If you took a few minutes to read Laurie Dean’s blog below on WHY Kapha increases during spring, great! If not, that would be a good start. But in a nutshell, spring has sprung…even here in MN where I live, the ground is free from snow and people have SPRING FEVER! However, the heavy, wet, dull qualities of the season are building. As spring nears, I hear students and friends complain that even though the sun is greeting them earlier in the mornings, they are having a harder time rising out of bed. So…if you find yourself in this situation – dull and feeling weighed down with stuck energy – read on!
Tips for Moving KAPHA for Spring:
- Hot Water Thermos: The buildup of winter’s accumulated ama, or toxins, can coat the alimentary tract leaving our digestive systems dull and sluggish. Sip hot water throughout the day for a few days can help melt away that white “goo” coating your GI tract. The frequency rather than the quantity of water is more important. Add lemon if you are particularly phlegmy.
- Kapalabhati: >Sneeze…. Sniff, sniff? This kriya, or cleansing practice, helps move the fire and air elements up into the the stomach and lungs and dry out the excess earth and water, or kapha, there manifesting as running nose, sneezing and sinus congestion that often occur with spring allergies. The force of the exhale literally melts away the mucus, and allows fresh prana, or energy, move to the frontal lobe of the brain clearing the mind for your next task. Kapalabhati literally means “skull shining.”
To do: sit in a comfortable cross-legged seat with your hands resting on your knees. Take a comfortable inhale. Then exhale forcefully through the nostrils as you pull the navel and root center in and up. Repeat 18x about once per second. Stop and observe the breath. Repeat two more sets. You may increase the number of reps as you build stamina in the abdominal muscles and breath.
Contraindications: menses, pregnancy, high blood pressure, headache.
- Spice Up Your Greens! Kapha is pacified by the bitter, pungent and astringent tastes. Not only should you eat lighter in the spring to help the digestive fire, or agni, get revved up, but also eat more spring greens such as arugula, asparagus, dandelion greens, etc. Think shoots and spring greens – they move up! – to help lift digestion. Be sure to add a little extra spice such as a pinch of cayenne or grated ginger to help circulation.
- Exercise! Because kapha’s excessive properties include heaviness, dullness and fatigue, get outside and get moving! Fresh air, a brisk walk and a mild sweat will help circulate blood, lymph and breath. Plus feed your smile and senses with spring colors and activities. Kick up your yoga practice a bit, and add a few more Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations). Go here for a short tutorial: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/warm-up-with-the-sun-salutation
Spring is here! Lift your spirits and take advantage of the season’s growth and renewal to help you activate your latent creative energies. Like a flower reaching up out of the earth for the sun, aim high and throw off the shackles of winter. Enjoy the Spring! Hari Om Tat Sat