With the surge of moisture evident in plants that are budding and leafing out again, many of us begin to experience symptoms related to an excess of these Kapha energies – increased phlegm in the sinuses and lungs, heaviness in the head, a sense of lethargy or stagnation, or mood swings towards depression. I found myself fighting a nasal-y head cold for the past few weeks and noticed sniffles and coughs around me everywhere I went.
The solution to these challenges, according to Ayurveda, is to seek influences opposite in quality from Kapha dosha, which is heavy, dull, oily and cool. Therefore, lightness, sharpness, dryness and warmth help to restore balance. One of the most powerful strategies to combat Kapha’s heaviness and phlegm is to eat foods that reduce Kapha. For a time, avoid heavy foods like cheese, yogurt, red meat, fried food, wheat and oats, as well as cold foods like ice cream – and really all sweets – or iced drinks.
Instead, choose warm and spicy foods to help liquefy Kapha that may be clogging the channels as mucus. Bitter greens and vibrant, energy-infused sprouts are the earth’s perfectly timed gifts at this time of year. Drink warm water with your meals, and keep active to prevent stagnation.
And when the clouds part, get outside! Soak up the sun’s vibrancy and breathe deeply – spring is the perfect time for movement. Kick your yoga practice up a notch or take a brisk walk through nature. Get your body moving, and your spirit will thank you. I am feeling called to get outside into Austin’s beautiful green belt of undeveloped land, this amazing strip of green that cuts by my future home (which, yes, is still in progress…).
For those of you who live nearby, mark your calendars for a free lecture I’m giving on March 30 titled, “Applying the Principles of Ayurveda in Daily Life,” at the Yoga Yoga 360 Wellness Spa. Call 381-6464 to save your seat now – we had over 100 people register for the last talk I gave! I hope to see you there.