Kapha time is in the air!

There’s a little confusion in the world of Ayurveda about when the seasons change (called Ritucharya) but I think I can burn up the fog on this issue.

First, a little explanation is in order.  There are three primary seasons, like there are three doshas for the physical body, Vata, Pitta and Kapha.  Vata season is dry, windy and cold, much like a person who has a Vata dosha (think winter).  Pitta season is hot, sharp and oily (think hot summer time), much like the person who has a pitta pre-dominate dosha.  Kapha person, like the season of Kapha is cold, dull and heavy (you know how the spring season begins and you just can’t wait for the weather to improve!)

Spring Daffodil

Spring Daffodil

Spring is on it’s way in and we need to prepare for that.  But the climate is so unique depending on where you live.  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and my Kapha season starts way before Kapha season starts for my cousins who live in Ohio.  Even between where I live compared to three hours east of here in South Lake Tahoe, California, it’s a huge difference due to the mountainous region.  So you see, it depends on where you live (okay, just a little secret, but everything in Ayurveda “depends”)!

Then there’s this other important thing to think about called Ritusandhi which means the “joint or period that joins two seasons”. What the ???

This really signifies a transition period from fall/winter to spring.  It lasts about two weeks and really has great importance since we need to think about changing the foods we eat as well as our lifestyle.  For example, the doshas of the approaching season start to accumulate (eating heavy foods in the winter starts to accumulate Kapha).  When this happens, we start to get congested during spring and allergies begin to happen.  Just think, if you start to eat a little lighter the two weeks before your official Kapha/spring begins, can you make a difference in the way your body reacts to spring?

And that’s the transition you want to make, start eating lighter foods.  Don’t we all love to turn the oven on a bake things in the oven during winter?   Just think about making that adjustment to your diet when spring is just around the corner for you and see if you can feel a little less congested this spring.

Now that you know how to transition in Kapha season, what do you do when you get there? Think hot, dry and light qualities because you want to do the opposite of the cool, moist and heavy quality of Kapha season.  Think about grilled, broiled and baked foods and include lots of seasonal vegetables.  I know this next idea seems cruel, but cut back on sweets during this season and also avoid sour and salty tastes because all three of those tastes aggravate Kapha.  Kapha people crave those three tastes, so STAY AWAY!

So here are my three MUST DO’S prior to the upcoming season:

  1. Avoid cold drinks.  Cold drinks kill your agni aka fire (water puts out fire!)
  2. Avoid sleep during the daytime hours.  That means no napping!!
  3. Practice yoga a little more actively.  I’m not suggesting a Vinyasa yoga, cuz that’s not what I’m all about, but maybe shorten the  hold on your poses.  Instead of 10 breaths, maybe only 8 breaths.  Just so you have an opportunity to move a little more
  4. I know I said just three MUST Do’s but here’s one more, do some aerobic exercise like brisk walking!

Let me know if you need more direction because I’m am here to help!

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