The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.
During seasonal transitions we celebrate the wondrous changes in nature. In the spring we enjoy the cherry blossoms, the happy songs of the birds and the arrival of our favorite flowers. In spring, nature comes alive—with the arrival of spring showers that cleanse the accumulated stores from the winter. We begin to feel more energetic and spend more time outdoors, open the windows and shed our heavy coats. Spring is the season of celebration.
Throughout winter the Water and Earth elements build in the body and mind, increasing Kapha dosha. As it starts to warm up, the Kapha that has accumulated in the colder months begins to liquefy and move. This is why we are all more susceptible to mucous-filled colds, watery eyes, and allergies during the spring. The accumulation of Kapha during the winter can also leave us feeling heavy and often a little dull.
In order to maintain harmony and balance during this time, Ayurveda suggests adopting a seasonal regime. It’s optimal to shift our habits to include food and lifestyle choices that contain the opposite qualities of the season. Since the spring weather is cooler and wet, we should focus on food and lifestyle choices that are dry, warm, light and active.
Ayurveda Tips to Optimize Your Spring Health
Do a Spring Cleanse
Spring is one of the best times to cleanse. The transition from winter to spring gives us this opportunity to rejuvenate and revitalize from the inside out. Just as we spring clean our homes, we also need to spring clean our body, especially our digestive system. Ayurveda cleansing allows us to harness the “new growth” energy of spring to remove accumulated Ama (toxins) from the physical, mental and emotional bodies and restore health to our whole being. Spring foods like bitter greens, sprouts and berries naturally support the liver and cleansing process.
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This time of year we naturally become more active. Like taking a big stretch after waking from hibernation – the body is ready to move. Sleeping after sunrise further increases the Kapha dosha. Instead, wake up early, practice invigorating sun salutations or go for a brisk walk. Whatever type of exercise you enjoy commit to a daily practice.
Spice It Up
Our digestive fire is naturally a little lower during spring. To help promote digestion and detoxification, include spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and ginger. Drinking hot ginger tea throughout the day and before meals helps to stimulate agni and assist in cleansing excess kapha and toxins from the body.
Adapt Your Diet
Avoid cold, heavy foods and favor light, warming foods and bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. Add lots of cleansing greens and sprouts to your diet. Some perfect seasonal spring vegetables that contain these qualities are arugula, mustard greens, fiddleheads, parsley, celery, chard, kale, dandelions, cabbage and asparagus.
Grains with a more drying quality are barley, rye, millet, basmati rice and corn. Reduce fats, oils and limit dairy during this time. Choose fruits that are in season like all berries, pears, apples, pomegranates, limes, peaches and rhubarb.
According to Ayurveda, honey is heating and helps balance Kapha in the spring. Use it as an alternative sweetener, or treat yourself to a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of honey.
Spring time is magical and dynamic. So, get ready to enjoy your spring season in an Ayurvedic way and you’ll not only feel healthier and lighter, but also nourished and energetic.
Wishing You Vinbrant Wellness