You know the saying that everything tastes better when it’s in season. Not to mention that eating a seasonal diet is healthier. So, if there’s such a thing as a seasonal diet, is there such a thing as a seasonal exercise routine?
For sure. But before we dive in, let’s get some things out of the way. The following approach does not take into consideration any personal imbalances, illnesses, injuries, physical abilities or other circumstances you may have so make sure you cover those first. Your climate and timing of the season change may also be different. The following ideas are general observations to help optimize the transition from winter to (and into) spring, which ayurveda defines as kapha season. It is characterized by wetness and liquification. You can learn more here along with some in-season diet and lifestyle recommendations.
The need for a kapha-balancing spring exercise routine
In very, very simplistic terms, if you were to divide your body into 3 parts, the upper third would be the kapha part of your body. This part includes (the fundus of) your stomach, chest, lungs and head. Too much kapha in these parts of your body may manifest as wet coughs, colds, sinus infections, congestions, mucus, phlegm, just to name a few. The goal of a kapha-balancing exercise routine is to help reduce these heavy, moist, cool qualities in your body.
These heavy, moist, cool qualities may increase too much in your body due to the season as we mentioned above, and from your personal diet and lifestyle choices.
The elements of a kapha-balancing spring exercise routine
This is the time for a vigorous, movement-based, energizing practice that focuses on the stomach, chest and head. Make it playful.
As a yoga practitioner, you may prioritize standing poses, backbends, and inversions (just make sure you’re strong enough for them). Sun salutations are a great way to start things off strong.
Consider incorporating chest-opening poses, like cobra, fish and camel into your practice. Play with shoulder stand, and mindfully explore headstand or handstand.
If you’re familiar with the bandhas, jalandhar (throat) bandha is the bandha at play here, but know the precautions and contraindications, such a high blood pressure and heart problems before engaging in this practice.
For your enjoyment, here are 5 short sequences (4 ½ minutes at 4X speed) you may play with as you explore a kapha-balancing practice this season. Feel free to up-/down-level them to your liking, add in your favorite moves and remember to do both sides!
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