Why you ask? And what is Kapha anyway? Why and how does it pertain to me, I'm a PITTA? Let me explain.
Ayurvedic medicine suggests that we are made up of elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth - and in varying quantities - that make us who we are. We all have some of each in us, as we require all 5 elements to survive. Some are a little more Vata, some are a little more Pitta. Those of us with a Kapha disposition tend to have similar traits and body build qualities, such as, wavy thick hair, large brown eyes, heavy bone structure, are super loyal to our tribe, would rather not make the decisions and are very grounded individuals - sometimes to a fault.
As with our bodies and minds, seasons are also part of the Ayurvedic health system - it's a cycle - and Ayurveda is all about routines and cycles. The seasons, each with their own qualities; Spring is wet and cool and damp but bursting with new life (K); Summer is hot and humid (P), Autumn is brisk, and cold and windy (V); Winter is cold and mobile and light and liquid (VK). It's important to think about these qualities, because we need to adjust our lives according to season if we are to maintain balance. Not just in foods we eat but in our daily activities and self-care rituals.
So, Spring is KAPHA time. The qualities of Kapha are: heavy, cool, stable, dull, dense, gross, slow, cloudy, smooth, slimy, liquid. Same goes for Spring time: cool, cloudy, damp. One concept to accept with Ayurveda is that like increases like and opposites balance. When a person is predominant Kapha, they also have these qualities - all the time - and are susceptible to developing an imbalance in Kapha during this time - the balance is tipped. A good practice to develop during this time is to bring the qualities of light, air, space and heat into your routine - be that with food, people, events and yoga practice.
With winter we require more comfort from the weather (the elements) that make us cold and wet, so most often we choose "comfort foods" to get us through - and usually put on a few extra pounds as winter is partly Kapha - Kapha is slow and heavy and we are okay with this during winter. We don't move around as much and we become more kapha like as the season drags on. But wait! There is a Spring on the horizon - and that means breaking our comfort routine for new life that will be exploding soon.
This is our transition time. Spring - images of gray cloudy skies, with small pops of color from the tulips and daffodils, wet, dampness from the winter snows... It's blooming time once again. So too, should we bloom and spring forth from our comfy cocoon of hibernation. Choosing the right foods for the seasonal transition is one of the best things you can do for maintaining balance in your own body. Choosing the right clothes to wear is equally important, as is your yoga practice.
So what are the right foods for Spring time? Luckily we live in a 4 season climate - which means every few months - foods change and variety is good. The body likes variety, so long as it remains in moderation and in season. Honestly - strawberries in December in Pennsylvania? I think not. So, here is a partial list of Springtime foods to start opting for at the super market:
Cabbage, Parsnips, Leeks, Rhubarb, Kale, Spring Greens, Radishes, Spinach, Potatoes, Garlic, Onions, Carrots, Chard, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Asparagus, Watercress and Mushrooms, Honeydew Melons, Cantalope, Pineapple, Banana, Lemon. Late Spring: Blueberries, Strawberries
Self Care tips for Spring include: Wearing a hat and light scarf to protect your ears and head from the damp, cool breezes Spring brings. This alone will help with the transition and keep congestion and headaches to a minimum. Using warm oil as body moisturizer is perfect at this time, as out skin and bodies have become severely dehydrated during the winter months - with dry heat in our homes and cars and offices, couples with the cold bitter winds of winter. Warming oil in the mornings and applying before your shower is a masterfully divine way way to boost your immune system, keep the body hydrated and it allows for much needed self-love on a cellular level. If you are feeling heavy (like Kapha) after the winter months, consider this time Spring Cleaning for your body and mind, not just your home. Gentle and Mindful - making your body and mind cleaner and stronger than ever.
Please contact me if you'd like help making your Spring routine fresh and new and actually doable. I can assist you in weight loss, nutrition recommendations, releasing the winter fatigue, and beautiful body image with yoga. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thank you.