Monthly Archives: March 2013
Last week my boss, Susie, came to San Francisco to work with myself and my team. One of the busiest, hardest working people I know, she’s also an awesome teacher, a positive coach, and tireless cheerleader. She’s a mom and wifey too. In an after-work dinner convo, I turned into her Ayurvedic counselor (cause I am) and suggested that she take more time for herself because she gives so much out! We started yapping about time (or lack of), momhood, work priorities and we both griped that we didn’t have enough time to exercise as much as we would like. It bummed us out because we love to do it, but our time is so limited (jee, sound familiar to anyone else?). I have a couple DVDs that I do, but only a couple times a week, not daily.
She said, “There were two times I can think of when I was in really good shape. One, was right before my wedding (when I trained her and taught fitness classes in our office – ha!) and the other, was years back when I just did 10 minutes of cardio a day. Just 10 minutes…and I ate less too.”
Inspired, this weekend I took my dog Blossom on a quick run instead of a walk. And by quick run, it was 10 minutes. Her doggie face was happily panting and I actually had some sweat beads on my nose. I told Susie on Monday that I did 10 minutes of cardio the past two days, and would she like to join me on my crusade to cardio? She accepted, but then she threw in 10 push ups too. Dang it! Overachiever. Ok fine, so 10 minutes and 10 pushups a day.
I have to say, I LOVE IT! It’s not hard AND it gives me a warm up in case I have to sprint to the train! The point of all this is, take baby steps, but CONSISTENT baby steps toward your goal. If all I can muster is 10 minutes and 10 pushups, then I’m going to do it. Without fail, daily. The other thing that is helpful is to have a buddy. We know that when we have a buddy, we are more likely to be accountable for new habits we are trying to form. So now we send IM chats at work, “10 and 10! Done!” or “10! and I still have to do 1o.” or “I did 10 sets of squats 10 times and sometimes held my daughter…does that count for cardio?” To which I responded, “Yes and you will probably not be able to walk tomorrow (overachiever.)” ;)
What do you think about our little crusade to cardio? Do you have any mini crusades you can take on? We would all love to hear your creative ideas to life-enhancement! xo
Raise your hand if over the past weekend or two, you just had get in a good deep clean around the house. Raise your other hand if you felt a strong desire to start a new fitness regime. Raiser your…big toe if you are also in the mood to toss, recycle, or donate items that make you feel heavy or cluttered. Look at all those hands and toes!
Know why? It’s kapha season! Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. It’s a builder for our body-minds, which is heavy and sticky in nature. As we know, to balance the doshas we use the opposite qualities of that dosha. So it’s no wonder why in heavy, sticky, wet spring we feel the need to move our bodies, clean our homes, eat lighter foods, lighten our cluttered load, and possibly take a little vacation to a warm, sunny climate! Lots of folks do spring cleanses around this time too. It’s not really because we’re worried about bikini season, it’s because nature is telling us to! Don’t forget, we are a part of nature and we flow with it in perfect rhythm.
I invite you to read Seasonal Bloom: Kapha, from last year. It has a ton of information about kapha-types, kapha season and has lots of tips to stay healthy during spring. You can download (free!) and share. Bring it to brunch as a little gift to your girlfriends, leave on your coworkers desk (it will make their day!), email it to your mom or auntie – there’s lots of things you can do to help get the good word out about Ayurveda! Please enjoy. If you read it last year, give it another read because information you were not ready to receive last year will pop out at you this year :) xoxo!
You ready? Ready for kapha’s vices? If you haven’t read about vata’s vices or pitta’s vices, I recommend doing so. Unless of course, you are a kapha. Then you can skip those and read on because the spotlight is on you, baby. By vices, I mean stuff that you reach for that is opposite of what you need for optimal health. You see, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things. When we analyze our sweet kapha friends they are happy-go-lucky, inviting, generous, the best listeners (and huggers!), able to handle a lot of work with grace, peaceful minded, and a curvy goddess-like physique. Kaphas can also be stubborn and impossible to move, can gain weight easily, have depression (though you probably wouldn’t be able to tell), tend toward emotional eating, and if pushed too far they will hold a grudge.
When I see a kapha person who’s skin looks dull/gray, their normally graceful gait has turned into a slow saunter, and their large sparkling eyes have lost their luster, perhaps hiding behind some extra weight, it tells me a lot. In that case, our gracious beauties, our treasured precious kaphas, have an imbalance. Kaphas are very private and don’t often let their vices or weaknesses show, so observing their habits is not as easy as with a vata or pitta. However, when a kapha looks lifeless, we know there’s a problem.
Please note! Just because someone is overweight does not mean they are a kapha! They might have a kapha imbalance, but are not necessarily kapha by nature.
In my observation, an imbalanced kapha craves: Heavy “comfort” foods, very sugary sweet foods, high salt and high fat foods. They will also watch a lot of TV (or play online games) and spend lots of time alone. They also…collect things.
The kapha vice-rites (vice favorites) all increase heaviness, wetness, and slow them down. Notice the foods have no spices? Imbalanced kaphas will crave meals like mac n’ cheese, pasta with cream sauces, cheesecake, which all increase the damp and heavy qualities. Kaphas are also self-proclaimed couch potatoes and will watch tv for hours and hours. Because kaphas are so giving, they tend to put themselves dead last which leaves them feeling emotionally depleted. To make up it, they might fill up on the wrong things which includes wrong foods and wrong entertainment. Kaphas love to watch others and live vicariously a little bit, so television and online games allows them a peek inside other fascinating worlds from the comfort of their own couch (they don’t like to move or take risks!). If kaphas spend too much time alone, they will get depressed. They thrive off the energy of others and need buddies to keep them uplifted! If you have a kapha friend (or if it’s you) who’s a bit blue, take them for a walk in nature and they gain back the happy spring in their step. Now, another thing, the kaphas…they also…collect things. They will buy stuff in multiples even if they don’t need it. They can be hoardy! They like to shop and they like to have things, but it’s way better for them to live light. Physical heaviness creates mental, emotional, and spiritual heaviness as well.
Okay! Now that we understand what kapha’s vices are, let’s love up some of their virtues!
In my observation, a balanced kapha craves: Spicy foods, fresh home-cooked meals, an evening or morning walk, the company of others.
When kaphas eat the right foods and are in total balance, they are the hostess with the mostess. They cater and cook for others but it doesn’t drag them down because they also know to take time for themselves. A balanced kapha will crave spices because fire heats the up and gives them gusto! They love it! Their thick hair shines, their skin radiates in perfect dewy fashion, they smile all the time (aaall the time), and move like a graceful swan. By listening, they inspire others to follow their craziest dreams while kaphas watch with admiration and anticipation. They enjoy a simple diet full of fresh foods and despite popular belief, they don’t eat a lot. Balanced kapha realizes they feel lighter with less food, they might even skip dinner or breakfast sometimes, which allows their sluggish digestion to catch up from the last meal. If I saw a curvy gal with apple cheeks, thick wavy hair, big sparkley teeth, eyelashes that go for days, and dressed to perfection, I would know she’s a balanced kapha.
What do you think, kaphas? Does this sound like you? I know you’re shy, but we would love to hear from you :) xoxo!