Updated: Mar 23
Why you need a Seasonal Routine Ayurveda works on the principle that like increases like and this also applies to the seasons. Each season brings different qualities, it may be hot, dry, cold, wet or windy and each of these qualities either aggravate or pacify the Doshas.
If you have a Kapha constitution or imbalance, it is important to know that cool, wet and static weather is the most aggravating and warm, dry, mobile weather is pacifying. This generally means you will have to very strict with your Kapha pacifying foods and routine during late winter and Spring as this is the most likely time for Kapha related problems to develop or be aggravated further. Read Introducing Kapha Dosha to recap on all things Kapha. Organs and conditions aggravated by Kapha dosha When Kapha is out of balance areas that are most commonly effected are;
Sinus and/or chest congestion
Feelings of tiredness and heaviness
Low appetite and sluggish metabolism
Excess Mucous and or saliva
High cholesterol and/or blood sugar
Allergies and hay fever
Note: Just because it is a Kapha aggravating season does not mean you will only get a Kapha related condition! This is determined by your UNIQUE constitution... Some doshas are actually balanced by the cooler damp weather and therefore will not need to follow the winter routine as strictly.
How to balance Kapha
Reduce your fat intake and avoid fast and fried foods
Avoid iced drinks and sweets
Reduce intake of water (especially if your constitution is Kapha, not required if your constitution is Vata).
Wake early (before dawn), sleep less, and avoid sleeping in the day
Get plenty of physical exercise every day
Perform activities that stimulate and energize the body and mind, and build physical and mental heat
Allow for excitement and challenge and variety in life to break away from stagnation and clinging to old ways of thinking and behaving
Keep warm and dry
Udwartanam or friction massage and dry body brushing are helpful and stimulating, especially if you are prone to cellulite.
Dhumapana or herbal smoke inhalation which is particularly helpful with sinus congestion
Kapha accumulates in the body during late winter and spring. So at these times of year you feel more lethargic and heavy so aim to be more active, keep warm, and keep food warm, light and dry.
Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes reduce Kapha. Sweet, sour and salty tastes increase Kapha and are best kept to a minimum.
Kapha has the properties of cold, heavy, oily, smooth and slow. Therefore the best way to balance excess Kapha is to choose food and lifestyle activities that are warming, light, drying, rough and quick.
Using spices and herbs daily in cooking is a great way to promote health, here some options for pacifying Kapha; Turmeric, cloves, coriander, Black Pepper, Cumin, Nutmeg, Garlic, Cinnamon, Asafoetida, Mustard, Ginger, Black Sesame, Honey, Saffron, Dill, Fennel, Curry Leaf, Honey, Sesame Oil, Castor Oil, Mustard Oil.
Many grains increase Kapha (millet and quinoa are OK), all nuts increase Kapha, all oils increase Kapha except mustard oil, all dairy increases Kapha. Kapha should avoid all sweeteners except honey. Avoid condiments except mustard (no vinegar, salt, olives, chocolate or mayonnaise).
Kapha balancing by pictures
Rise early and exercise, break a sweat, increase the heat in the body, sauna's are great! Eat lots of bitter leafy greens with spices and start dry body brushing to stimulate and increase movement.
Essential oils that can help to balance Kapha; When selecting oils to support you remember that each oil or oil blend serves a different purpose and supports the body in different ways. Some oils that are helpful to balance Kapha in the body are;
Stimulating oils such as Cypress, Peppermint, Pine, Eucalyptus
Spices and herbs like Cardamom, Ginger, Fennel, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Thyme, Black Pepper, Juniper, Rosemary, Basil, Clove
Citrus oils such as Lemon, Lime, Lemongrass
Resins such as Frankincense, Myrrh
Blends: Raven, DiGize, En-R-Gee, Aromaease, Clarity and R.C.
To learn more about essential oils and book your FREE Wellness Consult get in touch.
Yoga Asana Kapha is a constitution that can easily gain weight, suffer from feelings of lethargy, tiredness and a sluggish digestive system. In order to bring about balance and prevent aggravation of Kapha dosha always choose strong poses and work at a pace that is vigorous, warming and stimulating.
Those with Kapha dominant in their constitution can be slow to start and lack motivation - they need that little bit of a nudge to get up and at 'em! But once they start they tend to have great endurance. Keep this in mind when exercising, kapha needs a challenge, push a little harder, extend yourself, when Miss Kapha tries to tell you you've done enough for today or you deserve the day off.
It is important to note that the main sites of Kapha are chest and stomach so its great to include yoga poses that open the chest (such as back bends) and stimulate the stomach (such as twists) during your practice. Inversions are warming so also wonderful to incorporate into you Kapha kicking routine. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) Sun salutation is a great sequence to start the day, Kapha constitutions should work through the series at a vigorous pace and repeat up to 20 times. This will increase warmth, improve flexibility and focus the mind. After the sun salutation you may add some other poses of your choice.
Pranayama (Breathing Exercise) to balance Kapha
Pranayama is a branch of yoga that involves controlling the breath, naturally the most beneficial pranayama for balancing Kapha are those that are warming, invigorating and stimulate digestion.
Here are a few Pranayama to consider;
Forehead Shinning Breath (Kaphalabhati) – generates heat, adds lustre to the face, and improves digestion and weight loss.
Right Nostril Breathing (Pingala) – Increase energy focus and clarity as well as being warming.
Ujjayi (Ocean Breath) – detoxifying, removes phlegm, good for thyroid, controls snoring, enhances the capacity of the digestive and respiratory systems.
Bellows Breath (Bhastrika) – Invigorating, stimulates digestive system and metabolism and may assist with weight loss.
Live Wisely, Abbie x
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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. It is for informational/educational purposes only, and provides Ayurvedic insight about how you can best support your body through seasonal changes.
Always consult your health care professional.