According to Ayurveda, in the late winter and early spring, the Kapha dosha is dominant. The qualities of Kapha are wet, cold and heavy (like snow; like earth sodden from the all the rain that there has not been sufficient sun to evaporate away). This heaviness makes for slowness, for lethargy, for sleeping more. Longer evenings invite us to sit more; dark, chilly mornings tempt us to linger in bed. The earth sleeps during winter and there is much less agricultural activity to do. Many find that it is easier to gain weight – through cravings for comfort food, through Yuletide excesses or through primitive desire for a little extra insulation!
Of the different tastes, sweetness resembles kapha. Those with kapha personality traits are caring, loyal, patient, stable, supportive, loving types. Kapha people also have good long-term memory; so the time of year where this quality is dominant is likely to be good for studying and learning! This is one way that we can welcome, celebrate and be in harmony with Kapha at its ruling time in the calendar. To go with it. However, we may also want to balance it; the feeling of heaviness and sluggishness in our bodies is generally not so welcome! Soon nature will be helping us with this; the days of sunlight are increasing to give us more warmth and light to balance Kapha’s coolness and dark; the energy of spring’s planting time invites us to get up off that sofa, leave the stack of books and get busy outside (or have a bit of a house cleaning session inside!!) Also, lovely purifying plants like wild garlic, dandelion, nettles, cleavers and chickweed will soon be abundant; I’m looking forward to making some salads and smoothies with them as part of a gentle spring detox sometime next month.
Kapha can also be balanced through using spices in foods, through drinking lemon and ginger tea or other spiced teas, through making sure you have some gentle activity in your day, through firm back massage with warm oil or dry powder and through incorporating pungent, bitter and astringent tastes into meals. And, naturally, through reducing consumption of cold or very sweet foods and drinks, particularly those that tend to be mucous-forming, like dairy. Personally, I’m feeling pretty turned off the thought of ice-cream right now, and of salad, but I am really enjoying the coffee-substitute Barleycup (and a restrained amount of strong dark coffee) as well as a little chilli powder on my dinner most evenings and the odd nibble of dark (usually raw) chocolate. I really notice it in my body at the moment if I go more than a couple of days without any green leafy veg, or without a good walk! In my yoga practice, I’m feeling drawn to sun salutations – something I’ve never really got the hang of and have a silly little nervousness about that I can’t quite explain even to myself. But as nature puts on a pretty frock of things all fresh and new, maybe I need to connect with and draw down that energy.
If you’re drawn to learning more about Ayurveda, I’d always recommend finding out more from people with loads more experience, practice and learning than me. My personal favourites are:
Shanti, shanti! ♥