In Ayurveda understanding the energy of the elements, how they play into the seasons, cycles of our bodies and lives , is key in understanding how to achieve balanced mental and physical health. Although Ayurveda has many complexities it is so simple for all of us to use and understand as it is based on the innate qualities of energy we see externally and are each innately connected to.
In early spring our bodies and environments are governed by the energy of kapha (water & earth). Spring rains saturate the earth, plants begin producing sweet nectar and sap, and the frozen snow begins to melt as rivers start to fill and flow clearing away the stagnant energy of winter. Our bodies also have stored winter layers physically and emotionally that are ready to be shed. Shedding these layers helps us to balance the energy of kapha so that we may experience optimal health in the season ahead.
When kapha is out of balance we experience depressed respiratory and immune health. The lungs and sinus are particularly affected. We may suffer congestion, coughs, excess phlegm and mucous, respiratory and sinus issues, such as seasonal allergies and low immunity, and a slow metabolism. All of these symptoms of imbalance are problematic on there own but also further depress our immunity and increase our chances of becoming symptomatic of flu and other viral factors that we are at risk of, such as Covid-19. Emotionally and mentally when kapha is imbalanced we may feel depressed, foggy, dull, lethargic and stagnate, as though we are literally stuck in the mud (water & earth energy).
Balancing kapha can help us to increase our immunity, lighten our spirits, shed winter weight and habits and express ourselves more fully as we move into the Spring and Summer seasons ahead. Just as the sun is increasing in our days we need to bring more fire and space into our lives to balance and move the heavy energy of early spring. We can balance kapha and increase our immunity by avoiding heavy foods such as dairy, eating plenty of seasonal produce, in particular bitter greens and herbs, lightly steaming and cooking foods, avoiding cold and iced drinks. In our practice we can work with kapalabhati; skull shining breath, and energized heart opening yoga sequences that include standing balance poses, forward folds and backbends to build heat and move energy. At home we can physically clear out space with deep spring cleaning for our home and body and doing spring cleansing practices or ayurvedic based programs. Nature is forcing us all to be a little more internal and self-reflective with social distancing and the focus on health. This is a perfect opportunity to bring new balanced daily routines into your life and home and make balance health and living a priority for yourself and your loved ones.