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Moving Mountains~Thawing Out Kapha

Moving Mountains~Thawing Out Kapha

If your feeling tired, sluggish, puffy, stagnant, lethargic or just weighted down over all; then you might need to 'lighten-up.' Coming out of hibernation it's time to begin melting off slumber season. Read on for tips on clearing and cleansing for the body, mind and Spirit with breathing techniques, seasonal flavors, crystals and lifestyle adjustments.

The mid-point of winter arrives briskly in early February with noticeable shifts in the ever growing & glistening sunlight.  The stirring of life beneath the surface becomes palpable.  Throughout the Winter season, Kapha dosha dominates, giving us the endurance and hearty stamina to withstand these colder months.  Perfectly suited for hibernation, Kapha loves to move slowly and with intention, taking time for peaceful pursuits and enjoying some much needed rest and inner reflection, while delighting the senses in the warmth of food, friends and family.  Now that Spring’s momentum is picking up, Kapha needs to be motivated, moved and stimulated with light, dry, pungent and bitter flavors lest she linger too long in lazy reverie and become depressed and stagnant.

The Character of Kapha

Kapha season transitions us from the busy-ness of Autumn’s routines to a slower, more restful pace in Winter and the sweet wake up of early Spring.  Made up of Earth and Water elements, Kapha’s constitution is cool, heavy, moist, smooth, oily and slow.  Kapha can thrive on stored energy and settling in the heart center and chest, Kapha is a season of compassion.  Kapha’s embodiment is the voluptuous woman whose eyes shine as she radiates steadiness and courage.  In the masculine form, Kapha is jolly, cheerful & stable, embracing you in the warmest hug, his eyes twinkling.  Challenges do arise when Kapha remains under-stimulated, creating sluggish digestion, depressed moods, sweet tooths (and cheese tooths.  Is that a thing?  I think it should be.)  Kapha season is a wonderful time to rest and reflect, to meditate and “go inward”, journaling or reading or sipping tea.  But, now that we feel the wheel turn towards the Spring Equinox, it’s time for Kapha to incorporate more movement and revive the metabolism.

Warm Up Winter

Kapha needs to ignite a fire to maintain balance throughout the Winter.  Foods that are astringent, pungent and bitter will stimulate digestion and metabolism.  Consider adding ginger, chili, black pepper or turmeric to your cooking.  Likewise, drinking tea with warming spices (like our chai tea) or just a warm cup of water with lemon in the morning will get Kapha moving.  Bitters like saved and dried orange peels added to your tea will also support digestion.  Lighten up your food and center meals around astringent beans or lentils.  Soon too, those fresh bitter greens like dandelion and arugula and microgreens like alfalfa, radish or broccoli will be available.  Avoid heavier foods that weigh you down and try to warm up your food.  Kapha will do well with a routine, but build it in slowly, making one shift at a time and prioritizing regular sleep, regular meals and regular movement.

Get Kapha Moving

To keep immune and respiratory systems functioning optimally, Kapha requires attention to the lymphatic system.  Go for walks in nature amongst the frosted trees, start some simple and spiritual stretching or yoga practices, and in the evening when winding down, treat yourself to a soft and gentle self massage with strokes moving towards the heart.  To increase both effectiveness and sensuousness, use crystals, gua sha stones while massaging, or try dry brushing  Self massage will increase circulation and drain lymph.  Dance or join a class, workshop or group that inspires you. (Like these!)

Cleansing Practices for Kapha Season

Cleansing practices are also supportive at this time.  These rituals will help to release stagnant energy and shed the protective layers winter dresses us in.  Clearing the mind of sluggish cobwebs of thought, freshening up perspectives and inviting the potential of possibility boosts the mood, brightens the mindset, alleviates depression and heightens intuition & insight, ushering us into the more creative months ahead.  Even your home or office may be feeling a little claustrophobic and could use some freshening up.  

Cleansing Practices:

  1. Make a simple 1:1 vinegar and water spray using distilled or apple cider vinegar.  Combine water and vinegar in equal parts into a spray bottle.  Add pine needles, cinnamon sticks & orange peel (just let your heart guide you in quantity!)  Let sit for a week or two then use it to clean your home while offering affirmations or blessings as you clean.  Singing is recommended too!
  2. Practice a sacred smoke ceremony and light some sage (or other dried herb bundle), palo santo, or incense.  Keeping a dish or shell underneath, use a feather or your hand to fan the smoke.  Either fan the smoke around you or a room and while you fan whisper affirmations or blessings.  A simple affirmation could be “I release all that no longer serves me and delight in the relief of letting go.”  Or a blessing such as, “Bless this space that it may provide warmth and comfort to all those who enter.”  Don’t like or can’t use smoke?  Consider a cleansing spray. Purchase cleansing products here
  3. Polish your Aura.  Let go of expired energy you’re still lugging around from yourself or others that is emanating through your aura or electromagnetic field.  This field of subtle energy is believed to extend anywhere from 3-8 ft from your body.  When you are sick, tired, or stressed, your Aura will be weak and close to the body, conserving your energy.  Conversely, if you are juggling many things, jumping from place to place, project to project, your energy field may be jumping around everywhere.  To harmonize and cleanse this energy field, use a stick of selenite and about 6 inches or so off of your body, “comb” yourself with the selenite.  Start from the crown as though you were brushing your hair and work down the arms and the front of the body to the feet, then come back to the crown and “brush” down the back side as best as you can.  Purchase selenite sticks here.
  4. Enjoy a cleansing bath.  Slather up your body with our Revive body butter with warming and invigorating herbs of lemon balm and tulsi (holy basil).  Run a warm bath, adding epsom salts and other aromatic herbs that you would like such as rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon balm, sage or orange peel.  You can add these into the bath fresh or dried or place them into a pouch under running water.  Try our Zen bath salt with vibrant wild orange.
  5. Try a cleansing breath practice.  Breath of Fire or Kapalbhati pranayam will stimulate digestion and metabolism, warm the body, cleanse stuck or stagnant emotions and mental clutter, and balance the lower 3 chakras. This breath is rhythmic with an equal inhale and exhale.  To practice, sit comfortably in a chair or seated in a cross legged position.  For beginners, start with the mouth open, stick your tongue out and pant like a dog.  You should feel a pumping of the stomach with the stomach drawing in on the exhale and the inhale expanding the belly.  At a steady pace, the belly will move in and out, in and out with the breath.  Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm, close your mouth and continue breathing in this way through the nose.  Start with 1-3 minutes and work your way up to 7 minutes of practice.

Crystals for Kapha Season

  1. Selenite: Selenite is a cleansing stone.  Vibrating at a high frequency, think of selenite as the pitch that broke the crystal wine glass.  It clears away lower, sluggish frequencies.
  2. Amethyst: Amethyst is peaceful, spiritual and healing.  It is the stone of February and invites our higher self into the day to day which makes the mundane sparkle.
  3. Kyanite: While kyanite can be a cooling stone, it is cleansing.  It promotes tranquility and encourages your self expression.  Through the arts or crafts we enjoy, we keep things moving and flowing.  And it does offer a kapha type stimulation encouraging steady and stable movement in our activities without feeling drained. 
  4. Citrine: Citrine is warm and radiant, cheerful and abundant.  This stone also aids in confidence and will power, providing perseverance.  Like the Sun, Citrine is motivating, energetic and enthusiastic.

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