Yoga & Ayurveda
Winter is Kapha Time
Bringing the knowledge of Ayurveda into our yoga flows can help us open and engage in a more harmonious manner. As we move into winter, I adjust sequencing to focus on increasing metabolism and circulation to help pacify kapha imbalances.
Kapha embodies the elements of earth and water. Earth qualities are solid, heavy, stable, and grounding, and water qualities are fluid, soft, smooth, and cool. These qualities are strongest in the winter and can cause imbalances, no matter what your predominant dosha. In nature, winter is a time for hibernation - a time for replenishment before spring's rebirth. Humans can feel this same pull toward hibernation or cocooning. Increased kapha brings about feelings of lethargy and heaviness, as well as a tendency to overeat through trying to find comfort in food.
To pacify Kapha and keep in balance, make sure to get enough rest and exercise, as well as take time to retreat into a quiet space for meditation or reflection. In addition, working with the pranayama and asana listed below will help increase circulation, energy, and metabolism.
Key pranayama for the winter: Kapalabhati (skull shining breath), Bhastrika (bellows breath).
Key asana: Sun Salutations, vinyasa, or rhythmic yoga postures - "flowing" practice. If you don't have a regular vinyasa practice, try to incorporate "a vinyasa" between some of your poses to help with flow and provide invigoration. Include back bends, twists, inversions, and arm balances to increase energy and circulation.