Ahhh, I love kapha season. For those of us pitta predominant nature, and most of us that have a standing vata imbalance, the damp coolness of kapha is a welcome experience.
For others of us (especially if you have been running high in the vata department and are more vulnerable), kapha season can bring some unwelcome experiences.
Signs of kapha imbalance include:
MIND: heavy, sluggish, dull, sleepy, tired, stubborn, too much psychological baggage, holding on to grudges, melancholy/ depression, crying, unmotivated, tough am wake
BODY: heavy, sluggish digestion, swollen, congested, bloated, low appetite especially in the morning, pale skin, increased sweating, longer/heavier menses, cysts, rheumatic nodules, cold, increased ama, weight gain
If you are relating to the pattern above, then here are Ten Ways to Balance Kapha. Where most of us is at is acutally a state of Vata and Kapha imbalance (Ten Ways to Balance Vata). We are just leaving vata season and entering kapha season, so this makes sense. So, whenever there are two doshas out of balance (in excess) at the same time, the goal is to emphasize qualities of energy that are balancing for both of the vitiated doshas. So, for both vata and kapha, heat is balancing.
- This is an important time of year to stay warm. The damp with the chill can really get into your core and I’m seeing lots of people with longstanding sinusitis and cold symptoms. So that means being warmly dressed, but can also mean bringing in heat in other ways.
- Eating warmly spiced foods is great now. Avoiding cold foods, especially cold dairy is a good seasonal adjustment in diet as well.
- Supporting your digestive fire with routine eating times and healthy eating habits will help pacify VK imbalance;
- Avoid overeating this season, because the body is storing everything extra.
- In addition to diet, physical activity is a great way to build heat.
You always have to listen to your body to feel for the subtle boundaries on these approaches. So, for example, I may increase my exercise and thereby also increase movement and disruption of my usual routine, which would end up aggravating my vata symptoms. To avoid this, I will be conscious of limiting vata energy in how I increase my physical activity. For example, I could choose to exercise in nature (kapha) during the mornings (kapha) in a regular routine (kapha), building up to my ideal frequency and intensity (slow transition to appease vata). I could also choose to walk at a moderate pace or do a gentle hatha yoga class, and those would be more soothing to vata than a spin class or surfing (cold and wind and wet). You get the idea…
- Increasing the passion in your life–yes, Valentine’s Day is actually seasonally appropriate ; however, don’t overdo it or vata imbalance will be aggravated.
- Go to bed early (like 9p) and wake up early (before 7a)
All the above is a lot! What’s great is that feeling in balance is such a rewarding feeling. Kapha season is the best time to cultivate, especially feelings of contentment and bliss.