KAPHA TIME IS HERE!!!
I can’t tell you how much joy I feel in my heart and senses during springtime. The flowers, especially the mustard, permeate everywhere. We are so lucky to live in this area! Life with new beginnings is happening all around us. This is also a time for new beginnings in our personal life after the cold winter months. Like bears, we are coming out of our hibernation ...hehe.
So what is going on with us while we are in Kapha season? Simply put, like produces like. So if we are predominantly Kapha in nature, or we have been consuming a lot of dairy and sweet taste, our bodies and minds might be feeling a little heavy or just not right. Most of us have congested livers that are working a littler harder to rid our bodies of accumulated stored fat from heavy diets in the wintertime. If our digestion is off, then the bile can get stagnant and get recycled back up to 20 times! Yikes.. This can further add congestion to our bodies, which is why Ayurveda suggests cleaning up the body by way of detoxifying and building up our digestive fire.
The element of our environment from the spring is very dense due to the water and earth expansion, the two constituents that make up Kapha. In other words, since we are part of nature and now nature is swelling with new growth and water from the rains, we too can develop a heavy quality. Think about it, what happens when you mix water and earth? It turns into mud. Our bodies can be affected by the heaviness and increase of Kapha and this leads to stagnation and further congests the liver. Some of these symptoms include watery or puffy eyes, edema, congestion in our lungs, sinus headaches, food sitting in our stomachs, and much, much more.
This is the reason for seasonal detoxification. In the spring, we cleanse our bodies to free up accumulated fat and liver congestion. This makes us lighter in mind and body. In the autumn, we cleanse to rid our bodies of accumulated heat from the summer months. This serves to prepare us for winter. We all know if we have excess heat in our system, this creates inflammation. And inflammation creates all kinds of ill feelings.
I am just finishing up a two-week group Ayurvedic detox cleanse, and I notice a transformation in my whole being. I am conscious of what I am putting in my mouth and more importantly what I am putting in my mind. My emotional connection to food has made up a huge part of my life. (Ayurveda says we are always looking for that sweet taste because it is based on our mothers holding us and feeding us sweet breast milk or sweet formula) These two weeks I have delved more inward, but yet being part of a group made it more tolerable because I had daily emails and support. I could ask questions and get real answers.
If you have never done something like a detox before, this is the way to go. Knowing that there is support and other people going through this helps to ease the feeling of being out of your comfort zone. If this seems like something that interests you, look for info via Seaside emails or Facebook. Also, feel free to contact me. It will be sometime in June or July.
In the meantime, some easy peasy tips for spring are as follows: Out of the six tastes try to focus your meals around bitter, pungent and astringent. Eat what nature is giving us. (In our country it is hard to decipher what is in season, as all foods are readily had. This is part of the problem with the American diet. We have too many dang choices!!!)
Stick with fresh greens, sprouts, garlic, onion, hot peppers… Ginger, ginger, ginger…yes..ginger is your friend! Make a tea, put it in your stir fries, eat a little before meals. Ginger helps to stimulate digestive fire. We need extra heat to break up that old, stagnant stuff in our bodies. As far as grains go, eat the lighter kind such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, oats, rye. Honey is great for kapha. Freely drink teas of alfalfa, cinnamon, dandelion, stinging nettle. Make a juice of hibiscus, a perfect and delicious diuretic. All you have to do is take two handfuls of hibiscus dried flower, put it in a quart of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey and more water to thin it, and enjoy! You can purchase hibiscus from any Mexican market or in the Mexican spice section of your grocery. I bought it in Star Market in Salinas. In Spanish it is called Jamaica.
But the most important thing you can do is ease up! Try to limit your stress. When someone or something bothers you, feel in your body where you have tightness. Breathe and cleanse this area. We can’t control other people’s actions. But we can control our reaction to their action. Take time to smell the amazing flowers we have growing all around us.
My favorite quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, is “Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” Namaste, Connie