A few weeks ago I made a very important trip. After many years of researching Ayurveda and attending workshops, I finally went for my very first Ayurveda consultation. The appointment happened one-on-one with a seasoned practitioner in NYC. She felt my pulse for about a minute as I meditated on my third eye and slowed my breathing. Immediately afterward, she was able to tell me my true dosha constitution and what was out of balance. She continued on with a series of questions to get a bigger picture of my lifestyle, and was able to diagnose ways in which I could adjust for optimal health.
Although very healthy for the most part, I spoke with her about problems with fatigue. I’d been having a lot of trouble waking up in the morning, my brain was getting fuzzy, and avoiding procrastination was a big internal battle.
What she eventually came to tell me was that my Kapha is out of balance. Now, this is something that is common with A LOT of people this time of year. Winter is the Kapha season, a season when a lot of us get tired, slow down, develop mucus, and so on. To help balance it out, she recommended little changes to make in my daily routine. If you’re experiencing a Kapha imbalance yourself, read on and adopt some of these rituals to see how they work for you.
The first thing she set me to doing was a nightly steam with eucalyptus essential oil. To do this, set a pot of water on the stove, and once it starts boiling, remove it from the heat. Add 5-10 drops of the essential oil, and lay a towel over your head to inhale the steam. Stay for about five minutes.
The eucalyptus will help clear your lungs and sinuses of mucus. Not only is mucus annoying, but it can keep you from sleeping well. Stuffy lungs and sinuses keep you from breathing fully – dramatically affecting your quality of sleep, making it tough to wake up, and causing fatigue.
To keep your energy up, it’s really, really important to work out each day. This is something that a lot of us know, but actually having someone tell it to you flicks a switch. She said that at minimum, I should do 15 minutes cardio and 15 minutes of abs. I’ve been really sticking to it, and I find that even if I go with the intention of doing the minimum, I usually end up spending more time. It really does wake up the body and keep you energized.
Holy Basil Capsules
I had never heard of Holy Basil before, but she had me pick up a jar of organic capsules and instructed me to take one in the morning and one at night. The herb has a lot of benefits, but in this case, it’s taken for its stimulating and anti-anxiety properties. The basil wakes me up, and helps keep stress from affecting a good night’s sleep.
No caffeine. Instead, use warming herbs like ginger and cinnamon to give you a kick when you need extra energy. In between warming herb teas, simply sip on hot water. I have to tell you, this one really works wonders. There’s nothing like a cup of hot ginger tea in the morning to get you going.
How are you working on your health this season? Be sure to share in the comments!
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Ah! I definitely have so many of your symptoms – but kicking caffeine and committing to exercise is so rough. Your initiative is inspiring! Maybe for 2015 I’ll set up a yoga mat space in my sun room.
i’m bookmarking this page…i just got an ayurvedic cook book for christmas, and keep hearing about balancing your kapha this time of year, and i think it’s time i really check it out! thanks for this post!
Where do you suggest I buy holy basil capsules from? I prefer organic and want a trust worthy place to purchase it through! Any suggestions?
sending happiness your way,