The bright yellow daffodils poking their heads up amid the brown landscape promise the arrival of Spring here in North Carolina, yet cool mornings remind us why Spring is the season of Kapha dosha. While moisture’s return in the tender petals and frequent rainfall banishes the dryness of Vata season, the cool temperatures maintain the sluggish stickiness for which Kapha is renowned. Snot season is nearly upon us!
One of the very best antidotes to Kapha’s heavy, sluggish quality (and indeed, to its mucus) is heat. And since heat is not yet in the air, cultivating it within the body as we head towards Spring helps us maintain balance and stay healthy. We can help ward off Spring’s allergies by acting NOW to keep excess Kapha at bay.
Through brisk physical activity, we turn up the body’s thermostat and help liquefy Kapha, which makes it easier for it to slide out of the body. We can assist the effort by drinking warm beverages like ginger tea, eating spicy, warming foods like hot chili with spicy salsa, or taking a brief sauna, but truly an optimal source of Kapha-busting power is bodily movement.
It can be easy to forget that the body has 3 potent eliminatory pathways; while urination and bowel movements are more obvious in their (hopefully) daily regularity, perspiration can get overlooked as a necessary method of expelling waste. We tend to feel less concern if we don’t sweat for a day, yet regular sweating ensures we get rid of toxins and keep Kapha in check.
So even before warm weather entices us outside, choose something physical you love to do, and do it more frequently! Dance, hike, lift weights, walk briskly, take a new movement class – doing something with others is always easier. The ancient Ayurvedic texts advise exerting ourselves only to 50% of our capacity, so we don’t need to take on a marathon, just enough exertion to bring sweat to the upper lip and the forehead.
In the Spring especially, daily activity is ideal, but even 3 times a week will make a difference. Invite the perspiration, revel in it, and celebrate the body’s ability to sweat itself into balance. Our pre-emptive actions can help ward off Springtime allergy woes – our body will thank us later for moving it now!