6 Ways to Spring Forward During Kapha Season
The changing of the seasons has arrived with the Spring Equinox and the start of Daylight Savings Time, and I’m ready to change, too. I can’t wait to throw off my heavy jacket, extra layers, and the frozen sluggishness of winter. Spring’s burst of fresh energy helps to continue any New Year’s resolution, and we all could use a little rebalancing of our doshas. These are my top six ways to do just that at the end of this Kapha season.
Seasonal Diet – Like Kapha season the Kapha dosha is cold, heavy, dense, and oily, which means the diet necessary to pacify this dosha will be pungent (spicy), bitter, light, dry, and warm. These include foods like kale, alfalfa sprouts, lemon and lime, and quinoa. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself, though; the list of Kapha-reducing foods is excitingly varied and long. Need inspiration? Check out these delicious, balancing Ayurvedic recipes.
Spices – Not only are spices and seasonings a great way to energize what you eat and incorporate new flavors into any dish, they also have specific effects on your body’s digestion and overall health. I use these wonderful, Kapha-pacifying spices in my meals: ginger, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric.
Self-Massage – A fantastic way to combat the wet, oily quality of Kapha season while also stimulating your lymphatic system to remove toxins is “dry brushing” massage, also known as Udgarshana massage. I also massage my skin with essential oils, particularly those specific to balancing my Kapha. My favorites are clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, which all help to keep my skin healthy during the last few weeks of the dry, cold season.
Sleep – Because of the Kapha season’s heavy, slow, and cold tendencies, it’s particularly important now not to give in to the temptation to sleep more. Even though it’s officially spring, I still find it a little harder to energize myself now than I do during the summer. Going to bed reasonably early and waking up early helps with this. I try to get to bed no later than 10pm and wake up around 5am, aiming to sleep no more than seven hours. If this isn’t possible for you, at the very least, try not to take any naps.
Exercise – The world around us is slowly waking to new life, warmth, and longer days. But it happens gradually, as does our transition from the Kapha season. Getting our bodies moving is incredibly important for balancing the slow heaviness of the Kapha dosha, but it doesn’t need to be so vigorous it wears you out completely. Light aerobic and cardio exercises, like swimming, hiking, or jogging, are perfect for a Kapha-dominant dosha. Even if you find yourself aligning more with Pitta or Vatta, there are plenty of great ways to get moving, especially if you can do it outside in the fresh spring air.
Meditation – Whether I’m going through a more sedentary phase or am energized and moving, I find meditation so important to balancing both my body and my mind. If you already have a seated, quiet meditation practice, stick with it and enjoy! If you don’t (or even if you’re looking for ways to spice things up), take a look at a few of my favorite ways to meditate this spring. Some of them might surprise you.
Balancing our Kapha doshas is a surprisingly beneficial way to celebrate the bright freshness and renewal of spring. Remember to eat warm, spiced foods, sleep less and wake early, and invigorate yourself with outdoor exercise and mindful meditation. And if you can’t find the time to incorporate these spices into your meals, you can always find your turmeric, cinnamon, and other Kapha-balancing ingredients in our candies. A little sweet indulgence after all your hard work goes a long way.