Spring is almost here, technically, though if you live in Portland you know it seems to have arrived already! With late Winter and early Spring comes an abundance of Kapha dosha, and with that comes sluggishness, colds, allergies, mental dullness, attachment, and sometimes depression. Spring is full of creation, growth, and hope - but we all know the wait for Summer can feel never-ending. Especially in the Pacific Northwest, the rain can really weigh you down and the lack of sun can make you feel sad. Elsewhere, the snow and cold has the same affect. So, what do we do to feel more lightness, clarity, joy,and creativity?
As always, in order to pacify a dosha, we must introduce the opposite qualities into our routine. Kapha dosha is heavy, moist, dull, stable, and cold - so balance comes with incorporating light and dry foods, sharpening the intellect, changing up your routine, staying warm, and taking faster paced yoga classes. We want to follow in nature's path. From the moisture and weight of Kapha comes new life. So as the Kapha spreads over us - we too must sprout up and welcome the beginning of a new life cycle.
The best tastes for pacifying Kapha dosha are astringent, bitter, and pungent. This is the season to be generous with the spicing of your food (think cayenne, black pepper, ginger & chilis)! As well, it is the perfect time to enjoy bitter greens, which are usually full of antioxidants, like arugula, dandelion greens, collard greens, some types of kale, bok choy, watercress, and nettles (my favorite). For the astringent taste you can eat quinoa, beans, sprouts, asparagus, legumes, and lentils. While you still want to include the sweet, sour, and salty tastes into your diet to stay nourished, you want to focus on eating more of those other tastes than normal to stay light and to help clear out any mucous from colds and allergies.
When my allergies spring up, my senses can feel really dull and I can very easily get stuck in ruts. The inertia of Spring can be one of the hardest things to pull yourself out of, so I try to be extra cautious this time of year. I try to read and learn more, write and create more, force myself to get up and be active, and make sure I'm digesting my food really well so my allergies don't get out of control!
Late Winter and early Spring ruts can be really hard to crawl out of, so being mindful of what we eat and how we act going into the season can help us to not get buried too deep in the heaviness of Kapha season. So create, nurture your loved ones, and plant your seeds, but eat lightly, add some spice to your food, be flexible with your routine, and try your best to be active! Once Summer comes you'll be thankful!
Want to learn more specifics? Then come to a workshop!
Any other questions about yoga or Ayurveda? Feel free to contact me!