Cherry Blossom 21st April and the cherry blossom is flourishing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Kourtney Nelson
Zodiac Signs: Taurus & Gemini
Dosha Accumulation: Kapha & Pitta primarily, some Vata
Dosha Provocation: kapha during wet, cloudy weather, pitta with hot clear days, vata with large or frequent weather changes and windy days
Gunas Involved: cold-sita, hot-usna, snigdha-oily, heavy-guru, mobile-cala, clear-visada, picchila-cloudy, dry-ruksha, light-laghu
April - Average sunrise - 6:30am, average sunset - 7:45pm; Temperature range 62-34, average 53.
May - Average sunrise - 5:45am, average sunset - 8:00pm; Temperature range 71-44, average 61
Weather - Wide range of weather patterns, and large temperature changes. Can be very warm and sunny, or cold. April and May are often some of the wettest months in the year, with snow storms or thunderstorms. May experience windy periods as well.
Kapha - during late spring Kapha has accumulated is liquefied by the increasing heat, which can disturb the digestive system. Kapha can become provoked during precipitation, snowy days and cloudy rainy days
To minimize Kapha:
- warming, drying, and activating foods
- Pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
- Honey and hot herbal teas
- Vegetarian, low-fat diet
- Limit oils - Sesame oil and flax seed oil can be used minimally
- Vegetables, grains, and beans, cooked and well-spiced
- One salad per day
- Whole grain crackers and toasted breads of millet, quinoa, and corn
- Pungent spices: cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, mustard, cloves, celery seed, dill, radish,
- Spiced, cooked fruits
- Cranberry, pomegranate, carrot, grapefruit, and spinach juices can be used in moderation
- Herbal teas
- Cold, wet, bland foods
- Excessive use of oils, sours, salty
- Too many dairy products (especially yogurt)
- White sugar and too many sweets
- Wheat, oatmeal, unless toasted
- Too many cooling fruits such as banana, dates, mangos, apples and apple juice, especially in winter
Pitta - During late spring Pitta begins to increase in the body. Pitta can increase or be provoked on warm clear daysTo minimize Pitta:
- Astringent, bitter, and sweet tastes
- Moderate use of oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee
- Spices: cumin, coriander, fennel, anise, and cardamom.
- Organic milk, cottage cheese,
- Basmati rice, barley, millet, quinoa,
- Cucumber, lettuce, winter squash, yams, tofu, avocado
- Sweet fruits (e.g. figs, grapes and raisins, dates, blueberries, red raspberries, Babcock peaches, apples, pears, mango, and coconut.)
- Bitter and astringent herbal teas and nonalcoholic beers and wines
- Whole grains
- Excessive sour, oily, salty, and fried foods
- Red meat, shellfish fish
- Alcohol, caffeine, and soda pop
- Excessively hot spices, such as cloves, mustard, onion, garlic, chilies, radish, and cayenne.
- Frequent use of acidic fruits, juices, and vegetables: tomatoes, beets, eggplant, corn, carrots, hot leafy greens, papayas, pineapple, citrus (except limes), and vinegar.
- Cashews, peanuts
Vata - During late spring Vata can be aggravated by the highly changeable conditions and dry windy days
To minimize Vata:
- Cooked, warm, soupy, moderate to heavy foods, soothing and satisfying
- Plenty of healthy oils (monounsaturates, sesame oil, ghee, butter, nut butters, and EFAs) - avoid hydrogenated oils, other saturated and polyunsaturated oils
- Natural sweet, sour, and salty tastes and flavorful sauces
- Carminative spices such as basil, oregano, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, pippali, coriander, and dill.
- Protein-rich diet of animal products: ghee, warm milk, yogurt, cooked cheese, buttermilk, kefir, eggs, etc, as well as the grains like quinoa, corn, and basmati rice, and easily digested nuts and sesame seeds
- Best fruits and juices: tomato, pomegranate, carrot, fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit, apricot, peach, strawberry, raspberry, and vegetable juices
- Lots of fresh veggies (cooked are easier to digest for Vata): pumpkin, carrots, beets, green leafy veggies, avocado, broccoli, baked potato, winter squash, tomatoes, etc.
- Caffeine, white sugar, and soda
- Excessive use of beans and heavy grains (prepare them with ghee and spices)
- Dry foods taken alone, large amounts of raw vegetables
- Taking foods and drinks colder than room temperature Red meat
Late spring is a time of changing weather and release of accumulated kapha in the body, so digestion can be especially delicate, it can be especially important to follow agni rules at this time
- Follow agni rules
- Proper food combining
- Drink ginger tea in the morning (fresh for vata and pitta, dry for kapha)
- Take Agni kindler before meals
- Drink CCF tea after meals
- Movement: vigorous exercise daily (ex. jogging, aerobics etc), strength training, engage in new activities and mental challenges
- Do not skip meals, and do not fast. The Kapha digestive agni tends to be low, as does appetite, and not eating on time slows down the metabolism even more. Start your day with a light breakfast. Eat a sustaining meal at lunch, and a lighter meal for dinner.
- Vigorous oil massage with warming oil
- Protect yourself from the damp and cold. Drink lots of warm water, infused with warming spices such as turmeric, dried ginger and black pepper. At-home steam therapy can help open clogged channels.
- Go to bed early and wake up really early in the morning, 90 minutes before sunrise, do not indulge in daytime snoozes.
- Stay cool--both physically and emotionally. Avoid going out in the heat of the day, especially on an empty stomach or after you have eaten tangy or spicy foods. Avoid exercising when it's hot. Walk away from situations that make you see red.
- Do not skip meals, do not fast and do not wait to eat until you are ravenously hungry. You want to keep the fire burning at a moderate temperature, you don't want to put the fire out or to stoke it too high.
- Daily oil massage with moderate to cooling oil
- Water-based activities are ideal exercise for Pitta-dominant people. Try swimming or aqua-aerobics to stay fit but cool. Strolling after sunset, especially along a waterfront, is also a soothing way to fit some leisurely activity into your day.
- Go to bed early, rise 60 minutes. Make sure to turn off the computer or TV by 10pm and turn the lights out. A cup of warm milk, with some cardamom, can be helpful before bedtime.
- Balance work and play. Set aside some time for R&R everyday, and do not get so absorbed in a project that you are unable to detach from it.
- Establish a daily routine. Go to bed and rise at same time (30 min before sunrise). Regulate meal times, eat even if not hungry to establish routine. Don't skip meals.
- Foods and drinks that nourish
- Daily oil massage with warming oil such as sesame
- Light to moderate daily activity (don't over do and exhaust self) - slow classical vinyasa, swimming, dancing, bike riding
- Keep warm, stay out of wind.
Flatirons with Spring flowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)