Kapha

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:

www.ayurvedicyogi.com

www.ayurvedapura.com

http://alexayurveda.wordpress.com/

http://yogabynature.wordpress.com/

http://ayurveda-foryou.com/

Shanti, shanti! ♥

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Emerging with strength


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  • Dainty crocuses following the lead of the snowdrops to break out in flower and nod – as if shivering – in these storms,
  • The golden glow of the early daffodils in these gloomy days.
  • The tiny green shoots of our first seedlings of the year – aw, those sweet little leaves!!
  • Resurfacing from a little parenting tough spot,
  • The support and help provided by my mum coming to stay for a few days – and the golden child-free time with my husband Rob that this facilitated,
  • The satisfaction of a finished project,
  • Hearing more birdsong,
  • Seeing the first lambs
  • The inspiring tales of people helping each other out in flooded areas,
  • A sunny day! And the joy of putting housework on hold so we could go out to the woods to make the most of it,
  • Being able to organise our garden shed because of the shelves Rob knocked up at the weekend,
  • More hours of daylight,
  • Buds forming on our fruit bushes,
  • Getting over a few little health niggles,
  • Success with some techniques for retaining personal strength and sanity

 

I hope that you are seeing and feeling some strength and light in your days too!  ♥

Awake

ImageBeing outside right now often brings to my mind the Ted Hughes poem Wind that  I studied – and loved – at school. Unromanticised nature. Nature that humbles me and sharply reminds me of my gratitude for the comfort of home. And hot chocolate.

These buds are on our blueberry bushes but it’s all the daffodil buds I’m waiting for. I almost want to sit and watch for the moment sometime very soon when those buds will just…… POP!! For now they’re holding themselves together tightly, as a lot of us people do when out in these winds. I’m sure that I’ve massaged a lot of shoulders whose stiffness is in part attributed to being hunched up around the ears throughout the colder months!

These buds, awaiting their showtime like actors ready for their cue to get on stage, speak to me of emerging; of waking up and stretching out. Of that point where we leave our dreams but haven’t quite opened our eyes (I’m picturing here the slow, tentative process that is my husband’s way of waking up!). I also feel this sense of awakening in my journey into this year. Some changes in our life in early January meant that we had to make a few alterations to aspects our home rhythm and how we spend our time. We’ve had a few minor teething problems, some trials and errors, all hampered by each of us getting a bug, Ugh.

In the last few days, as each of us has our health almost restored, as realisations have been made and discussed, as plans have been revised and tweaked, I’ve felt more in tune with this new song of ours. I can’t quite say I’ve got the steps to this year’s dance nailed, but i’m humming and tapping along with open eyes, ready to emerge.

Imbolc

ImageRaw sugar-free “coconut snowball” sweets, omnomnom!

There’s few days I love more than one where I hear the Fffwup, fffwup, fffwup, fffwup, fffwup, crack, SWISH! SWISH! Ffwup, crack, fffwup, crack, SWISH! SWISH! Fffwup, fffwup…. of a forest floor beneath my feet; twigs, sodden leaves, mud, moss, pine needles. Behind me, the wheeesh-wish, wheeesh-wish of my toddler’s puddle-suit lets me know he’s still following us. The absence of his usually-constant chatter lets me know that he’s as absorbed in the beauty of this place as I am. Trips like these are so important for the three of us; for my husband and I to be away from the distractions of household tasks, for us all to be in a open safe enough space where we don’t have to watch Dylan with the intense hazard awareness that we do on busy pavements near roads and dog poo and litter. I love this gift of freedom to relax and enjoy what’s around us. This gift off soul nourishment. Of inspiration. Of peace.

Walalaloool, walalaloool says the nearby (but not too nearby!) stream as it tumbles down some rocks, busy and moving in this still, still place. Dylan asks “Mama sing Muvva Earf carry me song”. I oblige; it’s my favourite goddess chant. A river is flo-o-wing, flowing and gro-o-wing, a river is flo-o-wing down to the sea. Mother Earth carry me; your child I will always be. Mother Earth carry me; down to the sea.

Most of our celebrations for the marker points in the year’s journey for the seasons involve a walk somewhere that feeds our souls. I loved yesterday’s combination of time out in wild nature and some time tending to nature at home; planting our first seeds of the year. Just some herbs in pots and some salad leaves in modules so that they can start off sheltered indoors and then move out to our mini-greenhouse. This, and my first sighting of snowdrops on Saturday (and the sight of some dainty purple crocuses today) feel like Spring sending out little whispers through the blustery winds to say she’s on her way. Hello Spring! You will be so welcome; I have many ideas waiting to grow  with you.

Happy Imbolc ♥

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