You likely understand that your diet should change with the seasons, but according to Ayurveda, adjusting your pranayama practice three times a year is also helpful in cultivating balance. As we move deeper into spring (kapha season), we are all looking for that boost of energy—and you can find it in your breath.
Water and earth are kapha’s foundational elements, and its main qualities are heavy, sticky, cool, and oily. The following pranayamas offer the opposite: They’re stimulating, warming, and stoke your circulation. This helps lift any excess kapha energy you may be carrying and increase a balanced flow of prana through the body’s energy channels (nadis). It can also help with congestion and alertness.
Try these practices during springtime or anytime you feel sluggish, lethargic, mildly stopped up, or unmotivated.
Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
This invigorating breathing technique is meant to be done on an empty stomach. Have a tissue handy in case excess mucus is loosened. Avoid Bhastrika during pregnancy, or if you have heart or respiratory conditions.
Ujjayi Pranayama or “victorious breath” is one of the most common pranayama techniques. It can be both energizing and relaxing, perfect for kapha season.
See also: What Is Ujjayi?
Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)
Kapalabhati is a traditional internal cleansing technique (kriya). Try it on its own or as a warm-up for a longer formal pranayama.
See also: 5 Reasons to Practice Pranayama