The Yoga Ayurveda Connection: Balance Kapha with Yoga Asana
According to the ancient system of ayurveda, every season has a dosha, or set of qualities, associated with it. When the sun lingers longer and the earth thaws and begins its renewal, the season of Kapha has arrived — March - June. In early Kapha season, the world is slowly coming out of hibernation. The first spring flowers begin to bloom and release pollen, and the birds sing signals that mating season is beginning. As we move deeper into the season, wet and cold turns to wet and warm, closer to May and into June.
The influences of the season may be felt most by those with primarily Kapha dosha. Comprised of the elements earth and water, we can often feel stuck or heavy during Kapha season. Think earth + water… mud! Our digestion may become sluggish or we may just feel sluggish, lethargic or sad, and have trouble sleeping or waking up. The English word "cough" comes from the Sanskrit word Kapha. The seat of Kapha in the body is in the chest. So as nature begins to awaken and bloom, the Kapha dosha may be aggravated, and the effects are felt in the respiratory system: mucus increases, leading to colds and problems with sinus congestion, allergies and even asthma.
However, the weightiness of Kapha isn’t all bad! It is also responsible for our sweet, stable temperament, long-term memory, strength, stamina, energy and sound sleep.
If you are feeling the heaviness of the season, the best way to shake things up is with a little vigorous exercise each day. Spring is the season to invigorate Kapha, which will bring great strength, endurance, and energy to enjoy this season of renewal!
Yoga asanas are the ideal non-strenuous ayurvedic exercise. We can stay balanced during Kapha season by incorporating asanas that fire us up and make us move. Uplifting, heart-opening backbends will open up the chest and lungs, helping with congestion and upper-respiratory heaviness. Invigorating inversions, when our heart is above the head, will get things moving both physically and energetically. And digestion-stimulating poses will do just that — get the digestion moving if it has become a bit sluggish.
Be adventurous, try something new, and be your highest and best teacher as you listen to your body and practice or modify these yoga asanas!
Uplifting, heart-opening backbends:
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Apanasana (Knees-to-Chest Pose)
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.