I can’t believe that we’re almost done with an entire month of 2021. So much has already happened this year in these last few weeks. There have been protests; a new president entered office; the pandemic rages on, but we’re getting increasing access to the vaccine worldwide. I don’t know about you, but I’m already tired. This sluggish feeling can actually be a symptom of Kapha imbalance, one of the three doshas in Ayurveda.
Kapha is categorized as cold, dull, heavy, smooth, moist, static, oily, and soft. As we enter the deep winter in February and begin to experience the warmth of early spring, we also enter Kapha season. Besides eating foods that increase too much Kapha, overindulgence or overconsumption can also cause an imbalance of the doshas. We live in a time where everything is at our fingertips. This can be extremely beneficial sometimes, but if we’re not mindful, it can create overconsumption and lead us to be overwhelmed and exhausted.
Over the next few weeks, begin to shift your routine from balancing airy and turbulent Vata to getting heavy and static Kapha to get up and move. As always, ask your physician before trying or cutting out any foods or herbs. I also recommend doing your own research if you’d like to learn more!
- Just as there are seasons for each dosha, there are also times of the day. To keep Kapha balanced, it is recommended to get up before Kapha time of day, which starts at 6 a.m. and continues until 10 a.m. I know this is very early for most of us, so I recommend to start getting up right at 6 a.m. at first and then getting up earlier as you get accustomed to it.
- Coffee and (caffeinated) tea lovers rejoice! Kapha season is the perfect time of year for your favorite warm beverage that will break through the icy cold and sluggishness.
- Moist and heavy Kapha shows itself in our body through mucus, which can become imbalanced during allergy and flu season. To help balance this, consider adding a tongue scraper and a neti pot to your morning routine.
- With Kapha making us feel slow and sluggish, invigorate yourself for the day by scheduling your daily workout in the morning after waking up. Good activities to do during this season are cardio, HIIT, invigorating yoga practices, or a fun dance session that will get your blood pumping!
- Starting with hydration, try drinking warm or hot water this cold season. Herbal teas will also be excellent supplements! If you don’t like warm water, drink room temperature water, but avoid ice.
- Avoid fried, overly oily, or excessively sweet foods during this time. This doesn’t mean you have to completely cut them out; as always, balance is key.
- Oatmeal, millet, or buckwheat porridges are great breakfast options that will warm you up and give you energy for the day.
- Bitter nuts and lighter fruits like apples and pears are great snack options.
- For your other meals, light and warm are the attributes to aim for. Vegetable soups, lighter curries, and warm grain bowls with lots of leafy greens are some options!
- Finally, add lots of spice to your meals! Seasonings like cloves, chili, garlic, and ginger will add a lot of that needed warmth to your body.
Here are some herbs that help stimulate the body and help with the Kapha imbalance from the season. You don’t have to use all of them! I love to make a nourishing broth from garlic, ginger, and turmeric that I mix with some miso. It’s absolutely delicious! You can make these into a tea or add them to your food; let me know how you like to take them!
- Black pepper
- If you like to use an oil diffuser, I recommend these scents to help invigorate you: eucalyptus, rosemary and, sage.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself and your body. If you want to sleep in this morning or get a delicious pastry from your favorite cafe, just do it! Ayurveda isn’t a strict science that dictates precisely how we must live our lives. Depending on your own personal dosha, you might not feel too unbalanced this season. Kapha’s might have a bit of a more challenging time, but if (for example) you have a large Vata imbalance, this season will help ground you and might be a really pleasant time for you. Listen to your body and the earth. Our bodies will help guide us to what they need, and the earth nourishes us with foods each season that are good for us during that time. Sending you all my love!
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