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Movement Practices for Kapha Season

Here we are, right in the muck, I mean midst of things….February feelings!

Tbh…February is one of my least favorite months.

When I was a kid, this sentiment was selfishly motivated, as my birthday is early March and it seemed to drag on foreverrrrrrr....never mind that every four years there's a random extra day thrown rude! :)

These days, I'm much more practical and despise it for it's coldness and wetness. #growthgame and #hellokaphaseason

ICYMI: Last month, I wrote in depth about Kapha season, you can catch up with my Ayurveda inspired blog, Cycles of Life! There's a graphic below, if you are short of time and want the gist.

Nature moves in cycles, and with modern technology we often have lost touch with our internal rhythms. Lightbulbs, heaters, and blue light from screens have altered our body clocks, and never fear! We can get ourselves back in alignment with the seasons by slowing down, and making choices about the ways in which we nourish ourselves.

Ayurveda blogs/advice often focus on food choices, but that’s not what I enjoy sharing. Not disregarding the wisdom of seasonal food, but as someone who has struggled with body image, and the curse of "knowing too much, I don’t really do that.

<Side story: there have been several times in my life where I’ve gotten so caught up in making the “right” food choices that I’ve made myself fearful of eating anything. This happened to me while working for UNC at the Nutrition Research Institute, and also by falling down a rabbit hole of reading too many blogs written from a privileged perspective. These days, I make eating 2 meals a day a priority, and release all the dizzying rules.>

Let’s dive into some options for movement during this season!

Remember this simple rule: A Kapha in motion will stay in motion.

Aka…the hardest part is showing up!!

Double bonus gold stars for showing up when it’s cold and rainy!! Or when you pet sleeps on your lap, or the netflix series is at a good part. :)

While I highly encourage moving your body just because, if there was a “goal” for Kapha season practices it would be to boost your enthusiasm, or add zest to your life.

Try to practice in a way to balances the qualities of kapha: cool, heavy, moist, slow, dull, and stagnant.

Go for warming, light, dry, quick, and mobile!

Some quick tips:

1. Choose movements that are quick, energizing and mildly heating. Kaphas can sweat, and it’s so so good.

2. Kapha types are usually strong by nature. They can focus more on flexibility and agility.

3. Choose forms that are more rapid and moving. Longer holds are also good for kapha as they build intensity and circulation of blood and lymph.

4. Get your body moving asap in the morning. However, don’t sacrifice your 8-9 hours of sleep….nonnegotiable, and kapha usually requires more sleep.

Sample Asanas + Pranayams:

  • Surya Namaskar

  • Backbends

  • Laterals

  • Twists

  • Agni Sara

  • Brahmana breath (2:1)

  • Kapalabhati

Other Ways to Move this Season:

  • Hula Hoop

  • Mindful runs

  • Trampoline

  • Dance

  • Easy walks with friends

  • Biking

  • Something new!!

This is the one time of year that my body naturally craves some hot yoga, but I have to be careful not to make it too powerful because I have such a strong Pitta constitution (fire + water). Even though the summer months are still a ways away, I don’t want to start a trend and burn out.

One of my favorite practices for anytime I’ve been stuck in the muck is to simply say YES! YES to every opportunity that comes up, the more outside my norm the better! Trying new ways to move, meeting new friends, and getting outside are some of best medicines for Kapha season.

Here’s a short, and sweet-ish, Kapha busting asana class that I recorded in the summer of 2020 in Florida…hence the palm trees!

And if you are wondering about the other doshas, you can download my full guide for “Yoga for Doshas” or listen to this podcast interview. Or maybe you are curious about your dosha? Check out my friends Banyan Botanicals and their Dosha quiz.

P.S. And if you are ready to skip seasons completely, there's still time to join Ben and me in Puerto Vallarta!! ;) Yessss....Pitta/Summer! We just had a room open up, and would LOVE to have you join us! Xinalani was truly magical, and built sustainably into the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Each room has an ocean view, and the practice spaces are simply gorgeous! The deadline is 2/27/22, check the link (or message me) for more info.


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