Spring is a glorious time. You begin to emerge from your winter hideaway and find joy and ease in nature again. Resurfacing buds, blooms and the gradually increasing warmth of the sun inspires and delights your senses. And at the same time, warmth and dampness alternate in the air.
In Ayurveda, spring is the season of Kapha dosha. Kapha dosha is, like the other two doshas (Vata and Pitta dosha) a manifestation of the five elements of nature. The elements, you may know, are earth, air, fire, water and ether. Ayurvedic theory states that the doshas are present both within us and around us. In spring, water and earth qualities are most present around us and those represent Kapha dosha.
Vata dosha is present in the dry, cool season of fall and represents air and ether. Pitta dosha is present in the hot season of summer and represents fire and water.
So Kapha season means that in spring, you’ll find more water and earth qualities present in the environment. You’ll see mud, melting snow, rain, dampness and cold temps mingling with warmer temps. It’s a sensitive time of year as you’re more susceptible to experience imbalance in the doshas during this transitional time.
Kapha dosha (water + earth) has certain qualities: cold, slow, steady, solid, soft and oily. During Kapha season, you’ll see an increase in spring colds, respiratory problems, runny nose and congestion.
Ayurvedic wisdom reminds us to utilize the opposite qualities to bring balance to the body system. The opposite qualities of Kapha are light, warm, active, stimulating and dry. You can maintain a balance of the doshas within you with the right diet and lifestyle, herbal support, and moment to moment awareness of the elements, within and without.
Seek the advice of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to discover your constitution and find out what daily habits, diet and activities are best for your body type or dosha. In the meantime, notice the doshas around you and within you and see in what ways you might be able to bring more balance into your life. Preventative self care steps are an important part of Ayurvedic medicine.
We asked 5 Ayurvedic practitioners to share what’s on their self care ‘do-list’ for spring. Here’s how they manage the damp season.
As we move into Kapha season, this is the time of year to start lightening everything around you. Lighter food, lighter oil for cooking, abhyanga, and more movement in your day to bring a lighter body.
Drink ginger tea each morning and do a panchakarma cleanse. Walk and expose your skin to the sunlight. Spicy teas and essential oils like cinnamon and rosemary invigorate the body and mind and get kapha moving!
Spring clean! Inside and out. Take a weekend in the spring to do a cleanse and purge your home at the same time.
Many people get sick during spring when we are moving into Kapha season. Our immune system is weak. Take Chyawanprash, an ancient Ayurvedic formula, to strengthen the Ojas. It’s a perfect daily tonic.
Ojas is your vitality in body, mind and spirit, your life juice that you need to keep strong, to resist disease and to continue to be happy and healthy.
Acknowledge the time of growth. Be mindful. Look at the plants springing up around you. Notice the lighter mornings and awake with a spring in your step. Read, grow, plant the seeds of growth in your garden, your relationships and your soul.