As the snow is melting and the air is warming, we are transitioning from winter to spring. In Ayurveda this means we are moving out of Vata season (wind, air and ether) and aligning with Kapha elements (water and earth).
The increase in daylight hours can add an extra spring to your step and excitement for what is being brought to life!
Ayurveda reminds us that opposites create balance: this is why you rarely crave spicy foods on a hot, summer beach day and why warm soup on a cold day is so nourishing. Here are some tips to balance the elements of spring.
1. Rise with the sun
As new life blooms all around us, this is a great time to connect with nature outdoors. Witness the new buds emerging, the birds singing and observe what is new and vulnerable coming to life within your own heart and soul.
Aim to wake with the sunrise and spend a portion of the morning outdoors exposing your eyes to the beneficial morning light.
This is a great way to relieve feelings of lethargy, to boost energy levels and reset the body clock, as the amount of daylight increases for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Napping during the daytime is not recommended during Kapha season, as this can increase sluggishness and prevent a good night’s sleep.
Create a stimulating and inspiring morning routine for yourself, even if it’s short. Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue and drink some warm lemon water first thing in the morning. You can also explore brushing your skin and self-massage with warm, organic sesame oil.
The practice of body brushing is intended to remove dead skin cells and increase circulation, this can be a great way to enhance your energy and blood flow in the morning.
Consult with your local holistic nutritionist to explore what cleansing herbs that may be suitable for you. Your body may also benefit from intermittent fasting, giving the digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate.
3. Practice Kapha balancing yoga poses
Heating, energy-enhancing postures like low plank, spinal twists, backbends, and Sun Salutations can help relieve feelings of lethargy. Breathing techniques like Surya Bhedana (right nostril breathing) are also warming and stimulating.
Exercise can be especially supportive in countering the heavy, wet spring season. Physical activity improves circulation, increases heat, and results in a feeling of lightness—all of which help to balance kapha.
4. Food for Kapha season
During spring months, choose food that is warm, light, and well-spiced- and pungent such as: ginger, black pepper, lemon, turmeric, cayenne and mustard seed.
Reduce cold, sour, sweet, and salty foods, as well as all dairy products and fatty meats. Foods to favor include bitter, pungent and astringent tastes, like lemon, dark leafy greens, chilli, garlic, legumes, radishes, and berries. (You may notice that many of these foods are also beginning to come into season).
These are all said to help detoxify the body, stimulate digestion and metabolism. Honey can provide a warming action in the body, and is useful to consume at this time of year in order to increase Agni, or digestive fire. A cup of warm water with a teaspoon of honey may be beneficial in balancing Kapha energies at this time of year.
The specifics of a springtime routine will vary from one person to the next according to your unique constitution. I recommend taking an Ayurvada Dosha Quiz to learn more (free on the internet).
We will all benefit from aligning ourselves with the changing conditions of the environment around us.
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