Our greatest health comes from aligning with the rhythms of Nature, which means the change of seasons as well. Here are some practical tips to support you in being your healthiest this spring!
Spring is a time to move from the more internal, dormant space of winter and open to new Life and new growth. In Ayurveda, spring is the time of kapha dosha, where the Earth and Water elements are predominant. We see this reflected in Nature with spring showers, the thawing of the Earth, and all of the activity that is happening underground as seeds begin to swell with water and the Earth provides the nutrients needed for them to grow.
It is important for us to also provide the ingredients our bodies and beings need to support new growth and rebirth. As a season of awakening, it is beneficial to get back to basics and align with this energy in our food choices, our actions, and lifestyle.
So what does that look like? Here are some practical Spring Health Tips to support you in staying as healthy as possible throughout the spring season.
1. Arise early. Rise with the light of day, or even a little earlier. In Spring it is important to balance kapha dosha, the heaviest of the biological humours of Ayurveda. There may be some rainy, gray spring days that tempt you to just lie around and sleep, but that increases kapha dosha and leads to feelings of heaviness, lethargy, congestion, and can lead to depression. So be sure to get up early, and allow yourself to remember all the new life the rain brings. There is so much beauty to this season. In addition, getting up early helps create time for the next tip.
2. Get moving. Another important way to balance kapha dosha is to get moving. Be sure to make time do yoga, get out walking or running, dance, or hike. Do whatever it is you enjoy. Spring is a time to get things moving and open up to new inspiration, ideas and Life. This supports your lymphatic system in cleaning out the stagnant energy of winter, supports your immune system in avoiding spring colds and helps decrease congestion.
3. Eat lightly. Lighten up your diet at this time of year. There is a reason we are drawn to spring cleaning during this season, and that carries over into what our bodies need as well. Lightly steamed vegetables, light soups and seasonal greens will help your body do the spring cleaning it needs to clean out the stagnant energy of winter.
4. Focus on bitter and astringent tastes. The Earth provide exactly what we need to support optimal health at this time of year. Focus on the bitter and astringent tastes that are predominant in the spring greens, sprouts and early spring vegetables. Bitter and astringent tastes help to clear the channels of the body, support decongestion, cleanse the organs, detoxify the liver, scrape away fat and are anti-inflammatory.
5. Avoid mucus producing foods, especially dairy products, wheat and sugar. Dairy products, wheat and sugar create congestion and clog up the channels in your body. As tempting as ice cream is to many, cold dairy products are one of the worst things you can eat at this time of year. They often contain a lot of sugar, and all of these foods go against what is most helpful to your body as it is working hard to clear out the accumulated kapha from winter. In spring your body is needing to lighten up and clean out, and if you keep pumping it with foods that clog your channels, you are doing yourself and your body a great disservice!
6. Use a neti pot. Using a neti pot to clean the nasal passages can help you clear up allergies and prevent sinus infections and colds. If you suffer from either of these, using a neti pot is a great preventive measure you can use to avoid these spring afflictions.
7. Eat pungent spices. Pungent spices like ginger and garlic support your body in removing excess kapha dosha and give your immune system a boost. Use those pungents!
8. Do a spring cleanse. Supporting your body in lightening up and cleaning out at this time of year, is one of the best things you can do to support optimal health. Getting rid of toxins, aligning with nature, and cleaning out the stagnant energy of winter will help your immune system, your lymphatic system and your liver, can help you shed that extra winter weight and greatly support your overall health.
If you know the support of a group and experienced guide would be helpful for your Spring Cleanse, you’re in luck! We offer Spring Detox & Cleanse programs every spring. If you want to lighten up, shed those extra winter pounds, clean up your diet, feel more energetic, sleep better, and have less aches and pains, join us for a Spring Detox & Cleanse. Check the Spring Cleanse page for the next cleanse dates or go to www.ayushriyoga.com.