Education | Inspiration | Earth Love

Got the Kapha Blues?

ayurvedic healing kapha energy seasons winter wisdom Jan 28, 2021


How is your winter?

If there is one season that may feel weighty and stir up heavy emotions, it is Winter (even without the added weight of the state of the World)! This can be attributed to the Ayurvedic energy of Winter, which is Kapha, and the corresponding elements of water and earth. When this energy is in a sustainable state, loyalty, devotion, and steadiness abound. When this energy is taxed, lethargy, inertia, and depression can result. 

There is certainly a dance to being with Winter. In some situations, it’s helpful to lighten the heaviness created by the energy and elements of the season. In other situations, it’s wonderful to sink into the hibernating aspects of the same elements. Every season is an opportunity to align the needs of our bodies with the expressions of Mother Nature. 


Here are some ways I dance with the energy and elements of the season.


Emerge from bed no later than 6:30AM

When I sleep in past this hour, I feel inexplicably off, with an overall sense of feeling down about something, though there is nothing. Ayurveda explains it like this: the hours from 6 to 10AM are Kapha Time. When one wakes up too far into Kapha time, the body doesn't get a hit of morning lightness, but is swept immediately into more immobile and heavy-feeling forces. This is particularly noticeable in winter, when the energy of the season matches the energy of the time of day, resulting in a double whammy.


Watch the sky take color and form as the Sun enters into the day

I arranged my room so I can sit on the bed and watch the dawn - and every dawn is sooo different! The quality of the light, the colors painted on the clouds, the reflection on the world around. I especially love the first white shades that bathe my room, it's like being near the ocean. These transition times (dawn, dusk) are when the veils are the thinnest, making it a potent time to receive inspirations, blessings, and faith for the day ahead. When I don't get this morning time, I feel like I'm in a boat that I can't steer, and can never get to my destination in time.



Spend less time working and more time with family

In the beginning of winter I was feeling stymied by my decreased productivity (and desire to be productive). Then it became clear. Of course! Winter isn't the time for this exertion! Kapha energy is about love, camaraderie, and engaging quality hours with our chosen families. [Summer, which rides on the fiery energies, is the time for bigger projects and healthy ambition.] This opens up more space for family games - our fave right now is Bananagrams. And sometimes, we can even get Mark to read with us!


Consume foods that are airy & uplifting

"Opposites balance" is one the mantras of Ayurvedic healing, so eating foods with light qualities will offset the downward winter Kapha energy. Some foods in my repertoire these days are cutie mandarins, sprouts, microgreens, chia seeds, stewed apples and cloves, and quinoa. I admit, quinoa is not something I eat willingly as I am mildly obsessed with rice, a grain that is grounding the rest of year, but in the winter causes an excess of weight. To balance taste and health I create a mix of rice/quinoa, which my body and mind definitely appreciate.


Bring variety to movement

Movement and variety are key ingredients to keeping Kapha happy. Yet, in the winter, motivation can be harder to come by. Sometimes I challenge myself to walk longer and further, drive to new hikes, or take the opposite direction. Or begin a new type of movement altogether, invite a friend for a socially-distanced activity, join a virtual class. Whatever is helpful to keep the Kapha energy from freezing over.


Immerse in evening darkness

Winter is a fleeting & precious time with the long stretches of darkness. I like to acknowledge this by sitting/meditating in the dark of the evening, with no light, or maybe just a candle. In this way, it's easy to ride with the calming and hibernating qualities of the season (and have a luscious night of sleep, another endearing Kapha quality!).


What brings you lightness, joy, and grounding in Winter?



In love, Shruthi






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