As the winter months come to an end, we move from the mobility and dryness of air and ether element or Vata dosha to heavy qualities of water and stable qualities of earth or Kapha dosha. This is therefore a natural time to cleanse all that we have accumulated in the winter months.
Because of the presence of Kapha dosha in the environment we more often find ourselves feeling heavy and sluggish, like a cranky bear reluctantly coming out of hibernation. Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science and the world’s oldest surviving system of healing, shows us that the key to feeling in step with the seasons is to harmonize with nature. The idea in Ayurveda is that we are nothing but the 5 great elements or the Puncha maha bhutas and therefore as our environment changes, so should we.
In old traditions usually we see some sort of celebration for this season as the nature around us comes back to life! Where I was born, we have been celebrating the first day of spring or spring equinox for 3000 years as our new year but wherever you are and whatever festival or culture you celebrate these few simple Ayurvedic tips will help you cleanse and renew your body and mind and get ready for the life that spring has to offer to us!
An ideal season for weight loss
If there is one season that we should be thinking about shedding weight, it is spring. This is the time to get active and get outside, go for a walk or a hike or get to that heated yoga class! This is the time of year that heat is so good for our constitution. We also need to bring the heat of our body up which is called the Agni. This main fire lived in our stomach and is responsible for any digestion, transformation or analysis that we do. We do this with yoga, breathing techniques and also with spices and herbs. These following herbs are super helpful to activate our fire of digestion.
Trikatu - Improves metabolism and destroys Kapha
Tulsi - Good for lungs and pushes out spring congestion
Triphala - Cleansing action supports weight loss
Triphala Guggulu - Aids fat metabolism and detoxification
Neem - Destroys sweet cravings
Ginger - Improves digestion, circulation and metabolism
Cardamom - Refreshes the palate and destroys cravings
General Spring Diet
Spring is the time to eat lighter. Generally, eat a dry Kapha pacifying diet favouring bitters. Drying grains such as barley and corn may be tolerated and so much lighter than wheat. Continue with warming spices like ginger and turmeric to ward off blood stagnation. Warming bitters like dandelion and arugula will also aid fat metabolism. Take triphala to keep bowels clear and aid the cleansing process. Avoid heavy, oily, sweet and salty foods such as red meat and dairy, fast food or processed food.
Tune into Nature
You can start creating harmony with the seasons through acts of mindfulness and devotion. All you have to do is look around to be inspired at this time of year; renewal and transformation are literally welling up from the ground. The natural world is going through a rebirth, so be creative and forge a connection to this awesome process. Maybe silently devoting your daily yoga practice to nature or come up with a morning ritual, meditation or preyer. Sun salutations are a wonderful place to begin your ritual on a daily basis as you get the flow of energy going in your body and mind first thing in the morning. Anything that gives you time and space to appreciate the beautiful transformation that’s happening around you will fill you with inspiration, energy, and light.
Allergies and mucus are so much more likely to happen in a K
apha season, so this is a great time to start using your Netti pot. When you breathe in allergens, pollution, and other forms of irritation, mucus production can increase, setting the stage for congestion and infection. By performing a nasal rinse before this has a chance to occur, you can prevent and relieve symptoms that accompany sinus infections, common colds, and other illnesses. Flushing mucus and other particles out can help to thin out excess mucus, open up the nasal passages, and reduce inflammation of the mucus membrane, which swells when aggravated. Using a neti pot is an all-natural therapy that offers a number of benefits. It can help:
Clear nostrils for improved breathing
Reduce nasal dryness
Ease sinus headaches
Alleviate facial pain and pressure
Relieve allergy symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose
Heighten the sense of smell and taste
Prevent the common cold and other upper respiratory infections
Allow for deeper breathing
Reduce the need for medications such as antibiotics and decongestants