Cycling through the year and through your life
The cycle of the year represents the cycle of life:
- January through to May is the Kapha season and the first part of your life is when the slow, heavy, structuring principle of Kapha predominates, and you build up your body and your strength.
- June until August is the Pitta season and the hot, active and organising principle that Pitta represents tends to be more dominant in the middle part of your life.
- September to December is the Vata season where the cooler, drier, lighter, moving qualities holds sway and this more refined Dosha predominates the later part of live.
Since ancient times we have celebrated the death of the old and the rebirth into the new that the midpoint between the cold and hot seasons represents. Every year we go through the same cycle and for each of us, springtime represents the chance of re-birth – the throwing off of the old body and the birth of a new body.
In the latter part of this article are some Ayurvedic tips that will help facilitate the seemingly opposing forces of purification and renewal in your body:
- One force helps you remove excess Vata and Kapha, as well as waste products and toxins, accumulated during the cold season;
- The other helps you build up stronger more vital and healthy cells and tissues, so that you experience increased freshness and energy for the rest of the year.
For many of us, spring season is associated with upper-respiratory infections leading to congestion, colds, hay fever, and allergies. In Ayurvedic terms there are two reasons for these conditions – the body’s release of accumulated Ama and the melting of Kapha.
Ama is releasing
Because the Shrotas (body channels) tighten up during cold weather, Ama (toxic or waste material) can accumulate, especially in the fine cellular channels of the body. As the weather warms and your body relaxes, these fine Shrotas expand and have a chance to release this toxic material.
Kapha is melting
Spring is characterised by increasing warmth, moisture, softness and a nurturing gentleness. The slow, heaviness and wet qualities of Kapha are also present and this is why spring is known as the Kapha season.
Additionally, during winter some Kapha is bound to have accumulated in your body, especially with the rich Christmas and New Year meals many of us consume. In the same way as spring melts any lingering snow and ice, its warmth also liquefies any accumulated Kapha.
Kapha Ama cocktail
Ideally, this liquefied Kapha is automatically eliminated from the body. But due to the uncertainty of the weather, during this change of season, Agni, or digestive fire, can sometimes be good and sometimes be slow and sluggish digestive. A weak or uncertain digestion and purification system can mean that this melted Kapha may get mixed with circulating Ama and create a Kapha Ama cocktail. This mixture is also called Shleshma.
The presence of Shleshma can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and foggy in the mind.
As Springtime warms your body, increasing amounts of circulating Ama, and Shleshma, can overwhelm your immune system and you can become prone to infections, such as colds or flu, or exaggerated immune reaction, such as hay fever.
A good diet and seasonal routine is one of your best tools to minimise the kapha-accumulating tendencies at this time of year, and support the elimination of excess Kapha and Ama that the warmer weather has released.
Support the natural process of springtime renewal and revitalisation by adopting a diet and lifestyle that adds lightness, sharpness, dryness, and heat to your body