Spring for Kapha
Excess kapha can cause resistance to change or leave us feeling trapped in very uninspired ruts. And even though spring is full of water and an accompanying heaviness that can reinforce these tendencies, it’s also bursting with life, newness, and energy. As a kapha-predominant type, it’s important to stay focused on the life-giving aspects of the spring season and to commit to a daily sense of renewal. This is the perfect season for a fresh start and, with the right intention and focus, you can literally reinvent yourself this spring. The following modifications to a typical springtime routine are designed specifically to support your constitution. If you are not familiar with the basic tenants of a traditional springtime routine, you might benefit from first reading our more general Ayurvedic Guide to Spring.
Foods to Favor
As winter gives way to spring, you can gradually wean off of the nutritious, heavier fare required during the winter months. Instead, begin to favor lighter, more drying foods that will help offset the increased moisture of springtime. Continue to focus on the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, and embrace a somewhat minimalistic diet that includes smaller meals, little to no snacking, fewer sweets or desserts, and lighter fare throughout the day. But, it’s also important that you enjoy eating. Kapha-types tend to have a deep love of food, so a satisfying diet that is appropriately stimulating is especially important in supporting good eating habits. Try experimenting with a wide variety of spices—both familiar and exotic—and enjoy the increasing abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s probably a good idea to favor cooked foods over raw choices, especially early in the spring. And if you do have dairy, have it very occasionally and favor heated goat’s milk spiced with turmeric and ginger, or small servings of cottage cheese.
Acceptable Seasonal Indulgences
You will want to be especially diligent about limiting sugary sweets and most snacks during the spring months. Instead, indulge in deliciously light, fruit-based treats such as baked apples, delectable prune bars, or a kapha fruit crumble. Green or black tea with a little honey might suit your system just fine this spring. And on especially damp and heavy days, you might even get away with enjoying a cup of coffee or espresso.
Foods to Minimize
As a kapha type, spring is a good time to set aside foods that are heavy, oily, dense, or cold. It is best to use an absolute minimum of oil when cooking and to reduce or avoid heavy or watery fruits and vegetables like avocado, banana, coconut, dates, figs, pineapple, plums, cucumbers, olives, parsnips, sweet potatoes, or summer squash. Reducing or giving up sugar and dairy products can also go a long way to support a vibrant kapha season. Other heavy foods to reduce include wheat, flours, breads, cooked oats, pastas, nuts, kidney beans, soy beans, and urad dal. Cold and frozen foods are best avoided because they will invariably compromise agni (the digestive fire), which is critical to the body’s natural detoxification process. Lastly, be careful not to overhydrate, especially if your local climate is humid and wet.
Laughter, fun, and play can be crucial catalysts in helping kapha types to truly enjoy the spring. This is a wonderful time of year to invite clarity, purpose, and a child-like sense of joy into your life, and to push beyond any tendency toward lethargy or melancholy. Spring is a season of change, so take some time to envision the specific kinds of changes that would most deeply benefit you and set specific goals for achieving your dreams. On a more material level, prioritize rising by or before 6 a.m. so that you can benefit from the vibrant energy of the early morning and ward off the sluggishness that comes with sleeping too late. Orient your bedtime around whatever wake time is right for you to ensure that you get enough—but not too much—sleep. And finally, challenge yourself physically with plenty of exercise to ignite your natural strength and stamina.