According to Ayurveda, one of the keys to maintaining health is to practice ‘ritucharya’ -seasonal routines. Adjusting daily self-care rituals to seasonal changes helps us to maintain balance and reminds us that we are a part of the natural world. Spring is ruled by the kapha dosha, whose qualities are heavy, cool, soft, dense, stable, solid, and cloudy. To adjust for the season, consider the following practices:
- Wake with the sunrise. One of the best practices to minimize the heavy quality of kapha in the mind and body is to wake with the sun. Dawn is ruled by vata and is light, clear, and subtle.
- Get your move on. When kapha is dominant in the day, the muscles are strongest between 6:00 – 10:00 am. Getting outside for a brisk walk or doing some vigorous yoga will melt away excess kapha. Kapalabhati pranayama is a great way to stoke the fires of digestion.
- Eat lighter foods. In the Winter months, we naturally gravitate toward sweet, sour, and salty foods to mitigate the dry, light qualities of the cold season. This can cause kapha accumulation in the physical body. To lighten up, try foods that are pungent, bitter and astringent, including kale, collards, dandelion, spinach, and mustard greens, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, green peas, barley and quinoa.
- Got allergies? Break out the neti pot to irrigate the sinus cavities and clear out the nasal passages. Use ¼ tsp of salt with purified water -warm up the water until it is just warmer than room temperature, and use half a pot for each nostril. Alkalol -a soothing natural nasal wash that can be used at various strengths depending on preference, works well too. Always end a neti pot routine by massaging a little Sesame oil or Nasya oil into each nostril. Breathe easy!