SPRING

In the spring there is a predominance of kapha (water & earth elements) in the atmosphere. The warmth of spring starts melting the accumulated snow from winter. Likewise, accumulated kapha starts liquefying and running out of the body. This is why people tend to get spring colds.
 
Seasonal Diet

To prevent kapha from increasing, during this season it is best to avoid heavy, oily foods and to minimize the intake of sour, salty, and sweet tastes. One should eat more foods with bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. It is best to have three small, light meals/day, and stay away from cold drinks and ice cream/dairy products, with the exception of small amounts of ghee.

If you follow a non-vegetarian diet, stay away from beef and other red meat, lamb, pork, duck, tuna, and seafood. Chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs are better choices. Grains and fruits that aggravate kapha and should be avoided as much as possible are: wheat, brown and white rice (except for basmati), urud dal, bleached flour, white bread, most forms of pasta, avocados, coconut, melons, cucumbers, bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash.

Good grains for this season are: amaranth, corn, millet, tapioca, barley, rye, oat bran, and buckwheat. Legumes such as garbanzo and pinto beans, red lentils, and split peas help decrease kapha. The best fruits are: apples, peaches, berries, cherries, red or dark grapes, apricots, and raisins. And the best vegetables for kapha are, amongst others, artichokes, carrots, asparagus, spinach, okra, leafy greens, radish, and beets.

Ginger cinnamon tea with honey is a good beverage to pacify kapha. Most sweeteners aggravate kapha, but honey and molasses in small amounts are okay. Note that honey should never be cooked, as it becomes toxic and clogs the subtle channels. It should be added to the tea when it has cooled down a bit. Kapha types or people with accumulated kapha should drink a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of raw honey to eliminate excessive kapha and ama (toxic food byproducts).

Spring Routines
 
In spring it is advisable to get up early and go for a walk. After brushing the teeth and scraping the tongue, it is good to rub sesame or sunflower oil all over the body and take a warm shower.

Yoga to soothe kapha would be sun salutation, bridge, boat, bow, locust, camel, cobra, lion, and cat poses, as well as spinal twists. Simple breathing techniques (pranayama) may follow the yoga session before meditation, which is good to practice on a regular basis, regardless of the season.

Good types of exercise for this season is hiking, walking and light weightlifting, as well as other more vigorous forms of exercise that help to burn kapha. It is not advised to start swimming until the weather gets warmer.

Naps aggravate kapha and slow digestion, so they should be short if needed. As the days get longer and the activity increases, staying up later than usual is okay, but not in excess. Try to get to sleep by 10:30pm. Nighttime in spring is usually cool, so remember to stay warm and dry, and avoid sudden changes in temperature, as well as air-conditioned places.