Spring ahead….Coming out of hibernation.
Depending on where you’re living you might be seeing signs of spring approaching. The melting of the snow, leafs returning to the branches, rivers flowing and small buds peaking through the ground. Warmer days are coming! Ok, I live in Ojai California, where the weather is pretty perfect all year round. For those on the East coast, you might have to wait a couple of weeks!
Spring is a great time for cleansing both the body and mind from the heavy, sluggish qualities of winter. Spring naturally brings us out into the warmer days and motivates us to shed the unnecessary weight and toxins that have accumulated in the body. Think of it as spring cleaning from the inside, out.
Spring in Ayurveda is known as the Kapha season. The Kapha dosha has the elements of water and earth which tend to accumulate throughout our system over the winter months. Thus we tend to experience more the feelings of excessive heaviness, lethargy, being set in our ways, and congestion in our chest and sinuses.
Spring is thought to be the season of transition. As the seasons change so must your daily routines so that you live more in sync with nature’s rhythms. Having this awareness can help you to be more in tune with your own physical and emotional challenges. You can help ease this transition by paying attention to the foods you eat, your sleep patterns when you exercise and your moods.
Below are some tips that may help you align with the spring season so that you can maintain a healthy balance in your body, mind, and spirit:
~ Begin to align yourself with the change in the season. As we spring ahead it’s a good time to wake up with the sun. Do a more invigorating yoga practice or exercises program in the morning. This will help jumpstart your digestion and get your lymphatic system moving which aids in releasing toxins.
~ Drink hot water with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a slice of ginger every morning. This helps stimulate not only your digestion and metabolism but can help with regular bowel movements. These are key to getting rid of toxins that accumulate throughout the body!
~ Does your digestion feel sluggish? Chop up some fresh ginger (1/2 tsp.), squeeze a slice of lemon on it and a pinch of salt. Eat this before your meals to help stimulate your digestive fire.
~ Seek more stimulation! Spring is a great time to get out and focus on a new hobby or activity that you have been putting off. It’s easy to get in a rut during the winter! Now is the time to shake it off and shake it up! Try a new dance class or a game of tennis!
~ As the warmer weather approaches get outside and do more vigorous exercise. Running, biking and hiking will help burn off the heavy, stubborn energy that Kapha creates in your body during the wintertime.
~ Use a Neti pot daily. This is especially great if you suffer from allergies and sinus flare-ups in the springtime.
~ Eat lighter and earlier. Having your biggest meal of the day between 12-2 is best. Eat dinner before 6:00 p.m. if you can and take a walk afterward.
~ Enjoy lighter, warm cooked foods, like soups, vegetable, and grains. Emphasize the qualities of bitter, pungent and astringent tastes. These are helpful with detoxifying the body from that winter sluggish feeling.
Here is a basic list of foods to give you an idea of what to focus on:
Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, dandelion greens, mustard greens, garlic, carrots, kale, spinach
Meats: Chicken (white), eggs, fresh water fish
Legumes: Black beans, pinto beans, mung dal, lentils
Fruits: Cherries, pomegranates, prunes, limes, lemon, apples, berries
Dairy: (Best to minimize) Cottage cheese, goat cheese, yogurt (diluted)
Grains: Barley, couscous, quinoa, millet, basmati rice
Nuts and Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, flax seeds
Spices: Black pepper, ginger, garlic, cayenne, (most spices are good for Kapha especially the warmer ones that can help stimulate a sluggish digestion)
Think lighter, get moving and enjoy the longer days ahead! posted 3/12/17