Simple Heat Therapies For Kapha

kapha seasonal balance Apr 17, 2018
 

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Heat therapy has many benefits but for today we'll address is specifically for kaphas and/or springtime. You could also use the ideas in fall or winter when the weather is cooler. Overall, if the weather is cool, we need to bring heat into our bodies to keep our digestive fire strong.

The biggest thing about springtime is that, agni or digestive fire really starts to dampen.

So, our job is to keep that nice and strong and fiery because we want to digest our food property. If we don't digest our food properly, it can give way to all kinds of different disease because the old food stuff goes into different places of our body and can cause problems. We want to always make sure that we digest our food well.

3 ways to use heat therapy for spring

#1 Spices

One of the ways we can bring in heat therapy is internally through spices in our food.

Ginger. We can start to add things like, ginger to our meals. Ginger tea is so awesome! Especially awesome with ginger tea is a little bit of honey because, honey is kaphas number one food. Honey dries and scrapes and heats, so the combination of a little bit of honey in a ginger tea, is so good and perfect. It's best on an empty stomach. Might even be the best time to do it in the morning instead of like a breakfast.

If you're feeling heavy or full from the night before, you can skip breakfast and just have a ginger tea with some honey — until you start to feel hungry at around lunchtime. 

Cumin — great for vegetarian tacos! Cook up some cumin and chili powder with  black beans — it kinda tastes like a little taco mix. Maybe add some zucchini or peppers or other vegetables, put it on a little corn tortilla. This is an awesome meal for kaphas! And bonus, it's helping increase digestive fire. 

Kaphas are cold, wet, oily, static and heavy. And so, the foods for kaphas (and springtime) should be light and dry and spicy.

Fennel is a great digestive. You know like at Indian restaurants, they have the little fennel candies that you can eat after your done with your meal? There's a reason because, fennel is really good for digestion.

Use fennel bulb shavings and add to veggie side dishes, rice bowls, veggie tacos, anything where you want a little crunch. You can also roast (dry heat! great for kapha) the fennel and add to any dish you like!

Or try a fennel tea. Just take a teaspoon or so of fennel seeds, put it in a teapot and boil it for 10 or 15 minutes. Strain it and sip the tea. Have it after a meal or in between a meal as well. It tastes a little sweet. Vatas and pittas can use fennel also, because it is tridoshic.

Black pepper is another one. So awesome for kapha especially because it is heating and scraping and works on the chest, which is helpful for wet coughs, asthma and congestion. 

 

#2 Dry Heat in Our Environment

A sauna would work! You would like, run to the gym down the street, get a trial membership and go sit in the sauna for a month. Or go to the desert during spring break. Warm humidity is not going to feel as good because it's too damp. Get some place dry. Or, if you've got a fireplace, start a fire to bring in some of that dry heat to counterbalance the wetness and the raininess of spring. In a pinch, you could always try a space heater too.

You can also do a vigorous massage (friction creates heat!).

Now, this is not necessarily an oil massage like we might do for vatas or for pittas because, kaphas are already oily — they need dry heat, dry friction.

Take a very light oil (or skip the oil and use a loofa in the shower) if you chose like, safflower oil or sunflower oil and you can put it on your body. And do a nice massage {watch video demo}.

All pressure goes towards the heart and then you release pressure as you go down. So, you can do that along your arms and your legs. And, you can massage your feet. You'll feel nice and invigorated, warm, and ready to move!

#3 Sweat

Sweat is the result of internal heat increasing and then expelling excess water. In Ayurveda, sweat is a waste product. So, it's important for us to sweat regularly especially, kaphas cause kaphas are made of water and earth. So, they have the danger of getting overly watery and heavy, which can cause problems for them.

So, kaphas need to sweat on a regular basis, daily is recommended. Sweating will release some of the water and the waste leaving kaphas feeling so much lighter and warmer, too!

Overall, heat is not just warming the body, but heat actually, dries it out. Like, if you think about putting a piece of clothing on a clothing line, it will dry far faster if it's in the sun versus in the shade.

So, heat is useful for kapha in two ways:

1) It is heating/warming which they need cause they're cold.

2) The heat brings a dryness which is good because kaphas are oily/wet. 

So, these are three ways you can use heat therapy to stay balanced in spring. You can use internal spices. You can get to a dry, warm environment. Or, exercise and sweat. Bonus points if you can do all three especially, during springtime!

You're going to feel so light and amazing! If you feel a difference, I want to know what your tried and your comments below. Feel free to ask me any questions too!

Keep bringing Ayurveda to life!
Monica B.

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