EMBRACING THE COOL KAPHA SEASON
Freezing and sluggish winter shifts to cool and damp spring. We emerge from the warm soft blankets with enthusiasm for the sun on our skin. Melted ice reveals a wet, more fertile soil of promise. Winter hybernation season is over, but the air and earth are still cool. Mucous has built for months in our bodies; and many people begin to ooze with spring colds and allergies.
Ayurveda described six seasons in the classical texts. The gunas or qualities of late winter through spring belong to Kapha Dosha, namely: heavy, dull, slow, smooth, dense, soft, sticky, and stable.
Throughout winter when our internal fire has moved inward from the periphery of the body to the core to keep us warm, appetites have increased, and with less time outdoors, there is often a sense of stagnation; not only people, but animals too bulk up in the winter season. As we begin to desire more movement, to shed the extra protective layers of fat and mucous, we may feel the dull ache in our muscles that have tensed from cold winter.
After all, we, human beings, are more porous than we like to admit. Modern man likes to think that he is invisible and separate from the nature. Advertisements show that we can just pop a few decongestants and go running off to work (while the organs struggle to keep up). However, without drugs, we quickly learn that we are not only affected by nature; we are the nature. Our bodies reflect the nature. What’s outside is inside and what’s inside is outside.
Any of these kapha manifestations sound familiar?
- Cold, cough, congestion
- Weight gain and slow metabolism
- Oozing type of psoriasis
- Stones, cysts, and growths
- Sluggishness, heaviness, and fatigue
- Lymphatic congestion
How do we dissipate the congestion and stagnation of excess kapha (earth and water elements)? The way to dry the slimy kapha qualities can be likened to working with clay. Pungent potency herbs and spices are drying, as are those that are bitter and astringent. Teas, soups, and sauces cooked with light warming oils and plenty of dark…