When we talk about the earth’s seasons, you’re probably used to thinking in terms of summer, winter, spring and fall. Ayurveda also divides the year up into seasons
according to the body’s elemental life forces, or doshas—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—wherein the hottest part of summer and early fall are defined by the fiery and quick-witted Pitta type, late fall and first part of winter are defined by the light and airy Vata type and the second half of winter and early spring
are defined by the heavy and grounded Kapha type. The last of these seasons happens to be the one we are entering into right now. Kapha season is challenging yet wonderful in that it begins during arguably the worst part of winter and ends with the sweetness of spring. Over the next few weeks, we’ll focus on making the most of the Kapha season
from diet to meditation to Tantra in a way that will help you not just survive the last weeks of winter, but thrive!
In the same way that the Kapha type is defined as heavy, dense, wet, gooey, stable and cool, so the Kapha season also features cooler temps with a dense, frozen ground that turns into a gooey (muddy) dew indicative of spring. Both sets of characteristics can be balanced out by dryness, lightness, warmth and invigoration. With this in mind, you can prioritize your individual “Prakriti
”, or dosha makeup, right away by considering the following tips for optimal Kapha season survival:
1. As always, know your dosha.
According to the experts at Banyan Botanicals
: “Ayurveda teaches us that like increases like and that opposites balance. As a result, the same experience can affect two people in dramatically different ways, depending on their inner nature.”
If you’re a Vata type—Given that your type is primarily defined by light, airy dryness, you may find that the moist heaviness of the Kapha season is naturally soothing and balancing to your constitution. Just make sure that you stay warm enough during the cooler parts of this season, even when the temps seem to begin to warm up, and allow yourself to indulge the season’s more grounding aspects. Finish that novel you’ve been working on, reconnect with loved ones and prioritize your meditation practice. This is your time!
2. Get moving!
If you’re a Pitta type—Not going to lie, Kapha season might be tricky for you. Luckily, the colder aspects of it will be naturally cooling to your fiery nature. But since many Kapha-balancing activities involve warming, this may prove aggravating to your constitution. An easy solution is to focus on outdoor activities. Now might be a good time to begin outdoor training for that couch to 5K or commit to a post-dinner walk with family or friends. Just be sure to focus on being cool, but not cold!
If you’re a Kapha type—It may be natural to assume that a Kapha type would feel right at home during this season, but you would be wrong! Because “like increases like,” chances are you’ll find yourself out of balance during this season—Unless you have a game plan. (Lucky for you, we do!) Focus on staying warm and active throughout the entire Kapha season. Tackle your physical activity goals with renewed strength and vigor. Dress in cozy layers and bright colors to invigorate your spirit and warm your soul. One piece of good news: You can stick to your typical Kapha-pacifying diet, no strings attached. Leafy greens, lentils, potatoes and cooked apples? Have at it.
Think of yourself as being one with nature in that, in the same way many plants and animals are coming back to life during this time, so are you! Try a new Kapha-pacifying activity, such as aerobics, pilates, yoga or walking meditation
. A hallmark of imbalance during the Kapha season is a general feeling of sluggishness, lethargy and depression. Walking meditation can be especially therapeutic for this in that it meets the needs of the body and the soul at the same time!
3. Try rising at or before sunrise.
Although it may seem daunting at first, we guarantee creating this habit will leave you feeling invigorated and refreshed. Because sleep is intrinsically a part of the Kapha system, sleeping into the Kapha portion of the morning—Typically 6 am to 10 am—can throw things out of equilibrium before you even start your day. The good news is that waking up earlier will also give you extra time to hit the gym and achieve your activity goals.
3. Eat your largest meal in the middle of the day.
It may be helpful to know that, similar to dosha-dominant seasons, there are also dosha-dominant times of the day. The two Kapha dominant periods run from 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm. Because the Kapha type is characterized by density and solidness, it can be damaging to eat a heavy meal during this time of the day, especially during Kapha season. Instead, focus the bulk of your fuel intake during the lunchtime hours of 10 am to 2 pm when the Pitta-type is dominant, your metabolism high and your digestive function strong.
4. Don’t forget true transformation during this season generally starts within you.
During your daily meditation practice, focus on an open heart and light spirit. Embrace your fun, silly side and take extra time for joy and laughter. Choose to thrive: Embrace these last few cozy weeks of winter by focusing back in on yourself, prioritizing time for your important relationships and taking inventory of what matters most to you. Preferably while wearing your brightest sweater and with a cup of warm tea in hand. All in all: Enjoy your life! That’s what Alpha Hearts is all about.
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