This week’s post is by Lila Yoga Instructor Megan Carroll
Winter is finally over! For many of us, it feels like a reason to celebrate, and
rightfully so; as we emerge from hibernation we are redeemed by the warmth of the
sun, the longer days, and the vibrancy of the plants and animals around us.
Because we are a part of nature, the energies of the transitioning seasons are within
us as well as all around us. Although this is one of the most welcome transitions, it is
good to remember that any transition can be challenging.
As you move into spring you might be feeling a little bit sluggish, stuck, or
depressed. Or maybe you are finding yourself a little bit congested, retaining water,
gaining weight or oversleeping.
Ayurveda, the medicinal aspect of yoga, says that you can blame it all on Kapha.
Kapha is the Ayurvedic term for the energy of this time of year. It is the energy of
water and earth. What do you get when you mix water and earth? You guessed it -
mud. Kapha is a heavy, muddy kind of energy. Hence the heavy, muddy feelings you
might have in your body and/or mind.
In early spring, we are seeped in Kapha. It has been accumulating all through the
winter, and now the warmth of spring comes and challenges the accumulated
Kapha to melt away. As Kapha is “burned off” by the warmer days of spring, you will
experience its heavy, muddy nature, especially if you accumulated too much Kapha
over the winter, as most of us probably did. (It comes from living in an unbalanced
way, out of tune with nature. Don’t blame yourself. It’s hard not to be unbalanced in
the modern world).
You can help shed the excess Kapha using these Ayurvedic techniques:
- Eat lots of leafy greens, and lighter meals in general.
- Try adding ginger to your meals, or drinking ginger tea.
- Give yourself time for a healthy balance of activity and rest.
- Spend time outdoors, connecting to nature.
In your yoga practice;
-Build heat. This doesn’t mean that you have to take up hot yoga or work yourself
to the point of exhaustion (from an Ayurvedic standpoint that would actually be
a really bad idea), but try to do some poses that make you warm and feel a little
- Do strong leg work, like lunges and squats. This help to clear the energy channels
in the legs, where Kapha tends to accumulate.
-Try Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Virbrdranasana 1 and 2 (Warrior 1 and
2), Bhujangasana (Cobra) and Ustrasana (Camel).
-Try to practice as regularly as possible.
Be patient and persistent with all of your Kapha-reducing endeavors. Kapha can be
like a stick in the mud, and it takes real tapas (a Sanskrit word that means effort or
austerity) to get it moving.
All of your efforts will ultimately increase and free up the flow of prana in your
body, allowing you to feel lighter and more vibrant.
It’s time to spring into spring! Enjoy!