Kapha Balancing Rituals
The transition into Kapha Season makes for the perfect time to re-evaluate your self care rituals. Observe your current routine and make any changes needed to stay in balance with nature. Cooler weather creates stagnancies in the body, so it is very important to encourage movement and heat to keep things flowing. The Ayurvedic qualities of Kapha are heavy, cold, slow, and oily which can smother digestive fire, fuel mucus production and increase water retention.
Here are a few easy Kapha Balancing Rituals to implement this season:
- Consume Balancing Foods. In Ayurveda, there are 6 tastes used to determine the effects that various foods, herbs and spices have on our wellbeing. The 3 tastes tastes associated with Kapha are sweet, salty and sour. In order to balance out the excess of Kapha, you need to consume foods and spices of the opposite tastes (astringent, bitter, and pungent). To add the Bitter taste into your diet, try to incorporate more turmeric for its blood cleansing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Pungent vegetables like onion and garlic increase digestive fire and have very strong anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. Warm lemon water is a great way to incorporate the Astringent taste to help tone and cleanse the body.
- Sweat. Using a sauna or exercising are great ways to increase warmth and movement in the body during Kapha season. Because Kapha is characteristically cold, heavy, and dense, sweating is balancing by doing the opposite. Heat and movement break up stagnation and clear blockages in the body. Try focusing on cardiovascular exercises that really get the heart rate up to purify and purge the body.
- Stimulate the Lymphatic System. There are a few easy ways that you can get your lymph moving at home. Making a salt scrub or warming infused oil for gua sha can improve circulation and assist the lymphatic system in removing toxins. Make your own Kapha Body Oil (pictured above) by infusing olive and/or sesame oil with optional herb combinations of Rosemary, Pine, Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Anise, Clove, Cardamom, or Pink Pepper. Vigorously scrub or gua sha the body with warmed oil working upwards and towards the heart, starting from the feet.
- Avoid Sweets. Kapha is associated with the Elements of Earth and Water, and the taste of sweet is also associated with these same elements. Just as we explained earlier that you can balance the body by consuming herbs of the opposite taste, it can also be important to avoid certain tastes at different times of year. Sweet is the most important taste to avoid for Kapha season. An overabundance of Earth and Water elements will increase stagnation and create imbalance.