How to stay balanced and healthy during spring
What is Kapha?
Some of the practices that you might have incorporated during vata season or the late fall and winter, you are going to continue to do, but in a slightly different way. We still want to nourish the skin by doing abhyanga, the self-oil massage, but with different oils and maybe less oil. You might want to continue practicing yoga, but now with a different intention. Your pranayama practice or breathing practice that you might have started will also continue, but with a different intensity. With each season our practices change according to the qualities and how they should be balanced.
Give Yourself some love
Yoga for Kapha Season
That just means that kapha somtimes needs more motivation and maybe even a stiff kick in the butt to get a jump start. During kapha season we can all use a little help getting started if we haven't been consistent with some kind of physical exercise. Since yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences a yoga practice would be a perfect way to get the body moving in a structured way that will build some heat, get the circulation going and fire up the digeston. As I have mentioned before, both yoga and Ayurveda are very individualized, but during kapha seasan everyone can incorporate some aspect of a kapha balancing yoga practice.
Kapha needs more light and bright colors. Maybe put on a nice bright shirt or have a visual that is bright and cheery. Looking out the window on a nice sunny day would be great. Specific colors are bright pink, yellow and orange. Patterns are also a good idea. You want a warm room since one of the kapha qualites is cold. If you are choosing to use music, faster paced music that is fun and up tempo would be preferable. Maybe change up your practice a bit since kapha needs variety so they don't get stuck in a rut. Your class could start on the floor and slowly build to bring up the heat and the pace of your practice so as to increase the breath. You want to keep the heat consistent so keep moving! It does not have to be so intense or advanced to keep the heat up. Just keep moving at a good pace to be consistently heating. Standing poses are good for this. Add in some twisting poses and big back bends, side bends and keep opening the chest since the seat of kapha dosha is refered to as the chest and lungs. Remember the intention is to just build heat and not to make the class to vigorous.
Pranayama for Kapha
Sit in a comfortable position. On the floor or in chair. If you are sitting in a chair you want the feet touching the floor and your back upright against the back of the chair. If you are sitting on the floor you can sit on a cushion or rolled blanket or pillow with the legs crossed. Support the knees with extra blankets if necessary. Rest your hands on your knees or thighs and close your eyes. Begin to tune into your breath by just being aware of your inhale and exhale. Take a few breaths to begin. Kapalabhati feels like a sharp exhale as if you coughed or sneezed. So take a long breath in and exhale quickly through your nose. You will feel your abdomen quickly retract. That is one kaplabhati breath. You are going to begin with 10 breaths. See how you feel and continue with 2 more rounds of kapalabhati. Begin the one long inhale. Exhale completely. Take another breath in about half way and begin to make short, strong exhales through your nose 10 times. When you finish take a few relaxed breaths and begin again.
This breath takes some getting use to. Some people find it difficult to allow the belly to draw in on an exhale, but that is actually what it is supposed to do! If you watch a baby or an animal breath you will notice that there abdomens contract on the exhale. So, don't give up on the first try. Keep trying and reap the benefits of kapalabhati pranayama.
Meditation for Kapha
Aromatherapy for Kapha
Foods for Kapha
Foods to avoid are heavy and oily. You want to have less dairy, stay away from processed foods and fried foods. So the tastes you are trying to avoid are sweet, sour and salty which are very high in processed foods. The bitter, pungent and astringent foods will help the body rid itself of the excess fat from winter and prepare the gut for the lighter foods of summer. For more detailed information on ayurveda and spring check out Banyan Botanicals spring guide below.
Ayurveda's Spring Cleanse
Sunday, March 20th, 3-5pm
The cook and owner of The Positive Kitchen, Radhika Hira started her journey with food, cooking and yoga long before she even realized it. Born and raised in Pune, India, she grew up surrounded by yogic philosophy as the town is home to Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. Her family and particularly her grandmother were her first teachers of the the sister philosophy of Ayurvdeda - a science that is thousands of years old and strongly advocates the healing properties of food and how they influence our mind-body equilibrium.
Radhika moved to New York almost 15 years ago and intuitively realized that she needed to find a balance between her knowledge from this ancient culture and the fast pace and modern culture that was her reality now.
She reintroduced herself to a consistent yoga practice and to learning all she could about food.
Along the way the dozens of recommendations and facts about food that constantly surround us were confusing and contradictory and served as a pathway to bring her back to Ayurveda - a food science that offers structure and easy tools that respect the uniqueness within each of us and allow you to eat for you and no one else.
Today she is a certified RYT 200 teacher and passionate about always learning about food, cooking and being a steward of the earth with her every choice.
In anything we venture to do, the combination of theory and practical are undeniable. At this spring workshop we would like to combine the theory and the practical applications of Ayurveda as well.
As Kendra helps you understand Spring and the changes you need to make, Radhika will feed you a meal cooked true to Ayurvedic principles that will help support and transition your body to spring.
During the 3-5 or as they enter?
Ginger tea and spiced apples with raw honey
Black chana salad
Red lentil daal soup with neem and ginger cooked in coconut oil or ghee served with with Basmati rice cooked with whole garam masala
Roasted potatoes with fenugreek - the potatoes give the required density or creaminess the meal will need but since they will be roasted, they retain the dry and light qualities we want in the meal.
Green beans and carrots - a light and very flavorful combination
Amaranth shira with raisins and soaked almonds - lightly sweetened with turbinado or cane sugar
RSVPs are enabled for this event.