Gardening with Kapha in Mind

FullSizeRenderEarlier this month, Nicole and I teamed up to host an amazingly full class of students eager to learn more about how to love up their bodies and gardens during Kapha season. I wanted to make sure you were in the know too! I asked Nicole a couple questions so you can get the goodness too and she was gracious enough to share. So, here you go!

So Nic, what is Ayurveda anyway? Give me the elevator speech.

I’m so glad you asked! Ayurveda is known as “the Science of Life.” I like to say that it’s the sister science of yoga where we learn what to eat, drink and do during all of those hours of the day that we’re not on our yoga mat. In Ayurveda, each person is considered a unique blend of the 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).  Once you know your dosha (body type), you’re able to adjust your diet and lifestyle for optimal balance and happiness.

edit-150I love that – the sister science of yoga! So there’s seasons, huh? Like in the garden, so what season are we in now?

Yes! In Ayurveda, there are 3 seasons which correspond with the 3 doshas. Right now we’re in kapha season, which is dominated by the elements earth and water. We can see this in the garden when the ground feels heavy, wet, dense and cold. Those same qualities are governing what’s happening in our bodies. To find balance, we add the opposite qualities (warm, light, energizing) to our diet and routines.

Yep, earth and water. Sounds about right. What can you tell me about kapha season (the beginner’s version)?

During kapha season, it’s very common to experience congestion in the nose, throat and chest. Mucus can be thought of as a kapha symptom (earth + water) because it’s wet, heavy and sticky. Gross, right? By eating a kapha-pacifying diet we can eliminate excess water and reduce that nasty congestion naturally.

Luckily, we get to enjoy more sunshine during kapha season. The earth quality of kapha season helps us feel more grounded and peaceful than during the blustery autumn. As plants start sprouting, we get the chance to clean our internal house and prepare for the bounty of spring and summer!

spinachWhat are the top three ways I can support my body during this season?

Great questions!

First, sip ginger tea with honey. Ginger is a powerful herb that sparks agni (our digestive fire). Drinking ginger tea about 30 minutes before your meal helps your body better digest and absorb the nutrients from the food. The honey tastes sweet, and it has a beneficial “scraping” quality once it’s digested. The combination of ginger and honey helps the body prepare for optimal digestion and scrape away the gunk!

Second, choose kapha-pacifying foods like leafy greens (arugula, spinach, watercress and kale), celery, asparagus, parsley, radishes, sprouts, and onions. Favor warming spices like garlic, wasabi, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric.

Third, try using a neti-pot to clear out nasal congestion and potential irritants. If you’ve never tried it before, here’s a quick 4-minute video tutorial.

nettlesNettles are awesome for congestion too! And it’s nettle season! Remember this video tutorial I shot? Note to self…don’t harvest nettles in a skirt. Geesh! Is there anything else I should know?

I love to connect and answer questions! Find me at or on Instagram @ayurvedanicole.

You can join our next Ayurveda class too! It’s not too late! Click here to learn more!

*Yoga photo of Nicole by Lisa Lancaster

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