Tips for the Kapha Season of Winter to Spring

Kapha season is here!!

Kap…what? I thought is was Spring, cue the bird and flowers?! 

While modern day classification uses a 4-season system, the reality is that not all 4 seasons are super clear anymore, especially in North Carolina!! 

We are talking about Ayurveda.

Say it with me:

EYE-YUR-VED-A

In recent years, Ayurveda has gained popularity, and at times is used as a buzz-word to pique the interest of health-conscious individuals to drive sales of products. While this may seem like just another health trend, it’s actually the oldest of sciences with roots during the fifth century BC through the fourteenth century AD, there’s even an ancient word for cellular metabolism!!

Nature moves in cycles, and with modern technology we often have lost touch with our internal rhythms.  Lightbulbs, heaters, and blue light from screens have altered our body clocks, and never fear! We can get ourselves back in alignment with the seasons by slowing down, and making choices about the ways in which we nourish ourselves.

Ayurveda recognizes 3 seasons: Vata (fall – early winter), Pitta (late spring – summer), Kapha (late winter – early spring)

My favorite definition of Kapha is “that which holds things together”.  Kapha is the combination of earth + water elements, which can feel heavy, but it doesn’t have to feel that way.  Kapha is necessary for our physical bodies to function properly, and is attributed for holding the physical structure together, and providing the liquid medium is which life’s biological processes can happen. Aka…. our fat, bones, lymphatic system, and all that amazing mucous. When kapha is out of balance, it can feel like depression, smothering, attachment, fluid retention (swelling), congestion (allergies), lethargy, and holding onto excess weight.  Kapha in balance feels good, has appropriate boundaries, and an energy that is sustainable.

 

The best medicine is to get Kapha moving! It make take a little push to get going, but a kapha in motion is much more likely to stay in motion.  You can dance, take a warm vinyasa yoga class, hula hoop, it really doesn’t matter WHAT you do, only that you DO!

Let’s dive into some options for movement during this season!  

Remember this simple rule: A Kapha in motion will stay in motion. 

Aka…the hardest part is showing up!! 

Double bonus gold stars for showing up when it’s cold and rainy!! Or when you pet sleeps on your lap, or the netflix series is at a good part. :)

While I highly encourage moving your body just because, if there was a “goal” for Kapha season practices it would be to boost your enthusiasm, or add zest to your life. 

Try to practice in a way to balances the qualities of kapha: cool, heavy, moist, slow, dull, and stagnant.

Go for warming, light, dry, quick, and mobile!

Some quick tips:

Choose movements that are quick, energizing and mildly heating. Kaphas can sweat, and it’s so so good.
Kapha types are usually strong by nature. They can focus more on flexibility and agility.
Choose forms that are more rapid and moving. Longer holds are also good for kapha as they build intensity and circulation of blood and lymph.
Get your body moving asap in the morning.  However, don’t sacrifice your 8-9 hours of sleep….nonnegotiable, and kapha usually requires more sleep.

Ways to Move this Season:

Hula Hoop
Mindful runs
Trampoline
Dance
Easy walks with friends
Biking
Something new!!
Yoga Asana – bonus points if it’s on a rooftop with a live DJ 6pm on Tuesday, April 12th for Met Sweat ;)

In general, this time of year doesn’t have to inspire fear, runs to the pharmacy to stock up on medications that make you drowsy, or even crazy big changes.  Stay warm, embrace the transitions, and keep it moving! 

Wanna learn more? Check out my blog: It’s the Cyyyycles of Life. 

Local to Charlotte? Join DJ SoulSong and me on Tuesday, April 12th for a fun rooftop flow! Live DJ and Sunset Yoga Flow
Hello Friends! I’m Grace Millsap (she/her), and I’m currently located in Charlotte, NC (Catawba and Sugaree land). My passions are rooted in science and equality, which inform my teaching of Yoga, and how I show up in the world. I spent 5 years in the fast-paced, and high-pressure, scientist world where I conducted research for UNC-Chapel Hill in the intersecting fields of nutrition, genetics, and neuroscience.

In 2013, I completed my first Yoga teacher training, and immediately began to draw connections between modern science, and Yogic philosophy. I study, and teach, from a long lineage that believes that life is inherently beautiful, and that the path of Yoga is a tool set to better navigate the many twists and turns. Specifically, from the Tantra and Himalayan Traditions of Sri Vidya.

In 2017, I co-created “Ethics in the Yoga Community”, a dynamic series that looks at the tough topics in the community through facilitated panel discussions and group practices to foster trust and connection, that was featured in Yoga Journal. My classes, whether restorative or flow, are infused with my passions, and quest for magic and joy.

When not teaching, you can find me with my nose in a book, plotting new ways to disrupt the status quo, lounging with my teenager “puppy” Fizzgig, and soaking in the goodness of the many waves of life. I am a student first, and humbled to call myself a teacher of Yoga. I honor Asana as one tool, of many. I am always willing to evolve and (un)learn.

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