Kapha Season: 5 Ways to Lighten Up in Spring
When spring rolls around, it’s a relief to shed winter hats, boots and coats. But for most of us, it’s not so easy to shed the extra pounds that we may have put on over the winter.
Yet spring is the perfect time to detox and lighten up. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, the wet, cool weather of spring is called Kapha Season, associated with the cool, heavy, slow Kapha dosha.
If you stay sedentary and continue eating the heavier foods of winter, you could be headed for the kinds of Kapha disorders prevalent in spring — respiratory issues, allergen reactions, sluggishness, dullness of mind and weight gain.
Try this invigorating daily routine to help shed pounds and toxins in spring.
Kapha Season: 5 Ways to Lighten Up in Spring:
- Get Moving
One of the best ways to counter the slow, sluggish feeling of Kapha imbalance is to get moving, and then get moving faster. Research shows that aerobic activities such as swimming, running, and hiking are good for the brain as well as the body.
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, it’s better to exercise for half an hour every day rather than an hour three times a week. When you exercise every day, your digestion stays on and the pounds stay off.
- Get to Bed Early
If you climb into bed well before 10:00 p.m., during the Kapha time of night, your sleep will be deep and restful. New research shows that people who get a balanced amount of sleep have more control over their weight.
- Wake Up with the Birds
Have you ever slept late in the morning, only to wake up feeling duller and more exhausted than before? Sleeping during the Kapha time of the morning (6 a.m.–10 a.m.) can result in all kinds of Kapha disorders, including respiratory issues and weight gain. If you rise before 6:00, when the air is light and the more active Vata dosha predominates, you’ll carry these energetic qualities with you all day long.
- Eat Three Warm (but not huge) Meals a Day
You may think that if you skip breakfast, you’ll lose weight — but eating a light, warm breakfast will actually improve your digestion and help you lose weight. Try cooked apples with cardamom for a light, satisfying first meal.
Eat your main meal at noon, when digestion is strongest. In spring, choose warm, soupy foods and freshly-cooked vegetables, whole grains, and pulses (lentils or dhal) or light dairy products for protein. End the day with a light dinner early enough in the evening so you can digest it before you go to bed.
- Spice it Up
Add more spice to your food to power up digestion. Try cooking with fresh ginger, cumin, peppercorns and fennel — or Organic Kapha Churna.
Spice up your daily routine a little too. Try a new activity — meet new people to stimulate your brain and your spirits. And because one of the qualities of Kapha is stability, the healthy habits you form this spring can stick with you all year ’round.
Ayurveda and Long-Term Wellness
Three key principles to long-term balance and wellness in Ayurveda are broadly summed up in three lifestyle tactics: 1) Reducing ama (toxins), 2) Balancing/strengthening digestion (agni) and 3) Significantly lowering stress. Each of these plays a powerful role in supporting long-term, life-changing wellness, according to Ayurveda. To accomplish these three targets, Ayurveda offers you lots of enjoyable options. Each of these choices has the power, in the Ayurvedic model, to gradually, naturally support and restore Ayurvedic balance in mind and body. These lifestyle choices include changes to diet; stress reduction practices like yoga, exercise and meditation; and traditional Ayurvedic herbals.
The Ayurvedic herbals listed below are core herbal products supporting important areas of Ayurvedic wellness.
Digestion is a central long-term, priority focus of Ayurveda. Great emphasis is placed on keeping digestion (agni) balanced. In this sense, ‘balance’ means functioning at its absolute optimum. That’s because digestion (agni) is the engine of transformation and assimilation. This transformation ‘engine’ isn’t found just in the stomach — it is found in every cell in the body. It is an extremely intelligent engine, too. It transforms and metabolizes food nutrients and food intelligence into you, and selects out that which isn’t useful to the body and mind. Depending on the strength of agni, the ‘transformation engine,’ either toxins (ama) or ojas (the beneficial biochemical of balance) will get created. Ojas is the finest and most-valued by-product of digestion in Ayurveda, supporting immunity, happiness, the feeling of connectivity (union or yoga) and emotional stability.
Triphala: Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) from Maharishi Ayurveda — This blend of herbs is a powerful tonic for the digestive system. If you are feeling sluggish, dull or occasionally constipated, chances are that toxins are building up in your body. Toxins accumulate when your digestion — and elimination — are out of balance, which can lead to skin breakouts, menstrual cramps, fatigue, feelings of sadness and many other health issues. Triphala, available in Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus), is the every-night overnight detox and digestion balancer, supporting assimilation, balanced agni and ojas. This is the traditional Ayurvedic every-day, overnight detox. This is Maharishi Ayurveda’s number-1-selling digestion herbal.
Aci-Balance from Maharishi Ayurveda — This is a digestion-supporting (agni-balancing) herbal formulation. Occasional acid indigestion is a sign of a Pitta imbalance, according to Ayurveda. Too many hot, spicy foods can spark excess digestive fire and too much stomach acid. Over time, this can push digestion out of balance and lead to a variety of health problems.
