Improve Energy with Ayurveda by Dr. Leena Athparia, ND
According to Ayurveda, there are 3 doshas, or bio-energies that make up your constitution: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Kapha is made up of the earth & water elements and is not only found in each individual, but also around us. In the winter season, with the cold and snow, Kapha is at it’s highest.
If your constitution is dominant in Kapha, winter may be the most challenging season. When Kapha becomes imbalanced, tendencies such as sluggishness, laziness, fatigue, depression can set in. You may find it difficult to get moving in the morning, or find it challenging to be motivated. Weight gain, asthma or lung issues, sinus congestion can set in during the winter, particularly in Kapha individuals.
Do you relate to any of the qualities of Kapha?
However, kapha is not necessarily a bad thing. Only when it becomes imbalanced, does it lead to issues in the body and mind. Kapha individuals are often compassionate, loving and caring people who bring stability and commitment to those around them. Maintaining balance is essential in feeling healthy and happy on a daily basis.
Winter is the time when you need to play a close check on Kapha. The good news is that if you take care of Kapha balancing, you can prevent the winter blues and minimize health concerns such as coughs and colds.
To balance the qualities of Kapha, you want to focus on “Warming”, “Drying”, and “Lightening”.
Tips for balancing Kapha
- Eat food with flavours that are pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent (these tastes are drying and lightening in nature)
- Stay warm and avoid dampness
- Schedule exercise daily – ideally early in the morning (this helps move Kapha)
- Drink warm fluids, avoiding cold food. Try ginger tea.
- Use warming spices such as : ginger, clove, cinnamon, marjoram, thyme
- Favour light and dry foods over heavy foods such as dairy, cheese, red meat, deep fried food.
- Dry dressing with bright colours (red, orange, yellow)
- Get creative and motivated. Start a new project or a hobby.
- Clear the space. Declutter by removing old stuff. Move furniture around for a fresh start.
- Try garshana, or ayurvedic dry herb massage
If your constitution is dominant in Kapha, try making some changes this winter and you will notice more energy and vitality! Kapha diet and lifestyle should be lively, full of energy and stimulation – this is the time to beat the winter blues, start exercising, wearing bright colours, adding spices to your food and staying warm.
Not sure if you’re Kapha is unbalanced?
There are quizzes you can do online to give a rough idea, however, it is always best to have a thorough assessment by a qualified practitioner to assess your current state of health (full intake, tongue and pulse assessment) and contributing factors to your health. What you should eat, and when you should eat, along with daily routine suggestions can all be customized based on your unique constitution. Ayurvedic herbs and therapies such as nasya and massages can also support balancing you.
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