Winter to spring
Jump for joy! Spring is in the air. Here in Portugal we had the first really warm days (spotted the first mosquito too), the fruit trees are blossoming and field flowers and orchids are popping up everywhere. This is when the country is at its prettiest! (No wonder we chose this time to host our yoga retreat here! ;-))
In ayurveda we are ending the late winter season (Śiśira, mid January to mid March) and transitioning into spring (Vasanta, mid March to mid May). In late winter Kapha dosha accumulates. Come spring the accumulated Kapha will aggravate.
Aggravated Kapha leads to symptoms such as cough, colds, sore throat, sinusitis, tonsilitis, a feeling of heaviness, fluid retention and stickiness in the malas (bodily waste).
On a mind level aggravated Kapha manifests as a feeling of dullness, disinterest, possibly depression, and over-attachment to things and opinions, greed and possessiveness.
Lethargy is another symptom of aggravated Kapha: getting out of bed is especially hard right now! Buttt it is time to end hibernation and wake up earlier again. (I know, I am not the bringer of good tidings). Maybe even start a spring clean!
Natural tendency of the doshas in spring
The prominent taste in nature now is astringent. Eating sour, sweet and salty foods will aggravate Kapha further so it is time to favour astringent (nature provides what we need!), bitter and pungent tastes.
Some tips to deal with Kapha
It is important now to eat fresh and easily digestible foods. Avoid dairy, especially when you are congested as it is mucus forming. Green vegetables (bring on the kale!) and radishes are excellent choices. Include mustard seeds, cayenne, garlic and ginger in your diet to add pungency to your diet. Avoid oversleeping and naps right now, we need to stimulate Kapha!
Read more: how to balance Kapha in winter
Ayurveda recommends to never change your diet and lifestyle from one season to the next abruptly. It will leave us vulnerable to imbalance and disease. Ritusandhi is the phase where we change gradually between seasons.
We should adapt our lifestyle and activities from winter to spring. Also our food needs to be transitioned slowly. You will notice in the farmer’s market and supermarket when fruits and vegetables are starting to come into season – they will be more abundant and cheaper than out-of-season/flown-in foods.
Ideally we transition the last week of the previous season and the first week of the next season. During these two weeks we can eat foods that are coming into season and going out of season. After those two weeks, increase foods coming into season even more and completely phase out foods going out of season. Practically: 7 to 15 March is to transition into spring and 15 March to 21 March to transition out of winter. It is high time to eat the last remaining of my pumpkins then!