Patterson Creek at Night

Cabin Fever – Balancing Kapha Dosha

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of snuggling around the fire and avoiding the freezing rain or slushiness of the mid-winter thaw we’ve been having. Perhaps you’ve been overdoing it on the comfort foods and the home video nights. This is a typical slump we get into towards the end of winter as we edge into Kapha season (late winter-early spring). We may have cabin fever, but not enough initiative to get out and do anything about it. All of the hunkering down and Vata pacifying we’ve been doing since late fall are accumulating, and now we need to import some fresh prana and up the motivation to kickstart the new season.

Snow on Cedars

Like the environment right now, Kapha is cool and moist, causing phlegm. Kappa can make us feel slow, heavy and homey or lethargic. One of the best antidotes to an excess of Kapha is pungent foods like garlic or mustard seed and invigorating spices or teas like ginger or clove.

Kapha is also balanced very well by pranayama, which is drying and warming. In this season, it is wonderful to start the day with a burst with kapalabhati or bhastrika, banishing the old, stale energy and bringing in fresh, uplifting prana. After the past months of cocooning a bit more, the sun salutation will get you going and is a simple way to add some movement to your day. Why not start with just two rounds of Kapalabhati and two rounds of the sun salutation starting tomorrow!! In only ten or fifteen minutes, you’ll be feeling much less inertia and have more energy to beat the cabin fever, get out of the house and make some plan with friends.

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