Spring: Kapha Season Tips for Balance & Wellbeing

Spring: Kapha Season Tips for Balance & Wellbeing

It’s springtime, which means it is Kapha season in Ayurveda, when nature starts to thaw, reawaken, and grow heavy with sweetness, lush blooms, and new life. The winter’s late cold meets the early spring’s warmth this time of year, as everything starts waxing toward a new beginning. 


This rich and shifting climate impacts our energy levels and vitality, which makes it incredibly helpful to know a bit more about what Ayurveda recommends for our daily routines, activities, and nutrition during this time.




If you’re new to Ayurveda, it is an ancient holistic science of health and wellbeing originating in India over 3,000 years ago. The word “Ayurveda” translates from Sanskrit to mean “The Science of Life,” and it is essentially a wealth of knowledge about the entire human body, its systems and functions, and the elemental reasons behind the imbalances we experience and how to rebalance them for optimal health and vitality. 


Unlike passing fad diets or workout trends that try to convince us that one method of eating or exercising is the way for everyone, Ayurveda assesses your constitution (body and personality) as an individual and makes recommendations to help you personally optimize your health and wellbeing based on who you are, where and how you live, and your inherent nature. 


I’ve been studying Ayurveda all my life, from my childhood, when my mother had me take a doshas quiz from a book she was reading, through today, as I complete my Ayurvedic Health Counselor program from Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Ayurveda has truly transformed my life (and career!) for the better in every way, and I am passionate about sharing its empowering and accessible wisdom with you, so that you too have the tools and guidance to support your health and wellbeing. 




Kapha is one of the three “doshas” or “functional energies” of life. You may have come across it in taking a “doshas quiz” to learn more about your constitution. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and each is a functional energy that resides within the body, within the seasons around us, within certain times of day, and within the seasons of life. 


Kapha in particular is made up of earth and water elements, which makes its characteristics stable, heavy, cool, dense, slow, steady, sweet, and smooth. That means when it is Kapha season, there are more of these qualities in the air and climate in which we live, which increases Kapha in our bodies. When Kapha is high, we can feel heavy, sluggish, slow, congested, sleepy, and generally less motivated. 


This is not to say that Kapha is bad at all — Kapha also gives us stability, resilience, strength, vitality, gentleness, and an appreciation for the sweet simplicities of life. It’s only when Kapha is out of balance or in excess, which is caused by an increase of Kapha, that it can have the less desirable effects. So, what do we do about it?




Ayurveda teaches that like creates more like and opposites create balance. For example, the increase of Kapha in the spring can cause symptoms like congestion, allergies, weight gain, and sluggishness. To remedy this, we need to incorporate the opposite of Kapha into our lives, which means more foods and activities that bring lightness, action or movement, warmth, and the spice of life (novelty and new things to learn) into our lives. 


Note that this doesn’t mean you need to be strict or black-and-white about these recommendations. Instead, just try to favor things in your diet and lifestyle that reduce Kapha and limit things in your diet and lifestyle that increase Kapha. Now let’s get more specific about what that means.


During Kapha season (late winter through spring) it is good to keep warm and get active. Think of a tree being dormant all winter and starting to feel the rays of spring sunlight warm and quicken its sap to encourage new leaves to form. If you’re waking up feeling sluggish in the morning, try to get up and get moving first thing, even if all you want to do is snooze a little longer. Gentle yoga and walks are great, while pretty much any mindful movement of the body in the morning will help you feel lighter and more energized. 


This is also a great season to let yourself learn a new skill or develop a new level of expertise, as novelty and excitement help balance Kapha’s slower, heavier energy. Take a class or workshop to refresh and expand your skills. Learn a new technique that you don’t normally practice for your bouquet or installation work. The energy of Kapha season is stable and supportive for new learning, and you’ll find it enriching and fulfilling (not to mention easier and in more harmony with life) to join nature in this season of new growth.


Decrease your intake of heavy, cold foods, as they will add to the heaviness of Kapha in the body this season. Essentially, save the ice cream for summer when it is a better treat to cool you off, and just go lighter on diary in general, especially if you are more prone to seasonal allergies or have any congestion from a cold. 


Opt for more warm, cooked foods with warming spices like ginger or curry, and foods that are lighter in nature and easier to digest. This is not the best season for heavy meat or dairy intake, so just do your best to decrease these a bit if they are staples of your diet. Add in more cooked seasonal vegetables like brocollini, stir-fried peas or asparagus, or steamed spinach with ghee and a squeeze of lemon. I personally have a huge sweet tooth, but I try to decrease how much sweetness I’m having in this season too, to help my body not accumulate extre Kapha.


While you’re on your feet flowering all day in your design work, or if you’re at your computer all day on the business side, set a timer for 25 minutes. When it goes off, go for a little walk to refresh your body and take some revitalizing deep breaths. These two simple practices will bring you more focus and creativity than trying to force yourself to keep going without a break. When you get back, set another timer for the next 25 minutes of work. You will be amazed by how quickly this goes by, which always reminds me how much I’m sitting or standing without realzing it when I don’t have the timer to remind me to return to my body.


Use the energy of Kapha season to come out of your shell a little bit. Reach out to a friend and make a date or go to a new class to stretch or strengthen your body. Make a new friend. These warming and engaging experiences will keep your motivation and morale higher as we move through this generally damp and heavier time of year. New experiences of any size go a long way this season, from simple adventures like trying out a new coffee shop to bigger ones like going for a getaway trip somewhere warm and inspiring for you!


Arguably, the very best flowers bloom in spring, Kapha season flowers, with all of their richness and cool-weather hardiness. They seem to contain the cold and stable strength of winter while reaching out into vibrant expressions of warmer days to come! From poppies and ranunculus to butterfly ranunculus, from tulips and hellebores to jasmine and lilac, from daffodils and narcissus to anemones and snapdragons, it is a chorus of beauty.


Let yourself be a part of this season, as all of nature dissolves the desne energy of winter and awakens into a new life. There is inspiration blooming all around us and a new beginning to embrace, and Kapha season invites us to refresh ourselves and enjoy it all.



I’ll be sharing more here about the seasonal recommendations from Ayurveda for health and wellbeing as well as helpful tools and practices from Ayurveda overall. Please drop a comment or question below, and feel free to make requests for future posts or to share this post with someone who you know will benefit from it!



Photography captured by Ariel Min

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