Sidebends to eliminate kapha dosha
According to Ayurveda, spring time is an ideal time to move the accumulation of the water element (kapha dosha) out of our systems. Kapha accumulates in the winter, leaving us feeling heavy, dense, cold and sticky (like mucous). The primary site of accumulation of Kapha dosha is in the lungs. From an asana perspective, we need to warm things up to liquify kapha, and so I have found flowing side-bends followed by gentle inversions to be great.
The following side bend sequence includes a flow to generate heat and liquify kapha dosha, side bends to open through the ribs and lungs, as well as a gentle inversion to allow for the physical and energetic elimination of kapha.
Start standing in mountain pose (feet a comfortable distance apart):
- stack your bones,
- ground into the earth through your feet to lengthen your spine to the sky, and
- stack your head on your neck.
As you inhale (breathe in) flow your right arm out to the right and up to the sky. As you exhale (breathe out) keep your feet grounded as your right arm moves over your head and your torso bends to the left side. Once you get to the place in the side bend where you cannot keep going, bend your knees slightly, allow your right shoulder to come forward of the left one, and circle your right arm down towards the floor and all the way back up to mountain with one arm over heard.
Repeat this flow 5 to 10 times. Then repeat this same flow to the other side.
When you are done, notice if there’s a difference in how you feel in your body-mind – heavier or lighter? colder or warmer? dense or liquid/fluid? sticky or clear?
About the Author
Mona Warner is the founder of Janati Yoga School in Kingston, Ontario. She is a teacher of yoga and ayurveda and offers a light yet profound approach to yoga…Did we mention she is hilarious…and everyone loves her! Mona feels everyone has their own path to walk – and they won’t all be the same. This is where cultivating open-mindedness is really helpful (or at least it has been to me). I do not believe in “one way” for every body… I believe in helping every body to find THEIR way – be in in yoga, Ayurveda or life.
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