The Ayurvedic herbs in this formulation help maintain proper balance of ‘agni,’ the intelligent digestive fire. The herbs help balance occasional excess acid and digestive fire; support overall digestion; and help the body preserve the purity and vitality of nutrients from foods you eat.
Sleep: Deep Rest from Maharishi Ayurveda — The herbs in this formula support sleeping deeply through the night and waking up feeling refreshed. Specifically, the formula is for those who have difficulty staying asleep and wake up in the middle of the night. It also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early, after less than six hours of sleep.
Sleep: Blissful Sleep from Maharishi Ayurveda — The inability to fall asleep naturally, according to Maharishi Ayurveda, is largely due to stress, frustration, heavy food and sensory overload. If you’re worried or agitated before bed, your mind stays connected to the senses, keeping them active. When that happens you may have trouble falling asleep — or if you do fall asleep, you may notice that your sleep is light and restless. When your mind is relaxed, and disconnects from the senses, that sleep is sound and deep.
The Ayurvedic herbs in the formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. Sleep becomes deeper and more restful. For published research on Blissful Sleep, please see this page.
Emotional Balance: Worry Free from Maharishi Ayurveda — This traditional formula helps you step up to the challenge of modern life. It simultaneously calms the nervous system while supporting mental acuity. These herbs help you sail through the same situations that used to cause a meltdown. It’s not about having a different attitude — it’s about changing the automatic and immediate emotional reaction you have to stress and supporting a healthy emotional response to stress. For published research, please see this page.
Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue. Diet, daily habits and ongoing stress are key factors that can contribute to imbalances in mind and body, leading to feelings of sadness and physical fatigue. The herbs promote self-confidence, positive thinking and feelings of fulfillment by balancing the subdosha of Pitta that governs emotional health (Sadhaka Pitta).
Immunity: Bio-Immune from Maharishi Ayurveda — This traditional formulation combines purifying herbs with nourishing minerals, including mica. The herbs and minerals help eliminate digestive impurities and toxins that can affect natural immunity. This aids healthy liver function and helps purify the blood. The herbs also promote a healthy resistance to stress and aid in the assimilation and metabolism of nutrients. Finally, they support communication between cells, an Ayurvedic key to healthy immunity. It takes over six months to prepare these herbs for use. Bio-Immune, in combination with Organic Premium Amla Berry and Organic Digest Tone, is a powerhouse for supporting immunity.
Energy: Organic Premium Amla Berry from Maharishi Ayurveda — Our Amla is prepared according to the ancient Ayurvedic texts — a 21-step process at a temperature below 90 °F to maintain the potency.
Gram for gram, Amla has 20 times the Vitamin C content of an orange. Good nutrition requires a balance of the six Ayurvedic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Amla is one of just a handful of herbs that contain five of the six taste categories — all except salty. Such balanced nutrition means that Amla helps balance all three of the basic operating principles (doshas) of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Amla produces total health benefits. It helps strengthen the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; boosts cellular regeneration; and promotes a positive nitrogen balance for improved growth of muscle tissue.
Mind and Memory: Organic Youthful Mind from Maharishi Ayurveda — The Ayurvedic herbs in this formulation help remove the toxins that can block mental abilities. They also promote a healthy response to mental stress — regardless of age. The herbs in Organic Youthful Mind support innate learning ability, clarity and recall, mental energy and alertness levels, the growth of consciousness and full mental potential.
Heart: Cardio Support from Maharishi Ayurveda — The Ayurvedic herbs in this formula help maintain normal and clear arterial walls. They do this by aiding healthy digestion and supporting balanced fat metabolism. These herbs nourish the blood, muscles and functioning of the heart, to help keep the heart healthy as you age. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, the heart is the seat of ojas, the substance that maintains life and promotes bliss and longevity.
Prostate Health: Prostate Protection from Maharishi Ayurveda — From the Maharishi Ayurveda perspective, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of proper nutrients and urine retention can impact prostate health. The traditional Ayurvedic herbs in this formula deliver nutritional support over a broad range of targeted areas. They help balance testosterone levels and support vitality, promote healthy prostate size and function, purify the urinary tract, and support the body’s natural immune system. This blend of Ayurvedic ingredients helps cleanse genitourinary tract impurities caused by unhealthy dietary habits and exposure to environmental toxins. They also:
- Support natural immunity in the genitourinary tract
- Promote healthy urinary flow rate
- Rejuvenate the reproductive system
- Help maintain healthy prostate size and function
- Enhance the reproductive fluid
- Support tissue health in the prostate gland
- Support healthy reproductive fluid
- Support healthy libido
(Cover Photo By Quiltsalad, Flickr Creative Commons)
(Hiker photo By Padraic. Flickr Creative Commons)
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.