Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Biking through Santa Monica
It wasn’t a dark and stormy night but it was a foggy and cloudy evening. So foggy that the mist enveloped my skin, blanketed me, felt at home on my skin, soft, like lotion, soothing, like standing out in the rain. I loved the smell of it, biking through it, my pedals rotating in circular movement. The perpetual motions creating a counteracting force to the thick heavy kapha energy of the marine layer settling in over the streets. I love the fast breath that comes with the rhythmic circulation of the pedals; it’s the perfect counterpart. Cutting through the air with the a car would only dampen my spirits, make me feel ever more sleepy, tired, lethargic, heavy.
No matter the season, whether the dry windy fall of the airy vata months or the sunny overwhelming heat of the pitta summer, a kapha day can fall like a quilt. Sometimes comforting, it can also be heavy, dulling. The experience can instigate needed rest or slow everything down too much. In Ayurveda, kapha is the earth and water elements, carried on rain clouds, deposited in mud. Yet kapha also gives structure to rocks and stone, earth and balustrade. Kapha gives an energy like the energizer bunny, going and going and going. Stamina, steadiness. But when we are unprepared or already slow, the stagnation can be overwhelming.
The remedy: sweat, move, sing, call out, sprinkle hot peppers over food, favor warm drinks and eschew ice. Bake potatoes instead of serving cooling potato salad. Ladle bowls of warm soup. After I biked home, I warmed tea, I heated water to place inside a hot water bottle (one of my favorite indulgences for seasons tinged by either vata or kapha cold), served myself a bowl of hot soup. Warmed myself inside and out. Enjoyed the smell of fog.

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