Spring into new season with healthy choices
Written by Tish Hilyer on March 19th 2016.
As we approach the Spring Equinox, we are awakened to the world around us. It is a time of growth and new beginnings - an ideal time for cleansing the body, mind and spirit.
The season gives us the perfect opportunity to release old thoughts, emotions, habits and patterns that no longer benefit us.
The ancient science of Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with Nature and shifting our routines around diet and lifestyle as the seasons change.
Early Spring is considered a predominantly Kapha time of year. Kapha is one of the three Doshas that make up our unique constitution. It is a combination of the Earth and Water elements. It is present in all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Kapha provides structure, protection, support, strength, lubrication and moisture. It is also responsible for immunity and memory.
As with the other doshas (Pitta and Vata), Kapha can become imbalanced. This is more likely to occur in Kapha people or during Kapha season, but everyone can experience these manifestations when Kapha is strongly provoked or increased.
Signs of Kapha imbalance include a feeling of heaviness after meals, feeling dull, tired and lethargic. Other signs include weight gain or a tendency to be overweight, edema and repeated colds and cough. More serious, long-term imbalances include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Emotionally, imbalanced Kapha tends toward depression, attachment, resistance to change and emotional overeating.
As the warmer weather begins to thaw the Earth, it also starts to melt accumulated Kapha in the body. If we don’t cleanse the heavy, rich winter diet, we can suffer from sinus infection, congestion and allergies as we transition into Spring.
Ayurveda offers some tips for pacifying Kapha Dosha. However, these tips should be adjusted according to your own constitution and any imbalances you are currently experiencing. Ayurveda encourages us to make choices with awareness to the effects on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Suggestions for Spring:
• Wake up early, with the Sun
• Drink warm water with lemon in the morning
• Follow a Kapha pacifying diet, focusing on light and easy to digest meals
• Choose seasonal, local, organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Mother Nature is always providing just what we need!
• Sip warming herbal teas throughout the day (CCF tea, Tulsi tea, Ginger tea)
• Small amounts of local honey as a sweetener may help with seasonal allergies and congestion (Pittas use less because honey is heating)
• Cook with warming spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, black pepper. Again, Pittas use caution)
• Stay warm and dry
• Spend time outside taking walks or planting a garden
• Abhyanga massage
• Nasya oil
• Get plenty of daily exercise
• Pranayama (yogic breathing practices to strengthen the lungs and clear the sinuses)
Yoga is especially beneficial for Kapha: Stimulating, warming, energizing. Sun salutes, standing poses, twists, inversions and poses centered on the core are particularly good.
Here are a few things to limit/avoid for the Spring:
• Excess sweet, sour and salty tastes
• Heavy foods and large meals
• Excess wheat, dairy and red meat
• Fried foods and processed foods
• Cold foods and drinks (not the best time of year for ice cream)
• Snacking between meals, unless truly hungry
• Sleeping during the day
• Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise
Ayurveda is a science of healing that promotes health and longevity by living attuned to our environment. Each season allows us the opportunity to shift and experience our lives in a different way. The Spring Equinox is an especially powerful time to reset intentions and move toward all that we are creating in our lives. Manifest health, happiness and LOVE!!!
Love you all,
TishPosted in Ayurveda