Understanding Kapha Dosha
Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, is a critical part of the practice. It is based in the premise that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm. There there is an intelligent organizing principle to the universe, and we are an integral part of the fabric of life. It teaches us to respect nature and look for the natural world within ourselves. It shows up as the 5 elements – air, water, fire, earth, and space. As we enter into springtime, we enter the season of Kapha Dosha. this is the imbalance of water and earth. Think of melting snow – which has the qualities of heavy, slow, cold, smooth. Kapha governs stability and structure, and is the substance of the human body, from the bones to the organs to the fatty molecules (lipids) that support the body. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness, and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion, and resistance to healthy change.
“We can’t talk about our own health without understanding our place in our environment, because in order to fulfill our potential we have to live in the context of our surroundings.
We have to know our place in the ecosystem of which we are a part, and this means living ‘consciously’: being aware of nature and how it affects us and how we, in turn, affect nature.”
Aligning with the Rhythms of Nature
Now that we understand Kapha a little, let’s talk about creating balance in the body and mind. It is important to practice Dinacharya and Ritucharya – daily and seasonal routines. One of the prevalent tenets in Ayurveda is the fact that like increases like. For example, if you are suffering from allergies with an abundance of mucus (often a Kapha imbalance or abundance of ama or toxins) and you eat a bowl of ice cream – you will see more mucus. The same goes for feeling sluggish or dull and eating a couple of slices of pizza. Think how differently you feel if you eat a light meal of quinoa or sauteed kale. That may sound awful to you, but you get the idea. If the qualities of Kapha are cold, heavy, dense, think of counteracting that with warm, light, and heating. This goes for foods, drinks, activities, really everything!
Here is the way I integrate Ayurveda into my life. My routine for Spring would look something like this:
- Rise with the sun
- Meditate/ Journal
- Drink a glass of warm water perhaps with a little lemon or lime
- Scrape Your Tongue – with a metal tongue scraper (a spoon is a good substitute)
- Perform Garshana – dry skin brushing
- Perform Abhyanga – warm oil massage with organic sesame oil. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular motions on the joints.
- Shower (no need to use soap on the oiled parts)
- Perform vigorous exercise preferably outdoors
- Eat a light, nourishing breakfast – something warm and add a little spice like cinnamon or clove
- Perform your most intensive tasks between 10 am and 2 pm
- Eat your largest meal between 10 am and 2 pm
- Go to bed by 10 pm
This simple routine will soother your nervous system and create more balance in your body and mind. Adding on simple dietary and .lifestyle changes that align with the seasons will benefit your well being beautifully. It is truly a gift to know and share this ancient wisdom. Try it and let me know!