Is anyone feeling lethargic, a little sad, unmotivated, heavy with maybe some sinus congestion? *raise your hands* Well if your hand is up, I have good news.
It's not you!! You're NOT crazy. It's just the start of spring, or kapha season! I think you'll enjoy the simple Ayurvedic tips to transition into spring below.
Before the buds sprout lime leaves, before flowers peek above the grass (or snow) and before we get all springy and happy, kapha season is cold, wet, cloudy and heavy.
Kapha season dampens our agni, which can give rise to disease.
The biggest difference between vata season (fall and winter) and kapha season is the wetness, the damp quality. The coolness/cold will still be there since the "cold" quality is common for both vata and kapha doshas, but it will become more damp, wet, humid vs. the dry cold.
This wet heaviness can make us feel a little "blah" at first. So what do we do when we feel "blah"?
As good Ayurvedic students, we do the opposite! Dry out! Warm it up! Spice it up! Dance! Clean your closet! Bring in bright colors!
When the seasons begin to change, we have to change too — because we are a small part of the bigger picture.
The larger nature, like weather, drives the smaller nature like trees, plants, and us! So we need to practice the right seasonal diet and lifestyle recommendations to stay balanced.
Kapha season foods will be dry, light and warm. Agni dampens this time of year. Notice, dampen — it gets wet and heavy.
This week, begin weaning off the very heavy winter comfort foods like breads, fried anything, thick sauces, overly rich or sweet foods, and dairy. It's time for dry, moisture-free and fat-free foods.
Honey is kapha's number one food! Drizzle honey on wheat toast for a perfect kapha breakfast. It is also recommended to eat foods that have been roasted over a fire — so bring out the bbq early! An electric stove top is not the same — it's fake fire.
It's also important to add spices and spiciness into meals as a way of bringing in heat.
Bring on the cardio! Sweat! Release water and dampness and stoke digestive fire! Bring up the heat from the inside out! Kapha is watery/oily so we need to release excess water and dry up by moving our bodies!
Make moving FUN — it's spring afterall! Nature comes back to life this time of year so bring the LIFE into your workouts and make it jazzy. Some ideas include Zumba or dance class, power yoga, power walking or jogging, rowing, biking.
If you felt stagnant in winter, get an accountability partner to invigorate you and keep you accountable for sticking to fun workouts.
Vatas and pittas will really appreciate the cool moisture in the air during kapha season! Kaphas might notice more oiliness and clogs in their pores, so again, it's about drying out.
This is the time of year for dry brushing and vigorous massage! Kaphas need to break up and loosen stagnant and heavy tissues that have tightened during vata season. Kaphas can dry brush all year round, but this practice is especially helpful now. It helps promote circulation, increases friction (heat!), and breaks up heavy tissues.
Kapha's natural tendency is to fill spaces and build, build, build. The counterbalance to that is to make more space!
So isn't it kinda cool that we all feel like spring cleaning this time of year?! It's perfect therapy, so go ahead! Clean out your office, pantry, linen closet, your kids' closets. Whatever feels like it's been stagnant or overfull for a while, clean it up, organize it. Just crank the tunes and get it done.
Emotional clutter will also weigh down a kapha. Often times a kapha will keep material stuff as a symbol of the emotional stuff they are not ready to let go of.
Are you doing that? Does your closet or garage full of stuff you don't use just symbolizing old emotions that are cluttering up space to move, create, love, and inspire?
Practice: Take a moment to write down any negative emotions or existing situations that you need to let go of. Then write down why you're holding on to them. If there is a lesson in there for you, complete the lesson. Yes even if it's hard. Express yourself if need be to clear it out of your space. And then, let it go.
If there is not a lesson and these emotions are just hanging around from old experiences, let them go. Set yourself free. We need to be able to discern from real problems and heavy emotions today vs. the old stuff. The old stuff happened a long time ago. Let those ties go and you will feel so much lighter.
When we give a little of our talents, our perspective, or our time to contribute to the greater good we feel LIGHT in heart and spirit. Kapha season is all about lightening up, not holding tight and collecting things.
So as we release old physical clutter and old heavy emotions, we can take it to another level and GIVE some of what we have to others.
Figure out what that might be for you. You can donate some of that cluttery stuff, which makes us feel good. Someone else could desperately need that thing that we are ready to let go of. So don't hog it, move it on to a new home and feel awesome about that. Think about it this way: It's not about you losing something, it's about them gaining something — how awesome is that? We all love to help others, so go for it!
Someone else would love to have that old coffee maker. And someone in your community would love to have your help in some way. And because we are universally connected, when we give to others, we actually give to ourselves.
I totally feel this one. I grew up in Wisconsin and winter could last 5-6 months sometimes! If you are not regularly scheduling a spring vacation to a warm, sunny place, figure that out in the next couple months. It will make a world of difference.
Kapha season can cause some of us to feel soggy and blue. So get out of dodge! Travel somewhere inspiring to dry out and warm up. Bring the sun! Lightening up that kapha seasonal load has such a positive benefit on our emotions, mood and bodies!
The challenge here is that kapha-type people do not like to go on adventure, they would rather stay put. So really, this is good therapy for kapha to venture out and seek what they need.
In fact, I've recommended the desert as a therapy for my clients before! Get to a beach or desert, somewhere gorgeous. Delight your eyes. See space and nature. Note: A cold dense forest would not be the right choice for a spring break. Get to the warm sun.
If you are wanting a happier entry into and throughout spring, chose 1 of these recommendations to work on this week.
Reading about Ayurveda is awesome. Learning about it is more awesome.
But transformation doesn't happen unless we act! Tell us what you'll work on in the comments below. And start bringing Ayurveda to life!
If you never seem to have enough oomph for the day or are feeling burnt out, these are my tried and true ways to get your energy back!
They are easy, within your own power, and won't cost you anything but a little discipline.
Life is too short to go through our days energy-less. Regain your gusto with these practices.