Cycling through the year and through the Doshas
With the cycle of the year comes a cycle though different Doshic influences:
- January through to May is the Kapha season and with it comes Kapha’s cold, wet, slow, heavy, structuring properties.
- June until August is the Pitta season and the hot, sharp, active and organising principles of Pitta predominate.
- September to December is the Vata season where the cool, drying, light, ever-moving and ever-changing qualities of Vata hold sway.
Springtime spans the midpoint between cold and hot weather and we have always welcomed it as a time of re-birth where nature wakes out of its static, restful state of hibernation. Springtime also offers the chance to throw off accumulated toxic and Doshic build-up that may have occured over winter, and the opportunity for physical and mental renewal.
There are two opposing yet complimentary processes present in this Springtime renewal process:
- One process will help your body remove excess Vata and Kapha, as well as waste products and toxins that have 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, the 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.
Releasing a flood of Ama
Your Shrotas (body channels) tend to shrink and tighten during cold weather and thereby, slow down your body’s purification process. The result is, Ama (toxic and waste material) often accumulates in your cells and tissues during wintertime. As the weather warms and the body relaxes, your Shrotas expand and the result may be, a flood of toxic Ama is released thoughout your body.
As the weather warms, Kapha melts
Spring is characterised by increasing warmth, moisture, softness and a nurturing gentleness. The slow, heaviness and wet qualities of Kapha express themselves throughout nature and this is why late Winter through till late Spring is known as the Kapha season.
Additionally, during winter some Kapha is almost bound to have accumulated in your body, especially with the rich Christmas and New Year meals many of us consume during this festive time. In the same way as Spring melts any lingering snow and ice, its warmth also liquefies any accumulated Kapha we may have. And, like the released Ama, it circulates around the body and affects many of our organs and systems.
Shleshma – a Kapha-Ama cocktail
As long as our Agni or digestive fire is strong, this released Kapha and Ama will be eliminated automatically and cause no harm. But if our Agni, or digestive fire, is sluggish or weak, the melted Kapha and Ama hangs around for longer tend to mix into a Kapha-Ama cocktail. This cocktail is called Shleshma.
The presence of Shleshma tends to leave you feeling tired and sluggish in your body, and dull and foggy in your mind.
As Springtime warms your body, increasing amounts of circulating Ama and Shleshma can overwhelm the immune system and you become prone to infections, such as colds or flu, or exaggerated immune responses, 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.