In Ayurveda, the wet, cool weather of spring is called the kapha season and is associated with the cool heavy kapha dosha.
In early springtime, with the onset of the kapha season, many of us start to feel stuck and heavy. Our digestion becomes sluggish and sometimes we feel lethargic, sad and have trouble sleeping and waking up. This means just like nature, our bodies are getting ready for the change in season too. Staying sedentary or continuing to eat the heavier winter foods will accentuate our colds, allergies, weight gain and lethargy. So, time to shake things up a little bit and develop a strong energetic routine for mind and body !
Implementing conscious changes for the new season have aided me the most in the winter to spring transition. Climbing into bed before 10 pm on most days ensures a deep and restful sleep. Likewise, rising at around 6 am when the air is light helps stay energetic throughout the day. If you are feeling inactive and heavy, incorporate some vigorous exercise each day. Best way to shake off that stagnant kapha imbalance - energetic yoga practice, swimming, hiking , running or any other aerobic activity.
Foods to Favor and Reduce
Definitely, a good idea to gradually wean off the heavy, salty or sugary fare we all consume more during the cold winter months. Focus on embracing a somewhat minimal diet that includes smaller meals, little or no snacking and fewer desserts. Best to avoid raw foods if your digestion is slow right now. Eat hot cooked meals. Use a variety of spices and enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce your dairy intake and if you do then favor hot milk flavored with some turmeric and dry ginger. Aim for a gentle or deep spring cleanse and detoxification.
Yoga Asanas for the Season
In springtime, we benefit tremendously from asanas that energize and make us move. Heart opening backbends like bhujangasana (cobra), dhanurasana (bow pose), ustrasana (camel pose) prove to uplift, open the chest and lungs, help us breathe better and clear upper respiratory heaviness. Inversions like salambha sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand) adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) and legs up the wall move things energetically and are vitalizing. Digestion stimulating poses like navasana (boat pose), knees to chest and jathara parivartasana (reclined twist) help with the digestive fire and clear any inertia in that area. Make these asanas your springtime routine . Try something new, move, and be your highest and best guide as you listen to your body and practice or modify any yoga asanas!
Invigorating Essential Oils
I like using EOs in spring to a) help respiratory heaviness or sinus congestion (most common at this time of the year)
b) aromatically use oils that are citrus, sweet, tangy and fruity to boost immunity and awaken on cold spring days . Doterra Breathe works exceptionally well in clearing those sinuses and almost guarantees a good night sleep if you have any kind of respiratory congestion. Grapefruit, Tangerine, Wild Orange and Doterra Citrus Bliss are fresh and invigorating. Lemon essential oil is wonderful to detoxify the body (take a drop in a glass of warm water), help digestion and seasonal respiratory discomfort.
What lifestyle adjustments are you thinking of , foods you are favoring , your favorite yoga asanas and essential oils for spring ? Post your comments and ideas :)
Happy Spring !