to create stimulation and spring is the perfect time to move out some of that lethargic energy from winter. Keep it fun — move your body in new ways! Try power or hot yoga, pilates, dancing, playing a sport, going for walks, biking or joining a fitness class.
Wake up early. Just like Kapha has a season, it also has a time of day: usually around 6am - 10am in which your body is programmed to be slow. By rising before sunrise you can begin the day more energized. When you step into the Kapha time of morning, it makes getting up more difficult —hitting the snooze button might be tempting but by prioritizing waking up early you’ll be able to beat the sluggishness that comes from sleeping in too late. Adjust your bedtime around whatever wake time is right for you to ensure that you get enough (but not too much) sleep.
Adjust your diet. Kapha dosha is slow, heavy and cold so your digestion can take on these qualities during this season. In the winter months we tend to eat heavier foods. In the spring choose foods that are lighter, drier, more pungent and warming. Spring favorites include sprouts, leafy greens, asparagus and berries. Include spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and ginger. Try eating less of or eliminating foods that increase Kapha — heavy, fried, cold, fat-rich foods such as meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products and foods cooked in oil — especially in the morning and at dinner. It’s suggested to wait at least three to four hours between meal to support a healthy digestion!
Do a gentle spring cleanse. Drink warm water or tea with lemon and ginger, like this one. Both of these are heating by nature and help to release any “sticky” or “heavy” elements within your body that you may have accumulated over the winter! Sip before meals to improve digestion and remove toxins from your body. Reduce seasonal allergies and excess mucus by using a nasal “netti” pot with warm water and sea salt when you wake up.
Change it up! If you feel like you’ve gotten complacent or “stuck” in any area of your life… try seeking some variety to create inspiration! Look up a new recipe, clean out your closet and try a different style, take on a new hobby, make new friends and switch up your routine a little!
Manifest your dreams. Spring is a time for regrowth, new intentions and new ideas, so use this time to envision the specific kinds of changes that would most deeply benefit you and set specific goals for achieving your dreams. Try journaling, meditating or creating gratitude lists to help.
How do you practice staying balanced during Kapha season? I’d love to hear your thoughts and additional tips!
*Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness or other health program.