Cool and wet—spring is the season of the kapha dosha. If you nurture your mind and body correctly, it can also be a season of natural detoxification, renewal, and rejuvenation. If not, the sluggish, heavy kapha in the body can increase causing colds, mucus, and allergies.
You can harmonize yourself with spring’s inherent energies by following these four Ayurvedic tips.
Consider eliminating ice cubes during spring. Both kapha dosha and vata dosha are cold and can be at play during the spring. Following the principle of like increases like, cold drinks can aggravate the already increased doshas. Instead, sip on warm water and herbal tea.
The same guideline applies to food, so try to eat your food warm. Let your food get to room temperature before eating it and don’t eat it straight from the fridge.
As kapha dosha is primarily seated in the chest, spring yoga should focus around heart-opening poses. Bring a little backbend into postures such as Warrior I pose, Reverse Warrior, and Crescent Lunge.
Shine the heart upward in traditional backbend postures such as Cobra pose, Fish pose, Bridge pose, Bow pose, and Camel pose. Stimulating pranayama is great for spring yoga too; practices such as kapalabhati and bhastrika help the body to detoxify.
This is the time for fun, playful Vinyasa flow classes—especially if your natural constitution is kapha dosha. Challenge yourself with unusual sequences. As a general rule, an upbeat, lively practice with a lot of Sun Salutations brings the lightness that the mind and body crave during this time of year.
Morning yoga is always a good idea, but it is especially helpful in the spring. Each dosha becomes dominant two times each day and exerts its influence on the body and mind.
Kapha dosha time is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., meaning that practicing yoga within these hours can help to balance the sluggishness of kapha and grants energy throughout the rest of the day.
Being light and playful helps to balance out kapha’s slow, sluggish, downward qualities. This can be lightness in exercise, such as replacing a monotonous gym workout with a Bollywood dance class. It can be lightness in relationships by socializing and reconnecting with long-lost friends. You can even be playful in your routine by not necessarily abandoning your healthy daily rhythms, but inviting in newness and freshness.
Digestion is naturally at its strongest in winter. The body fires up its agni or digestive fire to combat the cold weather, meaning you can better handle heavy foods such as desserts and cheese. But as weather warms with spring, the digestive fire begins to die down. Spring food choices should be aligned with this natural phenomenon.
Someone whose health is fully intact will intuitively be guided toward the foods that bring balance. Your desire for heavy, oily foods decreases in the spring, and instead you’ll begin to crave salads, greens, and vegetables because the body knows when it’s time to detox.
Come spring, choose foods that are light and easy to digest. Shop at the farmer’s market to take advantage of all that Mother Nature has provided to us such as kale, baby greens, spinach, and chard. Bring lentils and mung beans into your diet to benefit from their astringent taste, this helps to dry up excess kapha dosha.
Eat less yogurt, cheese, and heavy sweets because these foods tend to clog the subtle channels of the body and counteract the body’s natural desire to cleanse and detox. Think light, warm, and playful for a healthy spring.