Late winter/early spring is a time of thaw and rains that brings on cool, moist conditions. According to Ayurveda, these exacerbate the Kapha constitution, bringing on sluggishness and phlegm in the respiratory system. I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of snuggling around the fire and avoiding the damp chill. Perhaps you’ve been overdoing it on the comfort foods and the home video nights. This is a typical slump we experience as we edge into Kapha season. We may have cabin fever, and 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 regeneration of spring.
Balancing with Foods
Like the environment of this time, 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. Bitter or astringent greens like arugula, spinach and fenugreek can also be helpful.
Balancing through Yoga
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. Ujjai pranayama during practice is also warming and clarifying.
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. Backbends like Bow and Camel followed by Cat or Downward Dog can really uplift the energy and create openness in the area of the lungs.
Why not start with just two rounds of Kapalabhati and two rounds of the sun salutation starting tomorrow!! Or join us on Akhanda Yoga Online for specialized sequences to balance Kapha Dosha! With only 15 – 20 minutes of targeted practice, you’ll be feeling much less inertia and have more energy to beat the cabin fever, get out of the house and make some plans with friends.